View Full Version : Congressman William Jefferson Clinton
January 19th, 2004, 09:07 PM
In 1973 Bill Clinton ran for a Congressional seat and lost. He never again sought a legislative branch position, instead concentrating on executive branch political positions (attorney general, governor and eventually President). What if he had won?
January 20th, 2004, 01:01 AM
1974 - Bill Clinton defeats John Paul Hammerschmidt (a strong Nixon supporter) to become Rep of Arkansas's 3rd District.
1975 - Rep Clinton marries Hillary Rodham. She becomes a prominent Washington attorney where the she and Bill spend most of their time.
Clinton is an active and energetic Rep. Popular with both Democrats and Republicans.
1977 - Senator John L. McClellan of Arkansas dies and Kaneaster Hodges Jr is appointed in his place.
1978 - Hodges has no desire to run in 1978 and instead then Gov David Hampton Pryor runs and wins a tight election. Clinton wins reelection. Hodges's Attorney General becomes Governor of Arkansas.
1980 - Chelsea Clinton is born. Republican Frank White becomes Gov of Arkansas.
1982 - Realizing his growth potential in Congress is limited with two senior and popular Democrats as Arkansas's Senators (Pryor & Dale Bumpers) Clinton decides to drop his Congressional seat and run for Gov of Arkansas. Clinton wins a tight race. Hillary opts to remain in Washington most of the time where most of her work remains. This only fuels rumors and speculation of all sorts.
Clinton remains Gov of Arkansas through the 80's.
1991 - Gov Clinton decides to run for the Presidency and wins.
Events link closely to OTL after these events. Clinton's relationship with Congress is a bit easier since he is already an insider (especially with Hillary's influence in Washington). This actually means less scandal mongering by the Washington press.
January 20th, 2004, 10:32 PM
Wakie,all good takes. I think your timeline is absolutely plausible. And I like the bet in Hillary going to work in DC. Didnt think of that. And
Here's some factors I thought of. Clinton in the 70s and early 80s was a liberal. OTL he lost the Arkansas governorship once because of his taxing ways. He became more moderate when he re-acquired the governorship. It seems likely he would rack up a liberal voting record that would be used against him. He could probably work around it, but it would be a stumbling block......and one not as easily hidden in a fairly obscure state like Arkansas.
You noted Clinton would probably leave Congress after a term or two and go into state executive branch politics. A reasonable conjecture. But I will say he would have to to make your timeline work. First, hes going to hit the ground in Arkansas a liberal (at this time, Democrat Congressmen made their careers by voting hyper-liberal and running campaigns not on voting record but on how many programs and work projects they brought to the state). That puts the gubernatorial loss for being a "Tie Dye Hippie" sort closer to the 1992 election cycle. Not a good thing. And I dont think running for the president out of Congress is good given that few presidents have come with a legislative pedigree especially by the 1970s.
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