Richard Nixon and the Election of 1969
Richard Nixon, was born on January 9th, 1913, in Yorba Linda, California. Fifty-six years after he was born he became the 37th president of the United States. In the election Nixon only defeated the democratic candidate, Hubert Humphrey, by about 500,000 in the popular vote. Nixon is considered one of the most controversial politicians of the twentieth century. He used his political experience, his background, the communist scare of the late forties and early fifties, and some other factors to become the President of the United States.
When people are deciding whom they will vote for an important factor they look at is the candidates’ educational background. Nixon grew up in a southern California Quaker family. He was stressed about the importance of hard work and integrity. He was always a good student in school and had the chance to apply to Harvard and Yale. He had to turn down the offer though because of a family illness which caused him to stay closer to home. He decided to attend Whittner College, where he graduated second in his class. He went on to attend law school at Duke University where he graduated third in his class. It is important to have a good education because you will look much more competent in the eyes of the people voting for you. By receiving and doing very well in his education Nixon got the support he would later need to become President.
Another very important factor was Nixon’s previous experience in politics. After graduating from Duke University, Nixon joined the navy during World War II. After returning from the war Nixon jumped right into politics. He answered a Republican Party call in the newspaper. They were looking for someone to run against the five-term Democratic Congressman Jerry Voorhis. John Ehrlichman once said of Richard Nixon, “He is like a race horse specially trained to run a particular race and no good for pulling wagons. He’s for running the race to be president, and that’s what he lived for (Matusow 1).” That just gives you an idea about Nixon’s attitude. He would do whatever it took in order to win. The style of Nixon’s first campaign for congressman set the tone for the early part of his political career. An example would be that while running against Voorhis he accused him of being a communist. He even had campaign workers make calls to voters explaining how Voorhis was a communist and advising them that a vote for Nixon would be the best move. To win the voters over in that situation he used the communist scare to sway people’s decision when they voted. As it turned out his communist baiting worked and he defeated Voorhis to become a Congressman. Nixon later said, “Of course I knew Jerry Voorhis wasn’t a communist, but I had to win.” With this attitude he was able to persuade many of the voters to vote for him. In 1950 Nixon was elected to the U.S. Senate by again using the same tactics against his opponent. Nixon was only in the...