Mad Men: Season 1, Episode 12

Nixon vs. Kennedy (11 Oct. 2007)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.9/10 from 1,219 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 10 critic

Election night arrives and the staff of Sterling Cooper has a party while watching the returns. The election is close and it's obviously going to be a long night. Now a senior partner in ... See full summary »



(created by), , 2 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Video


Fall TV: 15 Returning TV Shows Worth Binge Watching

Which returning shows do we recommend binging on? We've picked out 15 great options for you. Read this and more lists in our Fall TV section.

Read our list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 5 titles
created 14 Aug 2011
a list of 46 titles
created 17 Dec 2011
a list of 43 titles
created 08 Jan 2012
a list of 41 titles
created 06 Oct 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Nixon vs. Kennedy (11 Oct 2007)

Nixon vs. Kennedy (11 Oct 2007) on IMDb 8.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Mad Men.
« Previous Episode | 12 of 92 Episodes | Next Episode »


1 video »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lieutenant Donald Draper


Election night arrives and the staff of Sterling Cooper has a party while watching the returns. The election is close and it's obviously going to be a long night. Now a senior partner in the firm, Don Draper must hire a new head of account services, a post that Pete Campbell yearns for. Aware of Draper's secret past, he tries to strong-arm him into giving him the job. With his secret out, Don panics and he asks Rachel Menken to run away with him. Regaining his composure, Don calls Pete's bluff leading to a confrontation with Bert Cooper. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 October 2007 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title refers to election night as well as the battle between Don and Pete. Don is Nixon: an older self-made man, who Don even compares himself to earlier in the season. Pete is Kennedy: a younger man with a silver spoon upbringing. See more »


Don's flashback to Korea is dated 1950 and appears to be summer, indicating the beginning of the war, yet Lt. Draper references the Chinese as the enemy. China entered the war in November 1950, at the onset of the Korean winter. See more »


References Highway Patrol (1955) See more »


Metro Polka
Written by Vaughn Horton
Performed by Frankie Laine
Played during office party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

If only Television was this good all the time...
16 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mad Men is by now, in it's fourth season, one of the best television shows of all time. It cannot be denied of the power and talent it holds, and episode 12 of the first season reinforces that idea completely.

The episode on one hand is light, and focuses on a lot of characters that are usually in the background for the most part. The office holds a party for the Nixon/Kennedy election, not knowing that the final outcome will not be favorable to what they want. There is a brief scene where Joan and Salvatore are acting out a play that after a kiss between both, there is a very subtle expression on Joan's face... could this mean she suspects something?

The episode also shows just how much Peggy's sense of character and the way others see her has changed since the beginning of the season. It shows how much Moss shines, especially in a particular scene. Of course, we also continue the story of Pete finding Don's old belongings. Pete Campbell is the most unlikeable character on the show, and the nerve that he has to impose such an action on part of Don's behalf in this episode is ruthless, although not completely shocking. We always knew Pete was this type of character. We also see the truth to Dick Whitman's final fate in some amazing scenes.

Overall, this episode is so far the best o the first season, and having seen the four seasons of Mad Men, one of the best of the entire series. Films rarely get this good, not to mention even in the category of television, this series is going to go down in history.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Peggy Gatsby13
Ginsberg And The Computer Season 7 Herreken
Binge watching Mad Men for the first time.... summerblink
Almost through season 3 what a giant *beep* this Betsy Euronymus
Don did not create the Coca-Cola ad snicker-chick20001
Zou Bisou MaorK3
Discuss Nixon vs. Kennedy (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: