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Some Theoretical Scenario Ideas to Throw Out There


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I love the possibility of 'what-if' scenarios, so I thought it'd be cool if we actually saw more of them.

FM's Gore in '04 is probably one of the first and only ones I've seen so far for the 2008 edition of P4E+P, and, while I'm busy working on Rising Stars at the moment, I thought it would be interesting to throw some ideas out there, to see if anyone's interested. If nobody is, then I'm still poised to work on them a little bit later as well, once I finish up Rising Stars.

I'm only talking scenarios post-1972 because of all the differences in the nomination system pre-McGovern and the travel differences of each era.

McGovern re-election, 1976

The Watergate story breaks not in 1973, but during the election cycle in 1972, when the Democratic National Headquarters are broken into initially. Nixon is quickly connected with the burglaries and is defeated by a resurgent George McGovern, along with his running mate, Sargent Shriver. McGovern's presidency is marked with a withdrawal from Vietnam and heightened inflation because of Johnson's spending policies on the war, leading to a drop in his polling numbers. Nevertheless, McGovern remains popular, but at the same time, former Governor of California Ronald Reagan is poised to clench the GOP nomination, and he has a fair steak at removing McGovern from the White House. The question is, though, can he do it?

This scenario is a tossup between the Democrats and Republicans.

McGovern's successor - 1980

McGovern manages to defeat Reagan in 1976 by a narrow margin and continues on in his presidency. After less than satisfactory approval ratings, the McGovern presidency is seen with mixed results as McGovern exits the Presidency and his Vice President, Sargent Shriver faces down challengers in Ted Kennedy, and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination. On the Republican side, Ronald Reagan is set to make a comeback, and this time, hopefully take the nomination as a whole, but he'll have to get past George H.W. Bush and John Anderson first.

The scenario favors the Republicans.

Nixon's successor - 1976

Nixon realizes he doesn't have to spy on McGovern to win in 1972, and wins in a landslide. Keeping true to his plans, he doesn't feel the shame of Watergate and exits the presidency successfully as one of the United States' better Presidents, foreign policy wise. Spiro Agnew, in addition, is not indicted and does not resign as per our timeline, as he manages to avoid any detection of his tax evasion or bribery charges in coming to Washington. However, he now faces down former California Governor Ronald Reagan as well as Kansas Senator Bob Dole for the GOP nomination. On the Democratic side, Jimmy Carter has not risen to prominence, because he isn't seen as the 'outsider' he was as the cure for Watergate in our timeline. Instead, Mo Udall, Henry "Scoop" Jackson, and George Wallace fight in a very close primary field.

This scenario favors the Republicans.

Ford's successor - 1980

Gerald Ford manages to narrowly beat Jimmy Carter in 1976, but the problems of inflation come to haunt his own term as they did Carter's. Ford declines to run in 1980, leaving Vice President Bob Dole to face Ronald Reagan from the right in his own primary while facing down likely Democratic nominee Ted Kennedy, who himself is facing Carter from the Center in his primary.

This scenario favors the Democrats.

Carter's successor - 1984

Carter is re-elected over Reagan in 1980 as a result of the Iran-Hostage Crisis not occurring all together in this theoretical timeline. In exiting the White House in 1984, Carter leaves Walter Mondale his own chance at the Presidency, with no real primary challengers. The Republicans, on the other hand, have powerful choices in George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, and Jack Kemp, all of which are vying for the GOP nomination. Can any of them defeat Mondale, or will the Democrats keep the White House for another four years?

This scenario is a tossup between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Mondale's re-election - 1988

Mondale manages to edge out Reagan in 1984 because of 'Reaganomics' inability to fend off recession. Four years later, the economic situation has improved a bit, and Mondale has been given a boost because of it. However, Reagan-administration officials are all lined up in the GOP's primary to take away Mondale's thunder, ranging from George H.W. Bush to Alexander Haig, along with a controversial televangelist named Pat Robertson. With the three virtually deadlocked, who will go ahead to face Mondale in November?

