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When the first televised debates were held in 1960, the world watched two young candidates, John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon, respectfully engage in an intelligent and elevated discussion. Mostly we remember those inaugural encounters for Nixon's flop-sweat and clumsily applied make-up. But in the midst of the Cold War, as the ideological battle raged between Washington and Moscow, the debates were seen as a thrilling advertisement for American democracy. Speaking in the spirit of patriotic bipartisanship that was such a hallmark of US politics in the Fifties and early-Sixties, Kennedy opened the first debate with an eye on how it would be viewed by international onlookers:. "In the electi... Full story

30 September