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Old August 25th, 2009, 02:54 PM
maverick maverick is offline
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The High and the Mighty (President John Wayne)



The High and the Mighty


President John Wayne


A Time of Choosing


Now, the President, then still serving as Governor of California, was not particularly expecting much from the National Convention, yet he had had the intention of attending and addressing the party from the very beginning, as such was his duty, or so did the Duke perceived it. Those that know the story are also aware that the path that led the then Governor of California to the White House had begun in a similar event, held four years prior at the similarly sunny state of California.


[Taken from…John Wayne, the Man Behind the Myth]

************************************************** *********

San Francisco, California

July of 1964

The crowd was getting somewhat anxious as the minutes went on. For the entirety of the convention, the tensions that divided the often called Grand Old Party still ran high and threatened to further divide the party as dissent grew amongst the party’s ranks and animosities between the Conservatives and Moderates failed to disappear.

For the past months, Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York and Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona have engaged in a fierce battle for the nomination that continued within the convention itself as supporters of the Liberal Governor and the Conservative Senator clashed continuously at the halls of the Cow Palace of San Francisco. The Liberals and Moderates saw Goldwater as a dangerous extremist, a view that contrasted with the view of the Conservatives that considered Rockefeller a member of the Eastern Liberal Establishment.

When Rockefeller attempted to deliver a speech yesterday, he was booed by the convention's conservative delegates, who regarded him as a member of that said "eastern liberal establishment and some feared that the same could happen with Goldwater or the Conservative spokesman.

And now one of them was missing!

Rumors began to circulate on the floor of the convention about what had happened to Reagan, rumors that were later dispelled when news reached the convention that the former actor turned republican spokesman had fractured a leg in a household accident and wouldn’t be able to make it even to the last day of the convention.

Little was the surprise when suddenly the speakers were switched on and the Delegates and party leaders asked to remain quiet as a speech was to be delivered.
Behind the podium he stood, tall and dignified, or at least that would be the general description given by most of the attendants and almost every republican that listened to the speech, even by those who didn’t listen to the speech.

The Man, then colloquially known as ‘The Duke’, began the speech:

"I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this.

It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government."


************************************************** **************


John Wayne was, amongst many things, a perfect symbol for the Republican Party and the ideal holder of the party’s banners. He was wildly popular, especially amongst Republicans, was a Hollywood Icon and the best known Republican Star if one was to remember the fact that Jimmy Stewart was not particularly keen on campaigning back in the 1960s.

The timing was otherwise perfect for the California Republican Party.

Nixon had lost by a considerable margin in 1962 and Brown was still a mostly popular incumbent when the first attempts to persuade Wayne to run began, the day after he gave his famous “A Time of Choosing” Speech. Yet despite his active role as a spokesman for the party and conservative causes, as well as his moderate role in the Goldwater Campaign in 1964, the man was otherwise uninterested in politics, as seen by his joking about the public not taking an actor in the White House seriously.

His good friend, Republican Senator George Murphy, and Conservative Spokesman Ronald Reagan played an important part in the ‘Draft John Wayne’ Campaign that finally resulted in the Duke consenting to run for the Governorship of California in 1966.


Incumbent Edmund G. (Pat) Brown had been a relatively popular Democrat in what was, at the time, a Republican leaning state... Brown's popularity began to sag amidst the civil disorders of the Watts Riots and the early anti-Vietnam war demonstrations at U.C. Berkeley. His decision to seek a 3rd term as governor (after promising earlier that he would not do so) also hurt his popularity. His sagging popularity was evidenced by a tough battle in the Democratic primary - normally not a concern for an incumbent. Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty received 38% of the primary vote while Brown barely received 52%, a very low number for an incumbent in a primary election.

The Republicans seized upon Brown's sudden unpopularity by nominating a well known and charismatic political outsider in the figure of Wayne. With Richard Nixon working tirelessly behind the scenes and The Duke trumpeting his law and order campaign message, Wayne received almost 2/3 of the primary vote over George Christopher, the moderate Republican former mayor of San Francisco, and went into the general election with a great deal of momentum.

At first Brown ran a low key campaign, stating that running the state was his biggest priority. As Wayne's lead in the polls increased, Brown began to panic and made a gaffe when he told a group of school children that an actor, John Wilkes Booth, had killed Abraham Lincoln. The comparison of Wayne to Booth did not go over well and led to a further decline of the Brown campaign.

Facing an enormously popular man in a usually republican leaning state was bad enough for Brown, but having to face John Wayne himself was probably more than Pat Brown imagined he’d have to endure in his political career. Some years later he’d comment about the move to nominate the actor as a cheap shot that left him with little chances to win.