This scenario favors the Democrats.

Mondale's successor - 1992

Managing to grab a second term, Mondale has kept himself in the White House for eight years, leaving the Republicans to but a four-year term in between two Democratic Presidents. With the Democrats now divided as to support the candidacy of Vice President Ferraro or an upstart Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton, can the Republicans, namely Senator Dole or Congressman Kemp take advantage of the situation and take the Republicans back to the White House?

This scenario favors the Republicans.

Dukakis re-election - 1992

Mike Dukakis effectively pins Iran-Contra to Vice President Bush in 1988 and avoids anything to do with Willie Horton, thus taking himself to the White House. He cuts the deficit by large margins, but at the same time, eight years of prior trickle-down has ruined the economy, and recession looms. Dukakis, however, remains somewhat alright in the polls, but will it be enough for him to take down the Republicans (Alexander Haig, Jack Kemp, Pat Robertson) and a third party challenge fro Ross Perot?

This scenario is a tossup between the Democrats, Republicans, and Ross Perot.

Bush successor - 1996

George H.W. Bush's approval ratings stay at Gulf War levels even as the economy falters, convincing the American people to give him a second chance. In a rather close election, Bush retains the Oval Office, and at the same time, does little to stop the recession. By 1996, the public has had enough as the recession is finally starting to ease, and Bill Clinton is looking towards a second nomination by the Democrats, though he'll have to take down Paul Wellstone to do it. On the Republican side, Vice President Quayle looks easily beaten, so many reform minded Republicans are jumping the gun to take him down, and even a retired general named Colin Powell has entered the fray...

This scenario favors the Democrats.

Dukakis successor - 1996

With President Dukakis' second term now over and Vice President Bentsen looking far too old to continue the Dukakis legacy, the Democrats must pick from a crowded field of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, former House Speaker Dick Gephardt, and Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, among others. On the Republican side, Senator Bob Dole and billionaire Steve Forbes face Republican Senator from Arizona John McCain for the GOP's nomination.

This scenario is a tossup between the Democrats and Republicans.

Perot re-election - 1996

Ross Perot's entry into the 1992 Presidential election causes a non-majority in the electoral college, forcing the House to vote for the President for the first time since Jackson's defeat in 1824. In an attempt to not succumb to either partisan anger by Democrats or Republicans, the House elects Ross Perot as the President of the United States. Perot's first term is firmly centrist in most respects, and by 1996, he's managed to make his Reform Party a viable and powerful movement, on par with both Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats, in response, seek to nominate a liberal candidate as their standard bearer, choosing from the likes of Paul Wellstone, Bill Bradley, Dick Gephardt and others. The Republicans, in response, seek to nominate a conservative candidate as their standard bearer, choosing from the likes of Steve Forbes, Pat Buchanan, and others.

This scenario favors the Reform Party.

Dole re-election - 2000

Bob Dole takes the White House in 1996 following the scandalous presidency of Bill Clinton and his failure to produce a national health care plan. While the Dole Presidency has been rather uneventful, he has worked with Speaker Gingrich to privatize many governmental programs, radically downsizing the Government in itself, to the point he's finally been able to eliminate the Department of Education. The Democrats, disgraced by Bill Clinton's own presidency, are preparing to launch a counter offensive at the mass privatization of the government under Dole-Kemp, and have a choice to make between former Vice President Gore, New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.

This scenario favors the Republicans.

Perot successor - 2000

Ross Perot manages a Second Term in a sizable victory in 1996, leading to another relatively centrist term in office. As he leaves, Vice President Stockdale is set to take the Reform Party's nomination, though he has to fend off to the right both Pat Buchanan and Donald Trump, and to the left, Ralph Nader. The Republicans and Democrats prepare to nominate relative centrists as well to cope in this new, post-partisan atmosphere. As such, the Republican nomination is to be hard fought between Senator McCain and Senator Elizabeth Dole, while on the Democratic side, Evan Bayh and Al Gore fight it out for their own nomination.

This scenario is a tossup between the Reform Party, the Republicans, and the Democrats.

