tv The Presidency Irwin Gellman Campaign of the Century CSPAN May 21, 2022 2:00pm-3:01pm EDT
and he's the first historian to truly use mounds of material from the archives to tell a more complete account of the 1960 election including unused sources. such as the fbi surveillance logs of then candidate john f kennedy and the papers of leon jaworski and henry cabot lodge, jr. gilman is a scholar of 20th century presidential history whose two prior books have documented the congressional and vice presidential periods of richard nixon's life. and his third entitled the campaign of the century kennedy nixon and the election of 1960 does not disappoint. gilman is joined in conversation this evening with another renowned 20th century presidential historian, dr. luke nichter who holds the james h cavanaugh endowed chair in presidential studies at chapman university dr. nichter is a new york times bestselling author who's credits include two volumes of the nixon tapes with historian, doug, brinkley. a biography of henry cabot lodge jr.
and nectar is now at work on a history of the 1968 presidential election. ladies and gentlemen, would you please join me in welcoming irv gelman and dr. luke nichter. here. thank you. now first of all, i'd like to thank you all for coming. i appreciate it. i hope you enjoy the evening, but i'd like to spend. two minutes maybe and thanking my wife gloria gay for tricking me to come to the nixon library. i had absolutely no intention to write a book on richard nixon. let alone now three books on richard nixon. but nobody else will do it.
is a project the most historians especially academics won't do you just can have tenure promotions. or anything when you write about darth vader and to many academics nixon is darth vader. which is unfair untrue etc. but i was married to gloria gay for 29 years until she passed away. she was a wonderful wonderful person. and i just want to let you know that i wouldn't be here. if it wasn't for her tricking me into coming. a couple of other things some of you have i know have been friends for years john and ruth ann. evans have been incredibly kind. paul and candy took me out for
dinner and more importantly and most importantly there's two people sitting over there. one has gotten a haircut and trimmed his beard as name is joe dimalowski. drink the other is susan nolte who was the chief archivist for years and years and years and is not only brilliant but as a sweetheart. and the reason why i wanted to point it out was my beginning of my book has acknowledgments. and these aren't just names to me. they're important people they make me better than what i am. they helped me more than i deserve to be helped and it's a great kindness that they've
done. so when you read my knowledgements, you'll find out that there are a truckload of people like susan and like joe that have helped me and i really appreciate it, but i wanted to give you a picture of what these people look like at how kind people can be to research historians. so again, susan joe. thank you. here well, thanks very much for that that welcome and in particular to the nixon library and the richard dixon foundation and also to c-span viewers who are joining us virtually. as starting a little bit. more personal before we dive into the book. it welcome back to the west coast. you know, i think for for many
years. this was probably a second home or a home for you. how many years did you spend here? and do you miss it? i spent with susan nolte. seven years going through documents day by day week by week year by year. this volume here is a mere two and a half million pages of research and that's what i do. and since you asked that question, i have a plot another plug that i forgot to give a year from now luke victor will be sitting in this seat. he is finished a study of the election of 1968 and we'll show that the anish adult incident had virtually nothing to do with the election of 1968. so if you're here now come back for luke a year from now and find out what really did happen in 1968 and we can just be an opposite seats at that point,
but but juxtapose that experience of turning presidential for seven years. with the fact that with with sort of where you came from, i think i once heard you talk about or describe yourself as a slum kid from baltimore. and so how does someone in that situation go on to get a phd in american history from indiana university and ultimately come to write not a book but a series on the subject. i was very lucky. i didn't spend my life in jail. i have a 19-inch knife scar on my shoulder. the guy was kind enough to crack a building building brick over my head. and walking home from school. it was always a kindness if i had less than four people beat me up. how in the world i got out of it? i'm guessing it was sheer luck. and how i ended up getting a
