When John Kennedy won the presidency in 1960, he also won the right to put his own spin on the victory - whether as an underdog's heroic triumph or a liberal crusader's overcoming special interests. Rorabaugh cuts through the mythology of this famous election to explain the nuts-and-bolts operations of the campaign and offer a corrective to Theodore White's flawed classic, The Making of the President. Despite a less than liberal record, JFK assumed the image of liberal hero - thanks to White and other journalists who were shamelessly manipulated by the Kennedy campaign. The 1960 election, Rorabaugh argues, reflects the transition from the dominance of old-style boss and convention politics to the growing significance of primaries, race, and especially TV - without which Kennedy would have been neither nominated nor elected.
He recounts how JFK cultivated delegates to the 1960 Democratic convention; quietly wooed the still-important party bosses; and used a large personal organization, polls, and TV advertising to win primaries. JFK's master stroke, however, was choosing as a running mate Lyndon Johnson, whose campaigning in the South carried enough southern states to win the election. On the other side, Rorabaugh draws on Nixon's often-ignored files to take a close look at his dysfunctional campaign, which reflected the oddities of a dark and brooding candidate trapped into defending the Eisenhower administration.
Yet the widely detested Nixon won almost as many votes as the charismatic Kennedy. The Real Making of the President gives us a sobering look at all of this, fundamentally reshaping our understanding of one of the nation's most memorable elections. The item "The Real Making of the President Kennedy, Nixon, and the 1960 Election" is in sale since Tuesday, January 28, 2020. This item is in the category "Books, Magazines\Non-Fiction Books".
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