Dole successor - 2004

Dole narrowly defeats Al Gore in 2000, leaving Vice President Jack Kemp in a position to ascend to the White House...were it not for the distresses of economic recession. Kemp is challenged by former President George Bush's son, Texas Governor George W. Bush from the Right, while on the Democratic side, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, now Senator from Arkansas, battles Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Governor Howard Dean of Vermont for the Democratic nomination.

This scenario favors the Democrats.

Kerry re-election - 2008

Ohio swtiches to Kerry in 2004, and thus, George W. Bush leaves the White House in a deeply tense political climate. President Kerry contends with a hostile Congress, leaving him slow to remove troops from Iraq, a promise that comes two years later when Democrats take control of Congress once again. If Iraq is the least of Kerry's worries, the mounting Bush deficit and an oncoming recession are the most. With the Republicans' nomination fight including former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and the like, can President Kerry keep the White House for another term?

This scenario is a tossup between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Like I said, these are just ideas. If anyone wants to use one, please, feel free to run with it.

If not, like I said, I'll try to get to work on them sometime in the near future.

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Ford's successor - 1980

Gerald Ford manages to narrowly beat Jimmy Carter in 1976, but the problems of inflation come to haunt his own term as they did Carter's. Ford declines to run in 1980, leaving Vice President Bob Dole to face Ronald Reagan from the right in his own primary while facing down likely Democratic nominee Ted Kennedy, who himself is facing Carter from the Center in his primary.

This scenario favors the Democrats.

Just one small thing: Ford wouldn't have to decline to run. As a result of the 22nd Amendment, he'd be ineligible.

The first sentence of Section 1 states that:

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

He served more than two years of Nixon's term, then would have served a full term on his own. That would be all the Constitution would allow.

Also, there would be the possibility that George H.W. Bush, who likely would have stayed on as the Director of Central Intelligence at least part of the way into Ford's full term, would have run. As a matter of history (for those who weren't around then and haven't looked it up), he did run in 1980.

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To go along with these, let me throw this idea out there, too:

President Gore -- 2000

President Bill Clinton is furious with the Republicans for their (actual or perceived) shenanigans in Congress and is determined to deny them the White House in 2000. To that end, he resigns in mid-1999 for the purpose of handing the power of the incumbency to the new President, Al Gore.

Whether it becomes clear that President Clinton has done this as a calculated political move -- and the public reaction if it did -- would be up to the scenario maker and, therefore, this could conceivably favor either (or neither) party.

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Kerry re-election - 2008

Ohio swtiches to Kerry in 2004, and thus, George W. Bush leaves the White House in a deeply tense political climate. President Kerry contends with a hostile Congress, leaving him slow to remove troops from Iraq, a promise that comes two years later when Democrats take control of Congress once again. If Iraq is the least of Kerry's worries, the mounting Bush deficit and an oncoming recession are the most. With the Republicans' nomination fight including former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and the like, can President Kerry keep the White House for another term?

This scenario is a tossup between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Like I said, these are just ideas. If anyone wants to use one, please, feel free to run with it.

If not, like I said, I'll try to get to work on them sometime in the near future.

i have already done this i'll send it to theoryspark

Perot successor - 2000

Ross Perot manages a Second Term in a sizable victory in 1996, leading to another relatively centrist term in office. As he leaves, Vice President Stockdale is set to take the Reform Party's nomination, though he has to fend off to the right both Pat Buchanan and Donald Trump, and to the left, Ralph Nader. The Republicans and Democrats prepare to nominate relative centrists as well to cope in this new, post-partisan atmosphere. As such, the Republican nomination is to be hard fought between Senator McCain and Senator Elizabeth Dole, while on the Democratic side, Evan Bayh and Al Gore fight it out for their own nomination.

This scenario is a tossup between the Reform Party, the Republicans, and the Democrats.

i can work on this

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To go along with these, let me throw this idea out there, too:

President Gore -- 2000

President Bill Clinton is furious with the Republicans for their (actual or perceived) shenanigans in Congress and is determined to deny them the White House in 2000. To that end, he resigns in mid-1999 for the purpose of handing the power of the incumbency to the new President, Al Gore.

