Richard M. Nixon: “Checkers” Speech(1952)
Richard Nixon had earned a reputation as a hard-nosed politician with a gift for seeking publicity. He had been put on the presidential ticket with Dwight Eisenhower, even though Eisenhower seemed to have no rapport with Nixon and did little to support his running mate when Nixon found himself in trouble during the 1952 presidential campaign and had to deal with accusations that he had used a secret political fund for his personal benefit. To save himself—there were calls for Nixon’s resignation—the vice presidential candidate turned to the relatively new medium of television to deliver his famous “Checkers” Speech. Nixon’s gamble was that he could address the American people directly, explain himself, and return to the good graces of the Republican Party and their presidential candidate. His strategy worked well.
Richard Nixon (Library of Congress)View Full Size