Good points. Frankly, given what was going on in the world in 1960, voting for Nixon was a no-brainer. Nobody else was more prepared and had the experience to step into the Presidency than he did. His 1968 victory may have been a nice vindication for him after the theft of 1960, but having inherited the disastrous mess of his predecessors at an absolutely awful time, he was going to have a difficult go of it regardless.
The sad part of all of this was the assassination of JFK probably did more to speed up the course of the nation to the left than had he lived. Having been denied the showdown between him and Goldwater in ‘64, which would’ve been a much closely-divided race at a time when JFK’s popularity was beginning to slide (why he made the trip to a very hostile TX, and to Dallas, probably THE most anti-JFK city in the state) prevented the country from having a sober referendum on his Presidency, rather than one borne of martyrdom, for which no Republican could’ve hoped to have overcome.
JFK and Nixon were pretty close on the issues. Nixon’s mistake, his biggest one, was that first debate. But that was a matter of appearance. Looking back, he should have used his sore knee as an excuse to have the parties seated. Hindsight and all that. I knew he looked shakey; I didn’t know he was having an issue with the knee.