Come Election Day, Wayne was ahead in the polls and favored to win a relatively close election. However, Wayne won in a landslide; his nearly 1 million vote plurality surprised even his most diehard supporters.


[Taken from...An Encyclopedia of American Politics]


To be Continued...


Notes:

This is something of a side-project for me to distract from the big stuff, like my Argentinean Civil War TL

The POD here is that John Wayne doesn't have Lung Cancer, so I'll have to assume that it was the godawful movie The Conqueror which gave the Duke Cancer, so go with me on this one

Second POD is of course that Reagan breaks his leg and Wayne has to fill in for him, attracting the attention of the California Republican Party.

Now, I'm a John Wayne fan, but let's be assure, this is going to be as realistic as possibly...those who know the Duke probably know what kind of policies and views he held IRL and know that if he was president, it wouldn't be pretty

Last edited by maverick; August 25th, 2009 at 03:00 PM..
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Old August 25th, 2009, 03:00 PM
CobiWann CobiWann is offline
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Being a fan of your Argentinean TL, I'm throwing you the horns and looking forward to this TL as well!
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Old August 25th, 2009, 03:00 PM
Emperor Norton I Emperor Norton I is offline
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Ah hell. We're gonna nuke the Soviets, aren't we?
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Old August 25th, 2009, 03:04 PM
maverick maverick is offline
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Two comments in less than 7 minutes...american politics, figures

Thank you both for reading

A. My Argentinean TL is still the priority, so I'll keep to the weekly or semi weekly updates

B. You'll have to wait and see, Norton, Although I do have to say this is not supposed to be For All Time 4.0
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Old August 25th, 2009, 03:05 PM
MrP MrP is offline
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Ooh, this looks intriguing!
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Old August 25th, 2009, 04:54 PM
G.Fieendish G.Fieendish is offline
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Re: The Conquerer & Cancer
A very reasonable assumption, given the amount of the film's cast that died of radiation induced diseases, fairly shortly afterwards...
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Old August 25th, 2009, 07:38 PM
Historico Historico is offline
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Intersting, having Wayne make The Speech in '64 rather than Reagan, thus throwing him into to the California Gubernatorial Race is very interesting. The funny thing is that Wayne was offered the nomination despite his considerable lack of Political expierence...Are we to guess that Wayne wins the nod in '68?
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Old August 27th, 2009, 09:28 PM
maverick maverick is offline
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Simple Themes


Sacramento, California

January of 1967

The black car escorted by police patrols slowly approaches the State Capitol at a slow pace through the cold streets left by an unusual cold night. Californian winters are not particularly known for their cruel coldness, but in the capital they tend to be cool and wet. The thick ground fog better known to the inhabitants as Tule Fog, is of course present, not an unusual sight for January in Sacramento.

Inside the car there is the Governor-Elect on his way to the inauguration at the State Capitol, and sitting next to him is his good friend and colleague, Mr. James Stewart. In the front seat goes the driver accompanied by one of the Governor’s men of confidence, or at least one of the men that could be considered of confidence given the Governor’s new political role.
In the back seats the two actors casually made remarks about the weather, to which they weren’t used given their careers would usually keep them in Southern California and occasionally take them elsewhere, most possibly western sets. In the front seat, Mr. Buchanan was going through some paperwork given to him by some members of the State Committee of the Republican Party.

As the car approaches the State Capitol, the good mood, or at least what had passed for good mood, inside the car suddenly stopped as the men inside contemplated an odd scene some six streets away from the Capitol. A group of some 20 or 30 young men, most of them probably college students, dressed in informal attire, or more properly, what can be described as an almost vagrant look without being complete hippies, holding banners and flags of the communist party, in an obvious protest against the Vietnam War.

The Driver remained silent as the man next to him, a known collaborator of Richard Nixon and the newly elected Governor, simply sneered in contempt and continued to check the documents in front of him. The two men sitting behind were not so quiet in their contempt. Both the Duke and his good friend were visibly shaken and sickened by the vagrant display of what they saw as unpatriotic and un-American attacks.

The Vietnam War had been an issue both Jimmy and John had been adamant about, but it was Jimmy Stewart, who had lost his stepson Ronald in Vietnam and had served with distinction over the skies of Europe in the Second War, who was the most upset at the vagrant disrespect for his country and the military, both of which he had served faithfully.

“Stop the car” said the man next to him, trying to control himself as much as he could
The Black Sedan suddenly stopped much to the surprise of Mr. Buchanan, Mr. Stewart, the protesters and the driver himself.

