Checkers Speech | Study Guide

Richard Nixon

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Course Hero. "Checkers Speech Study Guide." December 13, 2019. Accessed December 3, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Checkers-Speech/.

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Course Hero, "Checkers Speech Study Guide," December 13, 2019, accessed December 3, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Checkers-Speech/.

Overview

Author

Richard Nixon

Year Published

1952

Type

Primary Source

Genre

Political Science, Speech

At a Glance

  • At the Republican National Convention in July 1952 then-Senator Richard Nixon was announced as Dwight Eisenhower's running mate for the upcoming presidential election.
  • In mid-September 1952 Leo Katcher published a story in The New York Post alleging that Nixon used campaign funds, called "The Fund," for personal use. This was followed by an appearance on Meet the Press in which Nixon admitted to the existence of the fund, but not its inappropriate usage.
  • Nixon appeared on television on September 23, 1952, to deliver what would become known as the Checkers Speech, or the Fund Speech, in defense of his spending and his candidacy for vice president.
  • During the speech Nixon laid out his family's financials in a bid to prove he was trustworthy and that his family was not wealthy.
  • He also announced that an official audit of the fund was conducted, which found no wrongdoing.
  • Nixon claimed that the funds were not used inappropriately but rather were used for political purposes because his family could not afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with campaigning.
  • Nixon made mention of one "gift" given to him on the campaign trail: a dog named Checkers, which gives the speech its name.
  • He also attacked the credibility of Adlai Stevenson, who was running against Eisenhower for the presidency.
  • Nixon closed the speech by asking the public to decide about his fitness as a vice presidential candidate and to vote for Eisenhower in the upcoming election.
  • On November 4, 1952, Eisenhower and Nixon won the election, ending a 20-year streak of Democratic presidential victories.

Summary

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