Whether it becomes clear that President Clinton has done this as a calculated political move -- and the public reaction if it did -- would be up to the scenario maker and, therefore, this could conceivably favor either (or neither) party.

This would probably work better if Gore became President upon Clinton being removed from office/resigning after the Monica Lewinski scandal.

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To go along with these, let me throw this idea out there, too:

President Gore -- 2000

President Bill Clinton is furious with the Republicans for their (actual or perceived) shenanigans in Congress and is determined to deny them the White House in 2000. To that end, he resigns in mid-1999 for the purpose of handing the power of the incumbency to the new President, Al Gore.

Whether it becomes clear that President Clinton has done this as a calculated political move -- and the public reaction if it did -- would be up to the scenario maker and, therefore, this could conceivably favor either (or neither) party.

i can do this one too.

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I think it's more likely that Perot would have become president in 1992, but 1996 would probably work as well.

I know you said no pre-1972 elections but I think an alternate 1968 election would be interesting. In this timeline Richard Nixon won the 1960 election, but three years later he was assassinated in Chicago, some say as a response to the invasion of Cuba. President Henry Cabot Lodge inherits a bloody insurgency ninety miles south of Miami and decides not to run for reelection in 1968. Will John F. Kennedy stage a comeback?

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Oswald Overslept - 1964

Thanks to Lee Harvey Oswald oversleeping due to the gloomy conditions on the morning of 11/22/63, JFK is never assassinated in Dallas. Unfortunately, his passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 causes the Southern Democrats to rebel against him. John Connally convinces LBJ to run against his boss in the primaries in the hopes of keeping the South at least with the Democrats, though George Wallace is considering an Independent run (default off as a Dem). The GOP side stays more or less the same, with maybe Nixon to kick around some more (default off).

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Oswald Overslept - 1964

Thanks to Lee Harvey Oswald oversleeping due to the gloomy conditions on the morning of 11/22/63, JFK is never assassinated in Dallas. Unfortunately, his passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 causes the Southern Democrats to rebel against him. John Connally convinces LBJ to run against his boss in the primaries in the hopes of keeping the South at least with the Democrats, though George Wallace is considering an Independent run (default off as a Dem). The GOP side stays more or less the same, with maybe Nixon to kick around some more (default off).

are you doing this?

i can do this one too.

i acctually can't

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are you doing this?

i acctually can't

i will be sending theoryspark kerry 2008very shortly just some last minute touches.

im not changing the candidates but here they are

dems-

john kerry

geraldine ferraro

ed rendell

richard blumenthal

reps-

(these are ones i can remember)

rick perry

colin powell

lots more i just can't reme,ber all of them.

ill be making a 2012 after kerry scenario more details on that coming soon

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I wouldn't mind seeing a scenario for a 1984 re-election of Ted Kennedy. In this scenario Kennedy would have upset President Carter in the primaries and defeated Ronald Reagan in an extremely close general election. Kennedy could face major challenges from Jesse Jackson, former Vice-President Walter Mondale and Senator Gary Hart. The Republicans could field major candidates Representative George H.W. Bush, Senator Bob Dole, Pat Robertson and possibly a second attempt by Ronald Reagan. Kennedy would have difficulty winning the scenario due to the continuing emergence of the religious right and the growing strength of the Republicans throughout his first term.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm working on the 1976 no Watergate scenario. I sent an email to the Nixon library asking who Nixon would have supported in 1976 if he hadn't been forced to resign. It was Texas govenor and former democrat John Connally. Therefore, the major frontrunners on the republican side are Spiro Agnew, Ronald Reagan, John Connally and Bob Dole.

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I'm working on the 1976 no Watergate scenario. I sent an email to the Nixon library asking who Nixon would have supported in 1976 if he hadn't been forced to resign. It was Texas govenor and former democrat John Connally. Therefore, the major frontrunners on the republican side are Spiro Agnew, Ronald Reagan, John Connally and Bob Dole.

