Talk:Checkers speech

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Checkers speech is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 4, 2009.


Can we please get a cite of the Checkers speech being "ridiculed" if that final sentence is going to stay in the article? I don't see how personal information can be considered irrelevant, given that the accusation involved shenanigans with Nixon's personal finances. I strongly disagree with the notion that Nixon would use his personal financial state as a trivial matter; he abhorred having to invade his and Pat's privacy, Pat didn't like it either, and throughout his memoirs and books, Nixon refers to this as a tremendous strain on his family at the time. - Anon.

A close read/ view of the speech shows that Nixon was an early advocate of campaign finance reform. He criticized other senators for having placed their wives on their office payrolls in order to defray travel expenses. Ultimately though, it is Nixon who is remembered for the greatest campaign finance abuses.

Links broken[edit]

Sadly, both the obituary links cited are no longer available from their respective newspapers. Robert K S 22:40, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Fixed it. I found in in the NY Times.Killiondude (talk) 06:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Is that the best we can do?[edit]

More interestingly, how about some REAL commentary on the speech? NO mention of the tactic of pulling away fromt the main issues at hand and focusing on family values, and essentially distracting attentions from the idea of corruption. This is a public and VERY successful example of a concept (I forget the name) utilized by spin doctors. This article is poorly written and the analysis is just pedestrian.

  • It seems to me that it is difficult to maintain a neutral point of view when writing anything concerning Nixon. Either way you find his detractors or apologists grinding out their biased rhetoric. Seldom have I read anything about him that takes a middle ground. Incidentally, I met him in 1962 when he was running for Governor of California and found him to be a self-absorbed person who was totally uninterested in talking about anything with me. Or maybe he was just having a bad day. T.E. Goodwin 03:23, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

"We're keeping the dog"[edit]

That parenthetical remark about the speech being a subtle attack on the Democratic Party -- that attack was so subtle I still don't see it. (This is because the assertion was a subtle way for the writer, a Nixon lover, to make a derogatory joke "fair and balanced", by linking it to a decade-old FDR speech, thereby deflecting the dog-Nixon comparison made by his own party).

Wow, that's easy. I can put parentheses around any outrageous, unfounded statement that I want, and then I won't have to provide context or citations or anything! So, what does Checkers have to do with the Fala speech? Both speeches involve dogs. That's it? Are these incidents in any way similar, that the joke could be construed in this manner? That parenthetical statement is badly written and needs to provide more information, or just be removed.

Article expansion[edit]

Hi, I've started to revamp and expand this project with the goal of bringing it to FA level in the next few months. Please feel free to help out. Images are an especial need here.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:03, 7 April 2009 (UTC)


The article lists a quotation naming attacks against Nixon as a "viscous smear". Shouldn't this be "vicious"? (talk) 22:39, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, typo, it has been corrected. Please feel free to correct any spelling or other errors you may see; WP is the encyclopedia anyone may edit.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Unresolved issues from Good Article nomination[edit]

I don't feel I should add to the GAN page once the article has been promoted, so I will note some unresolved issues and what I've done about them here:

  • Nixon's expense allowance: I've given more detail on that.
  • Engraving bill: Morris really doesn't give much info on that. Dana Smith wrote Nixon in July 1952 that it was unpaid, and that he was hoping to pay it off once $500 that a contributor had promised Bernie Brennan came in. I rephrased it to take out the word "major" because the source won't actually support it.
  • Today's dollars: I will play with that website later in the day, as in the Woodes Rogers article, and get present day, or at least 2007 figures, most likely for Nixon's salary since that is the most obvious figure to use.

I think that was it on specific concerns.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Extremely long lead for an FA[edit]

Shouldn't that have been resolved? (talk) 15:36, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

The lead needs to be relatively long in order to fully summarize such an extensive article, so I'd say it's fine. –Juliancolton | Talk 16:00, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Much of the information is repeated in detail in the article body. I still think it would be more concise if it ended at the first paragraph, merging some of the content from the last paragraph of the lead. (talk) 17:14, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, that's kinda the idea. The lede is supposed to be a summary, broadly, of the article. Sort of "in a nutshell". Have you read WP:Lead section?--Wehwalt (talk) 17:17, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

IP keeps adding unsourced material.[edit]

I note that an IP has three times added a statement, without citations, that amounts a slam at Nixon for the 1960 debates. The only thing I am aware of in common between the Checkers speech and the debates is that both involved Nixon and television. In any event, the statement is POV and lacks a source. I propose to remove it. I'm not as concerned about the "path" thing, that's just a convenient shorthand way of referring to Nixon becoming president. Obviously he had setbacks along the way. The question of 1956 has always been a bit hazy to me, and I am anxiously looking forward to the second volume of Gellman's bio of Nixon, which will deal with his VPship. In the meantime, we try to cover Nixon as neutrally as possible.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:54, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

