What accounted for this discrepancy? For one thing, television was a relatively recent addition to America’s living rooms, and politicians were still seeking the right formula for interacting with the public in this new, more intimate way. Kennedy nailed it during the Great Debates, staring directly into the camera as he answered each question. Nixon, on the other hand, looked off to the side to address the various reporters, which came across as shifting his gaze to avoid eye contact with the public–a damaging blunder for a man already known derisively as “Tricky Dick.”The gap in the candidates’ on-air presence was not just a matter of charisma; it was also one of cosmetics. Before the first debate, both men declined the services of CBS’s top makeup artist, who had been summoned from New York for the event. Bronzed and glowing from weeks of open-air campaigning, Kennedy was more than ready for his close-up–though sources later claimed that the naturally telegenic senator still got a touch-up from his team. Nixon, on the other hand, had a pale complexion and fast-growing stubble that together lent him a perpetually grayish pallor; during an interview with Walter Cronkite two weeks before the debate, the vice president had confided, “I can shave within 30 seconds before I go on television and still have a beard.”At his aides’ urging, Nixon submitted to a coat of Lazy Shave, a drugstore pancake makeup he had used in the past to mask his five o’clock shadow. But when the candidate started sweating under the hot studio lights, the powder seemed to melt off his face, giving way to visible beads of perspiration. It didn’t help that Nixon had chosen a light gray suit for the occasion, which faded into the backdrop of the set and seemed to match his ashen skin tone. Reacting to the vice president’s on-air appearance, Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley reportedly said, “My God, they’ve embalmed him before he even died.” The following day, the Chicago Daily News ran the headline “Was Nixon Sabotaged by TV Makeup Artists?” The vice president cleaned up his act for the next three debates, but the damage had been done. Besides, Kennedy had a secret weapon in his quest to dazzle the American media: an equally picture-perfect wife who would soon charm the nation and the world. Six months pregnant with the couple’s second child, Jacqueline Kennedy hosted debate-watching parties at the family’s summer home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Newspapers fawned over every last detail, from Jackie’s fashionable maternity wear and distinguished guest list to her living room furnishings and choice of refreshments. When the first debate ended, the future first lady reportedly concluded, “I think my husband was brilliant.” Meanwhile, Nixon’s mother immediately called her son to ask if he was ill.