doctorate writing books. i still have to pinch myself. i i guarantee you. if any of you think that i'm not good. truly, i'm not that good. so we're here to talk about a book, but some know and some may not know that it's also part of a larger series. and so you when you're doing show and tell of nixon books, it's never easy to carry them around, but i'll sort of briefly introduce each book and maybe have you say a word or a line or two about each one to sort of just properly tease them for the audience. so the first book in the series richard nixon the contender the congress here is 1946 to 1952. the basis of the book is that nobody ever really seriously did the research that susan nolte helped me with and the
remarkable thing that i found about it was the charges of nixon beating jerry voorhees for his first congustial election in 1946. that nixon smeared voorhees as a communist never happened. it was all made up. and the real story was not here at the nixon library. it was and the jerry vorhees papers and pomona and the second thing that i found remarkable. was that nixon smeared helena hagin douglas as a pink pink lady in the 1950, california senatorial contest. the problem was the only time he ever referred to her as pink was in a private conversation between him and his political relations person. but as far as the reason why she
lost can be found in norma, oklahoma and her archives at the university of oklahoma. so the whole nature of how nixon was darth vader in these two elections are fundamentally flawed. and moving forward in time and nixon's career the second the biggest thickest of the series the president and the apprentice eisenhower and nixon 1952 to 1961. that one is basically nixon's vice presidency and how he ran for the vice presidency. and again once more the story is so flawed. one of the stories came from an oral history interview. where dwight eisenhower was watching nixon give what was known as the fund's speech of the checker speech and slammed his hand into what he was writing on and talked tore the
paper. the only problem was is i found a copy of the speech. and there was no tearing there was nothing. it was just a normal piece of paper. and then even better than that was that nixon and eisenhower didn't get along that really eisenhower didn't like nixon. and i'm saying to myself self. how in the world can dwight eisenhower? be president for eight years and have nixon has his vice president for eight years and they didn't get along. quite frankly they get along fine. and once i wrote the corrective, i know this is going to shock you. but people stop talking about that. is it an amazing that you can lie? just so much until you get caught and then you just stop you don't apologize. you're basically intellectual cowards.
and so then the with the latest installment of the series, which we'll dive into here in a moment campaign of the century kennedy nixon and election of 1960. how many years would you say you've been formally or informally working on this collection of works? 25 years and how many pieces of paper pages of records do you think you've examined red turned or investigated? i read about 800 pages a day. that's why. and i could do that with comprehension. the fact is i didn't think it was a book. i don't i was a fan of theodore white the making the president 1960. i thought he told everything. i know i started to do the research. and again the surprise you i was wrong. there was and has been up until i wrote this.
nobody had ever read archival research. when the great debates of 1960 of kennedy's catholicism of 1960 the fraud in 1960 all of that stuff had never been done. and had been mentioned maybe but not have had ever been done in a serious archival way. so i looked at all this material and i discovered. but rather the theater white who by the way in his memoirs claimed that i'm writing or i wrote. the making the president 1960 purposely purposely in his memoirs. making kennedy the hero and nixon a villain. well, that's not the way you write history. and so this is basically not only a corrective fear or white but to basically say that the
entire story of the 1960 election has been seriously flawed. so having that is background, let's take a look at what the critics say in reviews of these books. all three of these books have been reviewed in the new york times as well as many other places. i think that alone signaling that these are books worth paying attention to but i think the critics in the reviews have no shortage of things to talk about. and i i went through in preparation. i read all three of the reviews in the time times these three books. and i'd like to go through so just sort of the very top 20 outtakes. from these reviews and get your thoughts. and these are comments direct quotes either about the author his the work in question being reviewed or about the works characterization of richard nixon. refers to the works as a forgiving judgment richard nixon
he acquits nixon of all charges. he takes one side. more polemical than persuasive he distorts the views of those he would rebut. there he says the rancor the rancor filled prejudices against his own clear-eyed distillations. your naive you're not persuasive. they're a feast that leaves one hungry. simplistic bland i'm not done. a sympathetic glow in no way substantiated nixon friendly spin adds nothing here, but fresh outrage. a hit job lacking nothing new and circumstantial so my old boss at c-span was brian lamb and so to sort of channel brian lamb he would say.
