Nation: Who's Got the Button?

In the closing weeks of the 1960 presidential campaign, the most emotional issue between Kennedy and Nixon concerned U.S. prestige abroad. Kennedy charged that "we have not maintained our position and our prestige," hammered away at the Eisenhower Administration's refusal to release Government polls on U.S. prestige. The reason for the refusal, said Kennedy, was that the polls showed a "sharp drop." Throughout it all, Nixon insisted, somewhat defensively, that U.S. prestige was at "an all-time high."

The issue was phony. Most of the polls in foreign countries were based on the prestige...

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