View Full Version : Vice President George Bush-In the Seventies
March 29th, 2012, 03:59 AM
Basically, what if President Ford has chosen George H. W. Bush as his Vice President instead of Nelson Rockefeller? At the time, this outcome, from what I've read and heard, seems to have at least been consider a genuine possibility, so Vice President Bush at that point isn't totally out of left field. In any case, suppose Bush had been selected. My sense is that he would have been confirmed, but as in all other cases I might be wrong about that. So suppose for the minute Bush is confirmed. How does this change the dynamics of the Ford administration? Would Bush be kept on the ticket? Or would he be dropped the way Rockefeller was dropped? If he's kept on the ticket, is there a chance that his presence can lead to a Ford victory? If not, how does a Vice Presidential term under Ford impact the rest of Bush's career? Does it help or hurt in 1980? Basically what follows from this divergence?
March 29th, 2012, 04:10 AM
Bush would stay on the ticket; he could be a moderate-conservative bridge like Nixon was early on in his career. That would probably swing Texas, which brings Carter's victory to 271-267. The election was so close IOTL that a number of things could happen: Ford wins the popular vote, loses electorally (and becomes a nightmare for Reagan in the 1980 primaries) or Ford wins outright or Carter wins the popular vote and Ford wins the electoral vote. The last scenario would be the most interesting, since some people would howl that Ford was still never "elected by the people."
This would basically kill Bush's career. He would probably be a stronger candidate in the 1980 primaries, but with the Ford Administration getting the Carter treatment, Reagan's suddenly the Ted Kennedy underdog. Only he wins. And Bush will not be chosen as Reagan's running mate, since he was already VP and would be associated with the disastrous Ford Administration anyway. Reagan, like any Republican, loses in 1980 by a large margin, if not outright landslide. Bush's "turn" is in 1984, 12 years before Dole's. And will probably lose a similarly boring election.
If Ford still loses, though, then Bush becomes much more formidable in the 1980 primaries, where he has a very small chance of winning. This too dooms his career, as Reagan probably choses Howard Baker or something. Can't see Bush being the VP on two different tickets, that's a very rare thing. So Bush still doesn't become President. I could see him as Secretary of State though.
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