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 U. S. Senate for a year and a half when the Republican National Convention selected him to be General Dwight D.
Eisenhower’s running mate. One of Nixon’s strong points is his ability to make his opponents seem incompetent in the public’s eyes. Nixon was expected to do the dirty work of the campaign, which he did extremely well. Eisenhower won the election and when he ran again next year Nixon was once again his vice president.
Nixon has had a lot of experience dealing with politics and the dealings of what a President does. People realize how much experience he had with politics so when it came time to run for President the people knew that he was qualified for the job. Although he had a lot of experience with politics the first time he ran for president he did not win. He ran against John F. Kennedy who was young and inexperienced. Kennedy took advantage of modern campaigning techniques, which involved the television, more than personal contact.
Kennedy who looked attractive came off as strong, confident and in control, while Nixon refused to wear make-up looked haggard and ghost like. When he came back to politics he took a different approach to campaigning. When he ran again in 1968 he let the Democratic candidates, who were split over the Vietnam War, tear themselves apart while he avoided the issue stating only that he would find an “honorable end. ” One of the most important things in the 1968 election was dealing with the Vietnam War. While campaigning one of the most important details that the public paid attention to was, what was going to happen with the Vietnam War. The public heard both parties and what they were going to do and because of Nixon’s approach to the problem he got more of the people behind him.
This was one of the key issues in the race and it was important for Nixon to prove to the people that he had a solution. He did and he ended up winning the election. One more important factor would be the candidate’s character and personality. From his parents he picked up the values of hard work and integrity.
Nixon has been described like this by Robert Finch, “He wasn’t nearly as attractive, physically, as some of the other candidates, but he was so intense; he was a strong personality. You regarded him as a comer, someone who would be effective and successful in political activity. I was impressed by his obvious political skills, his intelligence, and his drive (Strober 31). ” This definitely sounds like some qualities that would make a good president and the public agreed by electing him President. Nixon although considered one of the most controversial politicians used his political experience, his background and the communist scare of the late forties and early fifties to become President.
It took Nixon about four years but eventually he put an end to the Vietnam War. He promised the American people that when he took office his highest priority would be putting an end to the horrible war. He did what he promised and deserves credit for that. Although things did not always work out for him he came back from the events a smarter man. He used his knowledge to win the election.
It takes a smart man to learn from his mistakes and Nixon did that. That is why he deserved to be President of the United States.