urban off galman, what you doing wrong? i keep on telling you. i am a lot less than you think i am and even with these people i'm even lesser than you think i am. the the one review i got in the new york times for this book said nothing new everything i've written is --. well, he didn't say --, but he meant -- and that quite frankly if you read the book you're an idiot and that appeared online in the new york times and my sales went up four times. it then made the sunday edition of the new york times and my sales went up three times. and then the week after it appeared in the new york times sunday edition. to show you how crazy the new york times is i became an editor's choice. so the the editors of the new
york times repudiated their own reviewer. so it just goes to show you if any of you are familiar out here with fairhaven. i probably am a reject from fair haven. and i'm not sure where to go with a question after that. but i think what i would ask is. what? why is writing about richard nixon still so controversial? there are several reasons, but i think the main reason is one of the reviews that i received which was a nice review. it wasn't bad it. it said i can't see it. i mean dixon was so bad and kennedy was so good. there's no way that this book that is written as well as it is written and the arguments that are made are so reasonable. it just it just it just can't be. and one of the reviews i got from a syndicate in canada was
an important book in your water read it, but 60 years they've gotten it wrong gilman's narrative is like swimming upstream. so the general tenor of nixon being a despicable individual one of the the greatest things that i remember as i was writing. the second volume was that just about every liberal commentator. hold the speech maudlin. and maudlin is not a good term. i found in the adley stevenson papers. at princeton about a hundred and twenty letters. that were favorable to stevenson and unfavorable to the chucker. speech. the only thing i left out was
there were about three million pieces of paper that went into the republican national committee saying how wonderful the speech was. and yet to this day many people believe that the checker speech was modeling when in fact, it was a great speech that was considered by an overwhelming number of people just imagine three million people wrote in to say how good the speech was and yet you remember a hundred and twenty or a hundred and thirty letters. by people probably who didn't even listen to the speech on how awful it was. now something seems to be a little out of balance there when a hundred plus people can say it's he was awful and three million people can say he was great. i think that we have become generally speaking so conditioned to things that never
been challenged. people don't challenge what they don't think about in many cases. and what i did was not so much to record what i personally thought. but what the record showed and the record showed something quite different than what's been published and i think that for one of a better. rationalization or reasoning that the fact the people have accepted this nonsense so easily is because they just want to well, i think that theme of sort of the many myths and misunderstandings in the nixon era is a theme that resonates throughout the book here. and so i've highlighted i call them myths or misunderstanding about seven of them that come to me reading the book and i have some photos that will help to illustrate the myths that we'll
click through here, but for each one, i think what i'd like to do is sort of state the conventional wisdom or the myth and misunderstanding just as it's existed in the literature over the decades and allow you to respond to each one. so i think number one the role of eisenhower that nixon perhaps lost in 1960 because eisenhower didn't do enough. that sort of nixon was on this ill-fated ticket that didn't have eisenhower's support. he might not have been eisenhower's choice to run and there's lots of mythology about exactly what eisenhower's role was during this year and it's something that you address in the book. once more you you write what you think people want to read rather than write what really happened? just imagine for a second. that nick that eisenhower absolutely hated nixon.
can any of you seriously hear believe that eisenhower would want? a senator with no legislative experience with no legislative record to beep his incumbent vice president who would carry on his role? the whole idea that eisenhower and nixon did not get along or to not have a good relationship. is is flawed by the very nature of all the things eisenhower had nixon doing going on foreign trips. helping with legislation being invited to all of the various meetings that eisenhower and nixon chair together it makes no logical sense when you talk to people and you say how could all of this happen? and eisenhower in nixon not get
along for eight years. they made faces and one another. well, i couldn't choose just one eisenhower photo. i like this one because it gets in pat nixon. could you say you know as we in 1960 election has been called kind of one of the first modern campaigns? can you talk a little bit about even in 1960 the role that patent nixon played and the role of women in the campaign? i'm sure all of you already know all the the numbers of voting but remember. how charismatic? kennedy was and remember how women smoot. the election of 1960 for the first time in american history more women voted than men and you'll never guess. what the breakdown was between this wonderful charismatic
kennedy and women voting it was 51:49. oh, i made one small error 51 for nixon 49 for kennedy. pat nixon took the position that this is what her husband's was. she was very ambitious like her husband very very smart. a very attuned to what he was doing the the ultimate defender. and she and mimi eisenhower and dwight eisenhower. had a very good relationship and if you look at the letters between dwight eisenhower and richard nixon again, big surprise just about every one of them said say hello to pat. i really appreciate her help. doesn't sound like the eisenhower and his wife mamie did not get along with -- impact.
the second misunderstanding or myth of the campaign is that nixon and lodge were sort of ill-suited together on the ticket and that lodge was the downfall for richard nixon that year. what do you say? on january 7th 1960 dwight eisenhower wrote a secret memo to his own file his presidential pick was richard nixon. his vice presidential pick was henry cabot lodge, jr. it wasn't so much nixon picking. large it was eisenhower were picking lodge. and at the time lodge was you and representative? for the united states and was the main person who talked about the russians being evil and made a tremendous amount of television time. he had the ability.
