You have to like this guy: Bethesda retiree altered presidential campaigns 56 years ago
Presumably Fred A. Kahn, 79 is, or wants to be, credited with being behind the idea of holding presidential debates. Whatever. You have to like him for being 79 and responding to a WaPo editor as he did! He’d make a great blogger!
I’m sorry to say that Kahn can be pretty rude in pushing his cause. When a top Washington Post Style editor didn’t respond to one of his e-mails in August (because it didn’t reach her), Kahn wrote a follow-up calling her a “lowly unwashed discourteous . . . loser.”
I forgive him, though, because his ultimate success a half-century ago vindicated his own idealistic faith in democracy. He demonstrated that a single citizen who agitates for a right-minded cause can have real impact. We’ll see the latest example of his handiwork on Wednesday with this year’s first presidential debate in Denver.
Kahn’s effort came up short in 1956, when no debate took place. But his advocacy helped lay groundwork for the nation’s first debate between the two major presidential candidates in the following election. That was the famous 1960 contest between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. via The Washington Post.