RN supporters are valiant in his defense, but occasionally get into disputes where none should exist.
I added some important facts left out, like the gargantuan audience for the Checkers speech -- 60 million viewers and listeners in 1952. Tonight's network evening news broadcasts 60 yeas later will not top 30 million all combined. Most of the history on Checkers was completed before the "new media vs. old media" paradigm of the Internet found its way into peoples' consciousness, but that dynamic was very real in 52-- newspapers called for him to quit the ticket and RN countered through the newer mediums of television and radio.
RN's electoral career was not marked by any path, but by near catastrophy (52, 56, 68-Wallace) and actual catastrophy (60, 62, 74). Calling it a path makes it sound like a cake walk, which RN would never have said. 56 was most likely Ike's fault, as everyone agrees Nixon had served Ike well in those years.
There is substantial evidence that RN lost in 60 due to his poor visual performance in the debates, and I'm hunting around for the cite that goes with the Checkers speech in 52. The camera's dislike for RN was seen in the polling and RN's failure to appreciate its implications cost him the 1960 election via the debates. In 68 they corrected for all of RN's weaknesses -- his pallor, his 62 rant, and his youth -- with the slogan: "Tanned, Rested, and Ready."
It's all about competition, and even RN had to recognize his weaknesses, compensate for them, and adjust to changing competitive situations. You should just leave the uncited fact there with a "citation needed" tag. I'll find it later or somebody else can add it. It's not like saying he burned the tapes, and it's not the only uncited fact in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:04, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
I do think that it needs that "citation needed" tag since it is a pretty significant issue. I had no idea he'd polled better with the radio audience, but it makes sense. Has anyone published on this in regard to the Checkers speech as foreshadowing, or is this original "research"? Without a cite, one would assume that while it is sensible, we're publishing "new analysis" instead of an encyclopedia. --Habap (talk) 21:03, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
I was aware that he had polled better with the radio audience in 1960. We all know about the poor makeup, etc etc. But it seems a cheap shot to put it in the Checkers speech article. I am not aware of anything that says the radio audience for the Checkers speech reacted differently from the television audience (not all people had TVs, they couldn't get all markets due to contractual commitments, plus there were people like the crowd in Cleveland who had to listen to it by radio as they couldn't get to a TV, etc). I understood "Tanned, rested and ready" to be a post-presidential slogan, and that the Democrats reviewed the last press conference but found nothing they could use in 1968. At any rate, unless it is considerably cleaned up, I plan to remove it.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:36, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

No picture of the title character?[edit]

This article sports pictures of buildings and other locations that became marginally significant months later, and of people somewhat connected to the topic, and even includes a mention of where "Checkers" is buried, fer cryin' out loud, but no picture of Checkers. Am I missing something?--Piledhigheranddeeper (talk) 19:39, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

If we had a free use photo of Checkers, I'd use it. We don't. I don't think a fair use photo would be justified as the article is not about Checkers, but the speech. I took most of the photos for this articles (two buildings, and the notes), and the article needed photos. I'm sorry if they are marginal, but what else could I do?--Wehwalt (talk) 01:31, 25 September 2009 (UTC)--Wehwalt (talk) 01:33, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Of course, per WP practice, fair use issues are addressed at file's page, not here.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 17:23, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

I've added this image, captioned "The Nixons' black-and-white cocker spaniel Checkers (1952-64)." Note that the image is licensed by Time-Life for non-commercial use; on Wikipedia, it is licensed under fair use to identify Checkers, due to the fact that whereas the focus of the article is the speech, a major thrust involves the bio of the pet.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 00:18, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

I think now it is too small to be useful. Perhaps make it about 200 x 300. It has to be large enough to be useful to the reader. I will probably move it, but I won't take it out. However, if it is challenged, I'm not going to defend it.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:46, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Do not remove an image for size issues. Simply resize. Thanks.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 17:22, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
Since there is no article about Checkers himself, this article is the logical place for a photo of the dog. I think it should be positioned within the "Preparation and setting" section where the puppy is first discussed. Binksternet (talk) 17:42, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
The lack of an NFCC rationale relating to this article is the concern, actually. Someone needs to write one. Not having one is inappropriate.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:43, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
The template used at the file page said, to wit: "Use in article (WP:NFCC#7) Checkers speech."] But, never mind, I've now put the article's name right up in the template's title on its file page. (I've also blown the image up on this page to 110 pixels, here.)--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 21:53, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
It shows Checkers in 1962, as a 10 year old dog, rather than a months old puppy when Nixon made the speech. I am at a loss to figure out how an illustration of her helps people understand the article. However, I said I would let it go.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:06, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

A few Harvard errors[edit]

I noticed that there's a few Harvard errors present in the article. You can see them easily if you install Ucucha's script, which makes them show up in bold red font.

To install the script, add:


to Special:MyPage/common.js. AmericanLemming (talk) 03:03, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Now a FA in Chinese Wikipedia[edit]

I have translated this article to Chinese Wikipedia here and promoted to FA status, and I want to thank User:Wehwalt for his effort to write this amazing article. --Jarodalien (talk) 08:23, 11 January 2016 (UTC)