he was a boston brahman. and by the way you may not know the person that wrote the biography of henry cabot lodge jupiter. it's luke victory. it was not a self-serving question. i promise. so third misunderstanding, i kind of highlight about 1960 on the democratic side. also interesting that so many senators current or former in 1960 senator john f kennedy, senator lyndon johnson the i so how about this one that kennedy would not have been elected president without johnson because it was really eisenhower be kind of chip away at the south, louisiana. he took in 56 virginia both campaigns really began to eat away at the traditional democratic south would kennedy have won the presidency do you think without lyndon johnson from texas to hold down hold down the democratic south as we would say in the most area that terms not a snowball's chance of
hell. what lyndon johnson brought to the table? was what ronnie duggar who was a famous texan journalist said that every election that johnson and the rest of the people that ran for elections in texas during the timeframe up to 1960 was competitive corruption. it was just depending on who could steal more votes. and johnson ran in 1941. and lost because he didn't steal the votes. but in 1948. he won by 87 votes and received the wonderful nickname landslide linden. now imagine for a second imagine and no election. that johnson ran it did he win without corruption? and yet every author every major
biography of lyndon johnson. talks about the fraud in 1941. and in 1948 multiple chapters one book major biography on the election of 1960 says oh, by the way. there was nothing about fraud in 1960, so i'm not going to talk about it since there was no fraud why talk about it. and in another book it didn't even make a half a sense and made footnote on the next little last page and the volume. and it basically said there was no fraud in illinois because authors listen to junior said there was no fraud a fairly impartial guy that worked for john kennedy and was the ultimate member of the democratic party and in addition to that. there was no fraud in texas. and the reason why there was no fraud in texas is because leon jaworski said, you can prove it.
so obviously the answer to the question is there was no fraud because people who had a great stake and saying there was no fraud was no fraud. the only problem with that is they liked? we will return to the topic of fraud in a few more questions. next misunderstanding or myth of the campaign. this is a nixon arriving in in hawaii. you can see kind of the aloha sign there and his arrival and giving a speech there at that. stop that brief campaign stop. so another myth and misunderstanding that it was a mistake for nixon to pledge to campaign in all 50 states. and again all the people that write about the election especially people that write about how wonderful that kennedy was and how brilliant his campaign was and how in the world could nixon be so stupid
as to run it all 50 states? none of them mentioned the kennedy campaigned in 45 states, i guess he was five states less stupid the next one was. the nature of the way that both of them ran. and if you want to take a look at this in the most objective way is that nixon had just as many votes. as kennedy had so i'm guessing since they both had the similar just about the same amount of votes. the kennedy must have run a much better campaign than nixon did the only problem again with that is how in the world if both of these guys got the same amount of votes that one ran a far superior campaign than the other it just it the logical inconsistency is undeniable and yet folks don't want to talk about our next myth or myth understanding.
is that the arrest of martin luther king that fall in 1960 was decisive in the election outcome. so could you in the and while answering that charge? set up a little bit the relationship between nixon and king. what kind of background there was and what role that played during the campaign? martin luther king jr. by 1960 was a major player. not the major player. what was a player in black society. and the nature of the campaign with blacks was the story better yet the fable is that king was arrested. for violating a minor parole violation i was sent to a hard georgia prison. and one of nick kennedy staff
said called kennedy and said you should call coretta kid. and and offering something and he did. and that's just about all he did was offer sympathy because jack kennedy was the last democratic candidate. that actively solicited white voters in the south. jack kennedy, you know solicited white votes in the south. absolutely. that's what he did. story gets better. according to the story after the call greta blacks went crazy and they changed their vote enormously. and according to the black newspapers five million blacks went to the polls. 50% of all black voters went to the polls to vote overwhelmingly
for jack kennedy. and the democrats sent out. trailway bosses across the united states. i mean, isn't this a great story across the united states handing out ballasts the people to vote. for jack henry there's only one small problem. it never happened. there were no trailway bosses. there were no massive amount of literature there weren't five million black voters the best number i have is somewhere between two and a half million to three million blocks. that's 25 to 30 percent. of all eligible black voters and by the way from 1936 when blocks changed dramatically for the electing democrats the elect two-thirds go to democrats and
