Race For the White House – John F. Kennedy vs Richard Nixon (2016)


“Glamour, show business and family. Who can compete with that? Not Hubert Humphrey.” – Narrator

Number of Times Seen – 1 (27 Sep 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A look at the very tense and close election between Vice-president Richard Nixon and a young relatively unknown U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960.

My Take on it – As a fan of history and most specifically US History, I have always been fascinated by the Presidency.

When I came across this series by accident, I was quite interested in seeing what it was all about.

The fact that we are in an election year also piqued my interest in seeing what this series has to say about past Presidential elections and their effects on the way that these elections are run today.

They do a wonderful job of breaking down the run up to this very pivotal election and they don’t shy away from explaining how power, influence and even charisma were part of the building block that helped a fledgling young Senator eventually take on the top job in the country.

They allow us to see how so many small factors put together were part of the main reasons that he was able to first prevail over the presumptive party nominee Hubert Humphrey and eventually over Vice-President Richard Nixon in the general election.

Love the way that many of the men interviewed for this documentary were former aides of these two men who have gone on to some very high level roles in government due to their work on the campaigns.

This film gives a very unique perspective on these two great men as we see all of the various events and issues that were essential in moving this election in directions that no one could have envisioned beforehand.

Bottom Line – Great breakdown of how the run up to the election went as we get to see how influence and power along with lots of charisma as they helped a relatively unknown Senator grab the party nomination and eventually the White House. The film does a great job showing how Kennedy was able to get so many small factors to pull together in order for him to prevail over Humphrey for the nomination and Nixon for the Presidency. Love the way that many of the former aides of these two powerful men have gone on to high levels in government largely due to their humble beginnings on this campaign. The film gives us a very unique perspective on the candidates and tries to analyze what events and issues helped move this election in directions that no one was quite expecting. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – This was the first election in which fifty states participated and the last in which the District of Columbia did not. It was also the first election in which an incumbent president was ineligible to run for a third term because of the term limits established by the 22nd Amendment. It is also the last election where the winning candidate lost Ohio. (From Wikipedia)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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