1976: Gerald Ford: "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe"
During a debate against Carter, the Republican president's declaration prompted a double take from moderator Max Frankel. "I don't believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union," Ford added. His words appeared very out of step with the conventional wisdom on communism at the time and would dominate media coverage for days following the debate. This is an example of a costly debate misstep.
1960: Richard Nixon and preparing for TV
Making history as the first televised presidential debate, this showdown illustrated the importance of being telegenic. Coming off a stump speech, Nixon declined the use of makeup, and he came across as the less relaxed candidate compared to Kennedy, who took the day away from the trail to prepare. Kennedy also used some makeup.