Great Debate Moments

By Emma Fidel and Lauren Vicary - 2012-10-05T21:28:12Z

Photograph by Bettmann/Corbis

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The Camera Didn't Love Him

A pale and sweaty Richard Nixon, recovering from illness and skipping makeup, looked more sickly than presidential next to a tanned, urbane Jack Kennedy during the first televised presidential debate in 1960. Their encounter proved a turning point for Kennedy and a harbinger of television's growing clout in U.S. politics. Radio listeners surveyed thought the debate was a draw. The 74 million people who saw it on TV felt otherwise.

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