one-third go to republicans through the 1960 election. let me think. kennedy received 68% about of the black vote nixon received 32% of the black vote now. i'm not real good when numbers like like john evans but 32% sounds like a third. 68% sounds like 2/3. so nothing changed as far as the numbers went the story has become so exaggerated and so out of line. and it's still to many people. unbelievable change in the election and quite frankly it never happened. we have two more to go the next myth or myth myth understanding whether the issue of religion
and kennedy's catholicism. and the extent to which the candidates used religion as a political issue. in the campaign of 1960 whether that was the decisive. whether that was decisive in the outcome. no one has ever done. research on the influence of catholicism in the 60 election it's there's two books on it. and they were so actively researching that none of them did archival research. it's again. it's so much powerful the course that you just write where you feel like writing with no no material to support it. kennedy one with 53% of his vote from catholics. over half of his votes over 17 million votes came from catholics. according to the republican
national committee somewhere between four to six million. more catholics voted in 1960 than ever before. the nature of that meant that kindly could not have won the election. without the catholic vote in addition to that in 1952 and 1956. eisenhower got 62% of the protestant vote in 1963 apartment in 1950 in 1960 to show you how much of this has changed it went from 62% all the way up. a great jump to 63% it literally didn't change material at all. and yet the way the story is told is fundamentally wrong because the kennedy machine was talking they were really going
to smear nixon and a landslide and when the landslide didn't happen the most convenient reason was too many. too many bigots the only thing they don't mention is in 1956 nixon the plumbing eisenhower got almost 50% of the catholic vote. the only number that significantly changed in 1960. was that kennedy received 78% that's an increase of 29% and yet no one ever mentions it. and what i think one of the ancillary charges, of course the photo billy graham with president kennedy and in the oval office the after was over. that so can ancillary to that as sort of that that nixon. used religion in a dirty way
during the campaign to exploit this this idea. that was america ready to elect its first catholic hit of course, you know talk about al smith or you know, the previously did you find evidence of this either side using religion in in this kind of harsh political way 60 there were some there were there were some fundamental bigotry where certain evangelicals and others did not want a catholic in the white house because they didn't want the pope running the federal government, but by and large what happened in 1928 with al smith had significantly changed. the the amount of adversarial relations between catholic voting and non-catholic voting had mellowed a great deal. so the idea of the charge that
nixon was dirty because he was encouraging bigotry. sable nixon stuff you don't have to prove it. all you have to do is say it. we've already talked a little bit about fraud but let's close on that topic nowadays. we see i think every political election in these red. and blue maps of the outcome from 1960 and the version of it that i like to best because you really get into some more regional trends is the one by county. of course red being republican blue being democratic and so i guess when you see a map like this comment a little bit on a couple things. what do you see when you see a map like an outcome like this? for its own sake but also kind of compared to what eisenhower began to do in the south. and then ultimately the big
question was their fraud and if so, was it decisive? the numbers that i ran first of all say that nixon had every likelihood of winning, texas and illinois. how do you want, texas and illinois he would have been president of the united states in 1960. but what i see when i look at the entire map. is a precursor of what we are experiencing now. the nation is starting to divide. fundamentally into two sections the urbanites and the nature of certain block voting black voting jewish voting labor voting etc becoming fundamentally democratic. and suburbia and rural becoming
very much republican. and what you have now, i think is the most extreme of that where people simply of one ilk or another won't talk to one another. there's there's virtually no intercourse they simply are so extreme and their partisanship is it? bodes well for partisan voting which is fundamentally 40% republican now and 40% democrat now. but in 1960. the remarkable thing is nixon receives almost 95% of the republican vote pretty hard to believe somebody so evil as nixon could get 95% and our hero jack kennedy. received 84% of the democratic vote all kennedy had to do.