Even more surprising was what happened in the following fifteen seconds, as John Wayne quietly opened the door of his car, exited the vehicle and approached the crowd gathered on the park. After a few minutes of what appeared to be a quiet and nice conversation, the flag was lowered.

Once the Governor to be sat again, he simply said:

“Let’s go Charlie, we’re getting late” [1]

************************************************** **************

GOVERNOR WAYNE ANNOUNCES TAX HIKES AS PART OF HIS PLAN TO BALANCE THE BUDGET

[Taken from…LOS ANGELES TIMES]


************************************************** *************

“There was of course nothing spectacular about the first year of office. The Budget had to be balanced, hippies and protesters had to be removed from the campuses and the welfare bums had to be put to work; the promises made by The Duke in the campaign and some other issues that had to be faced in the first term.

“The infamous Tax Hikes and the freezing of Government hiring and spending were somewhat controversial in hindsight, and to a degree Governor Wayne had grown up and lived most of his life under the shadow of FDR, the New Deal and Keynesianism causes he supported to various degrees in his youth. But more important to us were always the national issues, even if Wayne did not see it that way himself. He would often attract national attention by talking about Vietnam, the need to support the troops and never surrender, and while this would attract the ire of the peace activists and the protesters, it also caught the eye of the nation.

“When he sent the Highway Patrol to quell some protests in Berkley, this was in October, I believe, little did we know that it was just the beginning and that the following year similar scenes would take place throughout America, especially following the Tet Offensive. By the time of the National Convention of 1968, Americans were used to see riots as an inevitable part of the never-ending war of Civil Rights, usually involving black or white mobs and the police, and thus they were not used to seeing the urban middle class duking it out with the police over an issue they care little about, as was Vietnam before 1968…”




[Taken from…The making of A President, Testimony by Campaign Manager and Political Strategist John Sears]

************************************************** *************

GOVERNOR WAYNE SENDS NATIONAL GUARD TO BERKLEY, 20 ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS PUT UNDER ARREST


[Taken from…THE LOS ANGELES TIMES]

************************************************** *************

“The ‘Stop Nixon’ movement that arose following the former Vice-president’s victory over Rockefeller in the primaries, and following an estimation by the Associated Press that Nixon was at 656 delegates 11 delegates short of the Nomination, was in many ways an odd experiment doomed to fail from the very beginning. George Romney and Nelson Rockefeller on the left, Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes on the right as well as other minor candidates and some old party leaders opposed Richard Nixon’s second bid for the presidency and were thus shopping for a compromise candidate willing to step in and snatch the coveted price right from the man’s hands.


“How on earth they figured that California Governor John Wayne was that man is a question that many political commentators and historians have tried to answer for many years.

“A natural leader of the Conservative movement, Wayne had refused to seek the Presidential nomination in 1966, arguing that he was elected to serve as Governor for four years and that he could not bail out of his duties. Furthermore, he often joked that the American people would not take an actor in the White House seriously. Yet he was the best the Right Wing of the Party had, with Barry Goldwater out of commission following 1964 and men like the Governor of Ohio being quite frankly, unappealing or downright unlikeable.

“Yet what they had not known was that Wayne was in fact a rabid Nixon supporter, and that the former Vice-President had had a big hand in the election of 1966 against Pat Brown, and had since then shared his wisdom with the Governor through several advisors, most notably Pat Buchanan, who spent half of his time outside of the Nixon headquarters in Sacramento.

“At the end, there was no compromise candidate. John Wayne delivered the nomination speech for Nixon, as he had for Goldwater four years before, a fact that some even considered an omen, especially in hindsight…”


[Taken from…The making of A President, Testimony by Campaign Manager and Political Strategist John Sears]

************************************************** *********

JOHN WAYNE OFFERED GOP VP SLOT


[Taken from…THE WASHINGTON POST]

************************************************** *********

California Governor John Wayne entered the floor of the Republican National Convention on its second day in the strangest of circumstances that day, as the rumors that he was offered the nomination for the Vice Presidency reached his ears but did not quite get through his head, still confused by the very prospect of being nominated for such a national office. It was indeed puzzling.

