Maybe we get too much information these days, with 24/7 cablecasts. Or maybe I was flat naive as a high school student because outside of having some knowledge that Nixon and Kennedy were running for president, and that Orville Loveless, the truckdriver who became our governor in spite of the revelation that he was an alcoholic, I was mostly clueless.
Kennedy certainly brought something new to the table. I can recall adults in my own family who were very down on his potential election, fearing our government would be run from Rome. Today the fear seems to focus on the Mormon Mitt Romney, now that we have moved past, for the time being, the color line. Or will it be a woman next? That would lack a fear factor, but likely would cause great consternation amongst traditional males. They're still out there for sure.
The most political person in my recollection was Chuck Helgeland, who was fully aware of the Nixon-Kennedy debates. Later, in 1964 I recall overhearing him debating with a fellow college student in the off-campus "lounge" as to the relative merits of Barry Goldwater. I suppose had I been eligible to vote I would have voted for Goldwater, although given some distance of time I may not do so today.
And it seems to me that Bob Scheib gave what might be best described as a political speech as the guest speaker at our senior prom. But why in the world did we have a need for a speaker at the prom? Mostly I recall wishing we were on our way out the door. Naive, I guess.