was to keep his base. there were 17 million more democratic registrants than there were republicans. 40 40 million democrat republican registrants and 57 million democratic presidents if henry had simply kept his base. he couldn't even do that. and the nature of the election was not only so close. it was even closer than anybody believed because again, nobody bothered to run any numbers. it's it's amazing how incorrect the results of the election have been told ie kennedy won the election by a hundred and twelve thousand votes. i ran the election results for different ways. one way the best he did was
about 107,000 votes. the next way i ran it he went by 27 but thousand votes. the next way i ran it nixon won by 130,000 votes and the final way. i wrote it ran it is nixon won by 56,000 votes. and yet people to this day continually run these numbers as if they were gospel. without evaluating what really happened? well, there's plenty more we can get into i haven't even asked you about the debates. so maybe if we have time we'll get into that. but for now though, i i'd like to go to the audience we have time for some some q&a. that'll be a lead here with a microphone coming around and we'd love to get here your questions here. before we begin with the q&a. let's get a round of applause for mr. gilman and dr. nichter. we will open the floor for questions if you have a
question, just raise your hand or signal to me and i'll come and get you. but the first question is i would like to ask if myself what advice do you have for young researchers? and where do you think they should start? do that again. what advice do you have a young researchers? and where should they start? well professor nick dr. and i are lucky we already have established records the problem for young people and i talked to my editor at yale about this. 20 years ago to now the amount of material written has increased by 10% the amount of books that are published now. is three times? as many very few pages increased but the number of publications have increased three times. it's very very difficult.
a break into writing if you are or able to get published. it is. more power to you some of us get lucky some of us don't but if i were any of you i would try to. write letters to the editors right in newspapers or magazines or anything you could do to get your name in or i would find somebody that really knows what the hell they're doing. and ask them to help. but generally speaking it is incredibly bleak for young people even if they do brilliant research to find a publisher. thank you to your left over here. thank you, dr. gelman. i learned a lot. i had a lot of questions that you clarifying but the question for you you mentioned a couple
of times you repeated the words evil nixon. and you reason why some of the perceptions? were inaccurate flawed but you also said that inaccurate. flawed precepts were as if they were facts. so what was causing this? why? why did people? feel the way they did. ordinarily people don't believe things that are so easily contradictory like, you know more women voted for kennedy the nixon. well, that's not true. and but did they believe that? that's just an example. the answer is is so complex. one first of all democrats harry truman virtually hated the ground that nixon walked on.
eleanor roosevelt felt the same way. adley stevenson hayden nixon with a passion. the leaders of the democratic party one the fundamental extreme one because nixon was vulnerable and two because eisenhower was not you didn't talk the great man, because it was a waste of your time. so you went after someone that they thought was possible to go after but what is worse than that? is today in newspapers magazines television, you have some of these people who are commentators that i nicely call idiots. and they will tell you material that makes no sense at all and
one day one thing and one day the exact opposite thing. but back in the day in 1960. you had a bevy of famous calmness of newspaper reporters that simply wrote what happened? whereas kennedy had these great energetic audiences. election had awful. nobody was there. and if you saw a pictures kennedy had good audiences and surprise nixon had good audiences. did nixon have people that thought he was charismatic? absolutely the kennedy have people that thought he was charismatic. yeah. but theodore white for example, and i quote this in the book goes on to nixon's train in october of 1960. wearing a win with kennedy lapel button.
key, can you get and yet these people behind the scenes behave poorly? and to to give you my my own personal experience. when i taught especially after i started writing about richard nixon. people would talk to me. i could apply for grant after grant after grant and have superb grants and get thank you so much. no. and the nature of writing about nixon anything other than saying he was darth vader. was not publishable. and for one of a better word publishers are greedy. they want to make money and if they can't sell books. they don't publish now the campaign of the century and my other books have sold pretty -- well, but what it what it means is is either i'm fooling a lot
of people or that there is a a certain amount of belief that the material that's been written so long so wrong. i'll tell you one last thing i was nominated for a thing called the plutarch award and 2015 for the best biography of the year. and i got a call from a high up in the thing and said they're 257 books nominated. they're going to narrow it down to the top 10. irv, don't feel bad you're not going to make it. two months later i get a call from the same guy saying earth. i got to tell you you made it to the top 10, but now it goes down to the top four. there's no way you're going to be a finalist forget being the finalist. a month later i get a call irv. you got to sit down for this. you're a finalist. so i have on my wall hanging,
you know, finalists for the plutarch award. go figure i have i was very pleased it's always nice to be knowledge. but the man that was telling me this was on the inside knew everything was going and there was not a prayer. i didn't have a chance. and yet sometimes it changes. thank you robert behind. yes, dr. gelman, i as a communications major. i'm just curious. could you speak to the televised debate? to let the televised debate that we so much about nixon looked angry and well, we already moved tan and we all know what happened. he was poorly. tanned, you know kennedy looked wonderful, you know, it was it was a match from the very start well and though that those who
watched on television thought kennedy one, but those who yes and done radio and those the one or watch listen doing radio thought nixon won all that's nonsense. it never happened. it was just a story. that was done. no one in 60 years has done any serious research on the great debates. do you know what happened? what happened was far easier? in 19 the night before the first debate. nixon is talking to eisenhower and says, you know. i'm going to follow. i'm not going to be the adversarial nixon. i'm going to be a kind and gentle or nixon. and so the next night he goes on the first debate. and he's the kinder gentler nixon. and all the people that were watching as partisans for the kinder gentle or next we're saying what the hell is wrong with you, you know go get them you so the basic thing is if you
listen to the first debate. nixon says in some way or another 16 times. i agree with you. and his people didn't want nixon agreeing and the following three debates. nixon was nixon. and was adversarial attacking kennedy for where he was weak and doing a quite good job. but after the first debate as a communications major, how do you think that the newspapers responded? thing it was a tie. it becomes untie over 60 years. and it becomes kennedy winning the first debate by a mile, but the initial reaction in all of the newspapers was that there was no difference between the two of them. they both did equally well or
equally bad the whole story of the kennedy being this wonderful guy, but what did happen? what did happen and what i didn't say was the greatest thing that john kennedy did was run for office. he was a wonderful campaigner. and by staying up and not making any massive mistakes in the first debate. what happened was is democrats said? this guy is a lot better than we thought and might be able to do a good job. so they rallied around the flag. and henry got more. adulation after that first debate because it didn't blow it not because he did great because he didn't do badly. we got one last question over here. dr. clearly senator johnson helped senator, kennedy and his campaign. how much did ambassador lodge helped vice president nixon
given that lodge was from massachusetts and clearly kennedy was going to win his home state. well, first of all the man that really should answer the question is the pro. well, i'll let you answer most of it, but i would just simply say. you know, i think that i wonder about you know if the nixon lodge ticket had effectively been four ordained if you want to call it that eisenhower's wishes. i mean, i think after eight years as president. the two people that eisenhower owed the most to after eight years were richard nixon and henry cavill launch for all that. they did during his own presidency. and so i think he eisenhower began to groom both of them beginning in about 1958 59 various ways of winning up to 60. and when you look at the schedules of the four top the two top democrats and two top republicans. lodge actually was the the only one of the four not to miss a day of campaigning due to
illness or injury or something else. and in fact, i found in lodges papers in boston, he's repeatedly crying out to the people on the nixon side of the campaign saying use me more i can do more. you know, i'm not being effective because i can't control my schedule. my schedule is being made entirely by the nixon side and you're not i'm not even approving events in advance. so i think large wanted to be used more during that campaign and the last thing i was saying you can fill in any where i'm where i've gone astray. here is lodge also was was older. i mean, he was older more like an eisenhower figure. you got to figure lodge was born in 1902. he was a full 15 years older than john f kennedy. he was six years old in lyndon johnson 11 years older than richard nixon. you know we have this idea of the vice presidential candidate being kind of the attack talk, you know, they got and do the things that are unprecedential or the stops that the top at the top of the ticket doesn't want to go and do and i think that's been locked that more often than
not that's been the pattern in the last 50 years. that was it was different then i think lodge was really a way of ensuring direct continuity from the eisenhower presidency to hopefully the nixon presidency. so i think that was really the role the larger brought a certain kind of stability and maturity that nixon don't forget how young he was still in 60 47 years old. hey run for president. you've been vice president for eight years. you lose the run for the presidency. and you're still just turning 48 years old. that's not so bad and you have options in the future. so i think lodge i think as a running mate with nixon. it was really a different era. and the only thing i have to add to that is what's better? the real story is as professor victor says or the fable that lodged in campaign. he was lazy etc if you don't
look at the record. you can lie. all you want to the fact is that my examination of what lodge did at the 1960 campaign remember nixon was in the hospital for two weeks. lodge was the guy carrying the campaign and surprise surprise was campaigning all over new york when nelson rockefeller. and sweating and going to the beach, etc, etc, and doing well, but because people picked up on the story after the word in time magazine that lodge had to take a nap every day and get into pajamas. what would you rather have that he was in pajamas and campaigning like hell or that he was him in pajamas not doing anything. it's it's it's it's literally. naughty what you can get away with if you don't do the research. no, ladies and gentlemen, would you please join me in thanking doctors gelman and nichter?