July 9th, 2009, 12:46 PM
Rev. Jesse Jackson faced a huge obstacle back in 1984 and 1988 both with popular presidents: Reagan in '84 and VP Bush in '88 as well as a divided Democratic party Mondale, Gary Hart, Dukaksis...
Is there a possible way of getting Jackson elected?
Maybe this thread has already been tried...
July 9th, 2009, 02:16 PM
Make sure he shuts his mouth. (hymie-town incident)
July 9th, 2009, 03:21 PM
I hadn't realized he was so young - he could have easily run in 2004. So, maybe have him go the Bill Bradley route. Although I don't know how gtood he was, he was offiered a baseball contract in 1959, after a number of minor leagues had folded because of TV, so its' doubtful he was offered one just to fill a spot on some D league team.
POD: 1959, Jesse Jackson signs the baseball contract instead of going to college, after a little encouragement from Jackie Robinson and a little more money offered. This encouragement includes reading that Octavius Cato (sp?), a Philadelphia Civil Rights leadre in the 1860s/1870s, believed sports was one of the best ways to foster integration.
Jackson takes a few courses at an itnegrated school during the witners over the next few years, but doesn't advance more than A ball till 1962, when he's taken along with several other black players (notably Jimmy Wynn from the Reds in OTL) by the Houston Atrols. Still in the minors, he gets a few at bats in the bigs in 1964, and causes a big flap when he asks permission to leave spring training to take part int he Selma march in March of 1965. The Astros, mindful of the large number of blacks in their fan base, let him; he is fortunate in that the big news in Houston is the Astrodome, so the furor dies down some after a while. Still, he is known to be politically active, and that causes some resentment around the league. The biggest fallout from this is that Jackson is part of a Houston chapter of Operation Breadbasket, not Chicago.
King is not nearly as suspicious of Jackson as he might be, because jackson gets any need for attention and glory being drawn to himself ont he ball diamond. Jesse Jackson becomes a role player on Astros teams from 1967-1969, most notably the 1969 team that contends for the division before slipping to .500 by the end of the season. He's only really a starter for part of 1966 and 1967, before the really good players of '69 start to make it. And, he's never a star. But, soon before he is assassinated, King praises Jackson for "using the sport of baseball as a way to foster political activism." While most people prefer the quieter demeanor of some players, and some blame him for the later showboating of Reggie Jackson as Reggie watches his home runs, Jesse Jackson's career as a baseball player earn him quite a bit of respect. He winds up being traded because of his support of Curt Flood.
Jackson parlays that respect into local politics, though he finds Houston too difficult, witht he political machine. (I'd think it would be too tough yet in Houston in the early 1970s.) He moves after he retires in 1971; he has earned his undergraduate degree by now, with enough witner courses, and goes to law school. While his minor involvement int he Curt Flood case is ultimately a loser, he soon finds himself involved in political activism elsewhere. He eventually runs for political office, but his political views have been moderated a little, allowing him to be mroe acceptable to moderates and even to some Republicans, which is crucial in his Senate races in the late 1980s - and which keeps him from ever making the one remark. He delivers his famous speech before the Convention later than in OTL since he was playing baseball for about a decade and not quite as involved in politics - he endorses Bill clinton in 1992.
By 2004, a very successful attorney and Senator, and known to nostalgic baseball fans as a decent player on the Astros, with his powerful style of speaking - and with his affair having been butterflied away since he never meets this worker - he is nominated for President. In a close election, with an unpopular President, he wins.
Any other ideas? I really don't know if earlier is possible, this POD was pretty far back in his life. I suppose, with a great speech and then Clinton's scandals coming out earlier, he could run in '92, being drafted because Clinton bowed out. But, could he win? I don't know.
July 9th, 2009, 04:47 PM
Maybe a POD around 1999-2000 (details not developed) yielding the following race:
Jackson/Lieberman vs. Buchanan/McCain
July 9th, 2009, 04:59 PM
Would his brother be living in the white house? Pages should be wary.
July 10th, 2009, 02:16 PM
This is almost ASB, or at least some very big unlikely events.
If I recall right, Jackson came in 3nd in the primaries in 84, losing to Mondale.
Suppose Mondale bowed out? Suppose health reasons, or just realizing he was too tied to the unpopular Carter presidency. Perhaps he realizes practically no Dem has a prayer vs Reagan in 84, so he hopes to seize a chance to make history and endorses Jackson, wanting his party to be the first to nominate a Black man for pres. And of course just like IOTL Hart shot himself in the foot by his affair being publicly revealed.
Then suppose Reagan makes some huge verbal gaffe, like calling Jackson "boy" during the debates. Recall Reagan did terribly during the first debate vs Mondale IOTL, so bad that some wondered whether he was going senile. Imagine the "boy" gaffe happens during the 2nd debate.
Even so, Reagan still might win...but it's still interesting to imagine a Jackson presidency.
A huge almost obsessive focus on helping the poor.
An end to Reaganomics (thankfully).
No bailouts for the S and Ls, perhaps no scandal to begin with.
No Iran Contra. The Contras have to beg for handouts from Adolf Coors and the Israelis.
An end to the wars in Central America. The happiest part for me is several hundred thousand not needlessly killed over the Commie bogeyman, most of them Indian.
And probably a Cold War that ends sooner, since Jackson would embrace Gorbachev far sooner than Reagan did IOTL. (No, I don't buy the claim that Reagan ended the Cold War and defeated the Soviets. A lot of very brave people in Eastern Europe did that.)
All of this probably outrages conservatives so much the GOP wins in 88, and they would've fought him every step of the way on everything he did.
Well, this may be the closest to ASB that I will ever write.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.