The performance of
candidates in live TV not only depends on their personal charm, but also closely related to the effect of makeup. After many open-air elections, the bronze skin has long been ready for the last fight. However, it was later reported that the senator who claimed to be photographed naturally was still carefully decorated by his team. Nixon, on the other hand, was pale and bearded.
article excerpted from: People’s daily, author: anonymous, original title: why Nixon lost to Kennedy in 1960: “the disaster caused by lazy shaving
in 1960, the first presidential election television debate in American history began in the confrontation between Kennedy and Nixon. This debate is of great significance. It has not only had a significant impact on the election results, but also opened a new era. In this new era, using media exposure to create distinctive public images has gradually become an important part of the political movement.
in 1960, the United States and the Soviet Union were in the period of the cold war. The Soviet Union had just taken the lead in the space race by launching man-made satellites. In the United States, issues such as civil rights and the struggle for apartheid have plunged the Democratic situation of the United States into a deep crisis. At the critical moment of surging political circles at home and abroad, two candidates with different political views began the presidential race: Kennedy, a young and energetic senator from Massachusetts; Nixon, an experienced congressman, was then vice president. Kennedy has only one term in the US Senate. Compared with Nixon, 43 year old Kennedy not only lacks rich diplomatic experience, but also is in a disadvantageous situation because of his Catholic status. In contrast, Nixon was elected vice president at the age of 39 and ran the country as a “deputy director” of the United States for the next eight years.
campaign occupied the long summer of 1960, and Nixon gained a weak lead in the polls. However, as the seasons change, public support also begins to change. In August, Nixon suffered a major blow. When a reporter tried to ask the then president to list the contributions of the vice president, Eisenhower, who had just escaped from a long press conference, responded: “if you gave me a week, I might think of a contribution, but now I don’t remember.” (although it was Eisenhower’s self mockery, Democrats lost no time in using it as the end of the TV advertisement, “President Eisenhower doesn’t remember, but voters will remember.”) In the same month, Nixon injured his knee during his campaign in North Carolina and was hospitalized with infection. When he reappeared two weeks later, he was weak, sallow and lost 20 pounds.
on the evening of September 26, when the two candidates arrived at CBS in downtown Chicago, Nixon’s bad luck continued. When he got out of the car, he hit his injured knee again. In addition, he had a cold and a low fever. This ordinary one-day campaign is like a year for him. At the same time, Kennedy spent the whole weekend in the hotel with his aides, recuperating and preparing well for the upcoming four “big debates”.
although the status of the two candidates is significantly different, the Republican and democratic parties are equally matched in overall strength. Both parties stressed the importance of national security, military strength and building a better future for the United States. In fact, after listening to Kennedy’s opening speech, Nixon said that he “fully agrees with the spirit explained by Senator Kennedy tonight”. Although most radio listeners thought the first debate was a tie and favored Nixon’s victory, television viewers gave another answer: Kennedy unexpectedly won the hearts of 70 million television viewers.
through television, a new object in the American living room, American politicians are exploring a more intimate way to interact with the public. Kennedy apparently found the trick. In the first round of debate, he looked directly at the camera to answer every question, while Nixon looked more at the reporters on the scene, which seemed to be avoiding the eyes of the public. This was a fatal blow to Nixon, who was ridiculed as “tricky dick”. The performance of
candidates in live TV not only depends on their personal charm, but also closely related to the effect of makeup. Before the first debate, both rejected the services of CBS’s top makeup artists. After many open-air elections, Kennedy, whose skin was bronze, was already ready for the last fight. However, it was later reported that the senator who claimed to be photographed naturally was still carefully decorated by his team. Nixon, on the other hand, was pale and bearded. In an interview with Walter Cronkite two weeks before the debate, the vice president said, “even if I can shave my beard within 30 seconds before I go on TV, I still have stubble when I appear on camera.” At the urging of his assistants, Nixon tried to cover the stubble with lazy shave powder bought from the drugstore. However, under the irradiation of the studio light at the recording site, Nixon sweated a lot, and the makeup powder on his face began to melt. The “lazy shaving” powder was washed out of a faint groove mark by sweat. In terms of dress, Nixon’s light gray suit did not help the campaign. This color was almost consistent with the background on the stage and highlighted his pale complexion. The next day, the headline of the Chicago Daily News was striking: “did the TV makeup artist destroy Nixon?” Although Nixon tried to fix the mess of the first of the next three debates, it was too late.
a month and a half later, the number of American votes reached a record. As predicted, it was a close contest, with Kennedy winning 49. 7% to 49. Won the election by a margin of 5%. According to opinion polls, more than half of voters were affected by the TV debate, while 6% claimed that the TV debate made them make the final decision. Whether Nixon missed the “first place” because of the television debate or not, the debate was indeed a major turning point in the 1960 election. Two years later, the loser of the competition wrote six crises