He continued to walk pass many delegates and delegations leaders, all wanting to shake his hand and savor the moment…history was being made




To be Continued…


Note:
  • This story allegedly took place in 1971 IOTL, as Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne were on their way to Ronald Reagan’s Second Inauguration;

Last edited by maverick; August 29th, 2009 at 05:17 PM..
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Old August 27th, 2009, 10:20 PM
Rocky Racoon Rocky Racoon is offline
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A rather fascinating start to what seems to be an interesting point of divergence. Hence, as always, Rocky is looking forward to the forthcoming updates! It shall be interesting to see which direction this timeline leads to, especially whether or not Governor Wayne accepts Nixon's offer for the Vice Presidency. Regardless, since he entered the public domain in 1966, Wayne will never win that elusive Academy Award in 1970 for True Grit. Speaking of which, instead of Wayne filling such coveted roles, who does in place of the mighty Duke?
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Old August 27th, 2009, 10:54 PM
oakvale oakvale is offline
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This is sure to be awesome. Subscribed, and looking forward to future installments.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 01:01 AM
Historico Historico is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky Racoon View Post
A rather fascinating start to what seems to be an interesting point of divergence. Hence, as always, Rocky is looking forward to the forthcoming updates! It shall be interesting to see which direction this timeline leads to, especially whether or not Governor Wayne accepts Nixon's offer for the Vice Presidency. Regardless, since he entered the public domain in 1966, Wayne will never win that elusive Academy Award in 1970 for True Grit. Speaking of which, instead of Wayne filling such coveted roles, who does in place of the mighty Duke?
Id always thought it would be cool for Ronnie to get back into Acting, elevating himself to a full fledged A Movie Star with the void filled by the Duke. Solid update Mav btw, I have a feeling Jimmy Stewart would make an excellent Chief of Staff in a Wayne Presidency. I gues you picked up the art of suspense from oakvale lol, Keep this timeline going
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Old August 28th, 2009, 01:05 AM
oakvale oakvale is offline
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Originally Posted by Historico View Post
I gues you picked up the art of suspense from oakvale
The trick is to end every installment with "...".
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Old August 28th, 2009, 01:16 AM
Orville_third Orville_third is online now
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Two celebrity questions...First, will Timothy Leary run for Governor in 1970 as he did OTL?
Second, what would John Wayne fan and antiwar protest singer Phil Ochs do if Wayne got the nomination?
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Old August 28th, 2009, 01:17 AM
oakvale oakvale is offline
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One celebrity question...will Timothy Leary run for Governor in 1970 as he did OTL?
Bonus points if he wins. I don't care how ASB it is.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 01:17 PM
maverick maverick is offline
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Don't worry, I have ideas even crazier than that in store

As for Phil Ochs, he would just keep protesting the war, no matter if the Duke was in the White House, a fact that doesn't make John Wayne particularly more supportive of the war effort that he already was...

Quote:
I gues you picked up the art of suspense from oakvale
Well, its not like I've been writing for three years and have 6 or so timelines or anything...
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Old August 29th, 2009, 06:05 PM
maverick maverick is offline
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The Challenge of Ideas



“The Draft John Wayne campaign was allegedly begun by Pat Buchanan, who had taken a pivotal role in the Governor’s political life and within Richard Nixon’s grand strategy in 1968, even though others point out to independent workings of the Republican Parties of California and Texas, where Wayne had many supporters in the upper echelons of the party, going as far as meeting with them in a couple of visits in late 1967 and early 1968.

“Nixon had spent most of the Primaries fighting off the moderate anti-war campaign of Michigan Governor George Romney, who for most of 1967 and early 1968 seemed like the favorite. The three-way race that had been expected between former Vice President Nixon, the liberal Governor of New York Nelson Rockefeller and George Romney had by the time of the New Hampshire primary turned into a costly and debilitating fight between Romney and Nixon following Rockefeller’s endorsement of Romney, yet Nixon had been able to keep the edge “

“Governor Wayne’s silence during the Primary season had been perceived by many as a show of reluctance at the perspective of a Nixon Candidacy, and not as a show of unwillingness on the man’s behalf to try and remain apart from the divisive Nixon-Romney fight and focus on the issues more important to the state of California”

“John Wayne’s name had first surfaced when speculation about the conclusion of the fight between Romney and Nixon presented the possibility of having the Governor of California as a compromise candidate. This was two weeks before the National Republican Convention, in which Wayne gave his support to Nixon.

“The Duke’s name would nevertheless resurface a few days later, when it was revealed he was in Nixon’s shortlist for the Vice-presidential nomination. This was a great surprise to the man…”


[Taken from…John Wayne, the Man Behind the Myth]


************************************************** ***********

HUMPHREY MAINTAINS LEAD OVER MCCARTHY AS DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION NEARS


[Taken from the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, August of 1968]

************************************************** ********

“Many possible candidates had been considered, mostly including southerners such as Texas Representative George Bush and Texas Senator John Tower, Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew, Tennessee Senator Howard Baker, and men such as New York Mayor John Lindsay, Illinois Senator Charles Percy and Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield, each supporter by a different faction within the Party”

“Governor John Wayne, nevertheless, had the distinctive edge of being perhaps the most famous man in America, even if not the most popular. It would be nigh impossible to find a man in the continent who didn’t know who John Wayne was. More importantly, he was more conservative than the moderate pragmatist Nixon, and was popular in the South and the West, as could be expected.


