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The Presidential Election Campaign of 1960, between John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon, was notable for presenting the first ever series of televised debates between the candidates. The first debate was scheduled to take place on 26 September, a few weeks after the publication of this cartoon. One of the main issues of the campaign was over who appeared best suited to taking a hard line with the Soviet Union and its leader, Nikita Khrushchev. Nixon, in his role as Vice-President under President Eisenhower, had visited the Soviet Union the previous year and extended an invitation to the US to Khrushchev, which he took up in September 1959. However, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union had risen again in 1960 after a US spy plane was shot down over Soviet airspace. At a summit in Paris in May to discuss the issue of a divided Germany and the Berlin crisis, Khrushchev demanded that Eisenhower apologise and when he did not, he left the summit and withdrew his invitation to Eisenhower to visit the Soviet Union. On 1 September 1960, Khrushchev announced that he would be visiting the US uninvited, as the head of the Soviet UN Delegation. David Low suggests that the presence of the Soviet Premier in the United States threatened to overshadow the forthcoming Presidential Debate.