The Checkers Speech From A Checkered President
After listening, reading and watching Richard Nixon’s infamous “Checkers” speech my initial reaction to the speech can be easily describe as forced. Even though this was one of the few speeches that was mostly memorized and he had very little script in front of him, it still came across to me that this speech was him just going through the motions of what he thought needed to be said rather than showing his true emotions.
Some of the most interesting things about the speech for one is that fact that midway halfway through the speech he gets up from the desk he’s sitting behind and uses hand motions and his body to convey a message of aggressiveness. His demeanor while standing portrays a “how dare you accuse me of this,” type of attitude. Another moment that stuck out during the address was the fact that his wife was sitting in a comfortable chair within a few feet away from him. This seemed like a intentional way of showing that he wasn’t the crook the country had made him out to be but a wholesome innocent family man. The entire reason for the speech was to explain the reasoning behind a “fund” that he was accused of using inappropriately and/or illegally. In order to combat these allegations Nixon made a daring decision to publicly announce all of his and his families income and outcome. He went over how much he had received from certain groups, donators, his salary and anything that he had inherited. Richard Nixon made it a point to explain why someone had donated a dog (checkers) to his family. During all this Nixon hardly ever looked down at the notes that were in front of him. As explained earlier he usually had the entire speech written out for him so he could refer to it while delivering his speech. In this case Nixon just had quick notes that he had prepared moments before going live on air. While researching this speech it was apparent that this was a very...
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