How to Lose a Presidential Election in the 20th Century

Presidential Election
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Always Be Diplomatic

By 1972, Nixon’s promise to withdraw from Vietnam had not materialized and this was having a negative effect on his poll numbers for the upcoming presidential election campaign against the Democratic Senator for South Dakota, George McGovern. In order to repair those numbers, Nixon played to one of his strengths, his understanding of geopolitics.

Shortly before the crucial campaign phase began, Nixon, along with 110 reporters and technicians, would become the first statesman of the West he meets Mao Zeitung, the communist dictator of the Peoples Republic of China. This also ensure that Nixon’s face was on every news station on television and every newspaper worth its salt.

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