You really didn't need to email the library, it's common knowledge that Nixon liked Connally and wanted him for the VP slot even, but the Democrats in Congress refused.

I'd also note that Spiro Agnew wouldn't be a frontrunner as the lack of Watergate doesn't effect his own problems. Dole wouldn't be a front-runner either, as he rose to prominence only as Ford's VP.

I imagine it would be basically Vice-President Connally versus Reagan, with Reagan holding the edge. Sure Dole and some other Republicans might run, but they'd be dwarfed by the Connally-Reagan clash.

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Okay, I'll consider that.

I'm editing the 1976 scenario. Other changes so far are that Carter has been changed from frontrunner to a minor canidate only important in Georgia, while the Watergate issue has been replaced by Vietnam. The Democrats want to pressure the still standing South Vietnamese government into reform, while the Republicans don't want to.

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The South Vietnam issue is:

Far Left: We can't support a dictatorship no matter what. Stop all aid and let South Vietnam fall to the North.

Left: We can't let the South Vietnamese suffer under a dictator. Cut off aid until Saigon institutes Democratic reforms.

Center-Left: We must pressure South Vietnam into Democratic reforms, but we should continue limited military aid.

Center: Reforms in South Vietnam are good but not essential. Continue military aid.

Center-Right: We should follow Nixon's example. Vietnamization worked and will keep working if we keep up the flow of military aid.

Right: Vietnam is critical to the United States. We should supply whatever aid they need. Reform in Saigon is not important.

Far Right: Redeploy combat troops to Vietnam and bomb North Vietnam. Destroy the Communists!

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This seems like a very interesting scenario! I would love to help out. One question: Many historians believe that had Nixon not been impeached/resigned he would have pushed for Universal Health Care. Heres how I think that you should do this: Universal Health Care is a major issue and has been proposed by Nixon, but has failed since Democrats believed that they could get a better plan passed after the election of a Democrat. Heres my idea for the issue

Universal Health Care

Far-Left: A completely universal, single-payer health care system now! Nixon's plan does not go far enough.

Left: Universal health care through the current system of medicare and medicaid.

Center-Left: Nixon's health care plan is the right one.

Center: Try to make health care more affordable, but keep things the way they are.

Center-Right: Keep health care the way it currently is.

Right: Cut funding for medicare and medicaid. No universal health care!

Far-Right: Privatize all government health-care programs.

P.S. My email is hcallega@yahoo.com if you want to send me an early copy to work on.

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One question: Many historians believe that had Nixon not been impeached/resigned he would have pushed for Universal Health Care. Heres how I think that you should do this: Universal Health Care is a major issue and has been proposed by Nixon, but has failed since Democrats believed that they could get a better plan passed after the election of a Democrat. Heres my idea for the issue

Nixon did offer universal health insurance, Edward Kennedy wanted universal healthcare (i.e. socialized, like the UK or Canada) and so turned him down.

But yeah, that could be an issue in a "no watergate" timeline.

Thats really just a change in emphasis.

A change in emphasis in rhetoric or policy? Because policy-wise, huge difference, my way of phrasing it was just adding in the historical context (heck, Kennedy regrets to this day he didn't take up Nixon).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Issues updated with Univeral Health care over Health Care.

Current numbers in the republican primaries are:

18.1% Agnew

16.1% Reagan

14.8% Conally

11.1% Dole

0.7% Stassen

Also, does anyone know what Dole and Conally's positions on the issues should be?

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Issues updated with Univeral Health care over Health Care.

Current numbers in the republican primaries are:

18.1% Agnew

16.1% Reagan

14.8% Conally

11.1% Dole

0.7% Stassen

Also, does anyone know what Dole and Conally's positions on the issues should be?

Dole is basically a slightly more conservative version of Ford; Connally is your basic conservative wing Texas Democrat so right on business issues (and related: like oil), middle of the road on other issues.

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  • 1 month later...

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