I am old enough to remember when the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon presidential race was going on, even though I wasn't old enough to understand the issues. Those were the first televised debates ever.
This year feels more and more the same to me in several ways.
I've always felt that Nixon's biggest downfall was his unattractive image over the tube. He may have been an example of the safest-feeling, most popular image ~ WASPy/aryan-y ~ but in those black&white extremely-low-def days it showed in a bad way: he looked more like a used car salesman. He looked unshaven when he was clean-shaven. He looked sweaty. The dark bushy brows made his eyes look hooded and evil.
Kennedy, I'll admit, was a little bit scary to the mainly Protestant general public because he was the first Catholic to run ~ but he also came across as the wise, smart, spirited redheaded boy next door who could do anything. Some even thought he was handsome.
Last night, as I watched McCain move about the "town hall" forum in his slightly wobbly/waddly manner, holding his arms in his strange manner, I felt pretty much the same about him as we did Nixon.
Granted, he can't help the way his appendages look and move, because both his arms and one of his legs were badly broken from his plane crash ~ and were never set and allowed to heal properly by his captors in VietNam. However, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Public probably won't take that into consideration.
Also to his detriment, he appeared as if he was avoiding looking at Obama most of the time. Like he was scared that if their eyes met his head asplode or something. LOL
When Obama smiled at one of McCain's remarks, it was a confident smile, looking tolerant of his opponent's foibles, yet not to the point of seeming patronizing. McCain, on the other hand, gave these little condescending sneers and nervous laughs when Obama was making a point he didn't like.
Remembering how I felt about Kennedy/Nixon, I googled kennedy nixon obama mccain and found this:
Topic Author: Daniel Chanin
Posted: 10:23 PM Oct 7, 2008
Obama-McCain Race Similar To Nixon-Kennedy
In addition to majoring in broadcast journalism at Boston University, I also minored in history. Two of my favorite courses were "U.S. Presidents" and "U.S. History: 1968-Present." One major event in our nation's political history that I learned a great deal about in both courses was the 1960 presidential race between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. That race was the first to feature a live televised debate; one which many say ultimately decided the election. Reading about Kennedy's charisma and Nixon's determination, I can't help but see parallels between those men and the two that represent their respective parties today. Like Kennedy, Obama is young and energetic; but criticized for being inexperienced. Meanwhile, McCain, like Nixon is the political veteran. A man supporters say is more polished, but critics accuse of being more out of touch than his opponent, particularly with America's youth. The 1960 election was one of the closest in U.S. history. According to the latest polls, there's a good chance we could see history repeat itself.
Verrry interesting. Because much of the American public does tend to be shallow in some ways, I'm just thankful McCain doesn't have that movie star/celebrity aura ~ and that Mrs. Alaska Hockeymom-Sexpack is starting to lose her honeymoon glow.