“Others of course point out to the fact that Nixon was a John Wayne fan and that both men held a great deal of respect and admiration for each other, and it would be perhaps hard to challenge that perception. Nixon didn’t particularly need John Wayne to carry his own home state, even if he had been practicing as a lawyer in New York for six years and was even running for his adoptive state.

“As some Republican Party chiefs would later say, the opportunity of having John Wayne on the ticket was too good to pass…”


[Taken from…John Wayne, the Man behind the Myth]

************************************************** *********


RIOTS ROCK CHICAGO; DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION CHAOS


[Taken from…The CHICAGO TRIBUNE]

************************************************** ************


“Nobody would ever suspect that such a big part of the job in 1968 was not to promote what John Wayne said, but to control what he said and make sure he didn’t go into conflictive areas, most specifically race. For most of the campaign he would travel to many grey states, mostly in the west and the upper south, and talk about Law and Order, States’ Rights, Vietnam and the need to support the troops and keep the country strong and united against Communism.


“Not a single time did he talk about race, thankfully. In Places such as California and New York Nixon would be joined by Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke, then the highest ranking African American in the Nation, and in other occasions Nixon would be accompanied by Wayne or other big party man, but in no occasion was Wayne and Brooke in the same place and the same time. The fact that John Wayne’s wife, the Peruvian-born actress Pilar Pallete, was never seen during the campaign in such states is also a quite telling fact regarding the ex-president’s and the Republican Party’s attitudes of the time…



[Taken from…The Imperial Presidency: Deconstructing the Myths of the 20th Century]

************************************************** **********

NIXON PROMISES “PEACE WITH HONOR” IN VIETNAM
[Taken from the NEW YORK TIMES]

JOHN WAYNE VISITS NEW YORK, PROMISES LAW AND ORDER

[Taken from…The WASHINGTON POST]

************************************************** ***********

“In Mid-September, Governor Wayne went on the offensive against Humphrey, acting on a role assigned to him by Nixon’s advisors and to a degree rehearsing for the role he’d take as Nixon’s Hatchet Man and attack pit bull during most of his Presidency. He referred to the Vice President as being "soft on Communism" as well as inflation and "law and order," and compared him to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

“Gallup polls in October showed Nixon leading Humphrey and Wallace 41% to 30% to 16%, a difference that would be further expanded in October, when Nixon held a 44% to 28% advantage over Humphrey in the polls, even though the General Election would come to surprise some of the most conservative experts. As Nixon would say, the only thing that could truly beat them at that point was overconfidence.”


[Taken from…the Making of A Presidency]



To be Continued...

Last edited by maverick; August 29th, 2009 at 06:15 PM..
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Old August 30th, 2009, 02:22 AM
maverick maverick is offline
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Picture time


Governor John Wayne, along with fellow actors Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope and Dean Martin, cellebrating the election results of 1966
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Old August 30th, 2009, 03:20 AM
Historico Historico is offline
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Solid update Mav...I'f im able to read your foreshadowing correctly, might HHH actually make a comeback and win the 1968 Election? Or does Wallace do better ITTL so much so that he throw's the election to House? Keep it comming
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 07:16 PM
maverick maverick is offline
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The Magnificent Showman




NIXON WINS BY THIN MARGIN

PLEADS FOR REUNITED NATION


[Taken from…The New York Times, November of 1968]

************************************************** *****


Having tested the role of Nixon’s Hatchet Man during the election, John Wayne used the Vice Presidency as a platform to defend the United States Military Involvement in Vietnam, and made several powerful speeches in which he spoke out against anti-war protesters and media portrayal of the Vietnam War, labeling them "Un-American."


The Duke’s continuous addressing to the American People and passionate defense of the Nixon administration would further cement his role within American Politics and help increase his popularity and influence within the party, a fact that troubled Nixon as much as the perception that his razor thin victory in 1968 may have been thanks to John Wayne.


The relationship between the two men never truly deteriorated as much as it was speculated, although his can only be said about the first term of the Nixon administration. Through 1972 though…


************************************************** ******


Today’s feature film is “True Grit”, directed by Henry Hathaway, starring Charlton Heston, Kim Darby, Robert Duvall, Glen Campbell and Jeremy Slate. Nominated to Two Oscars, The film puts Heston in the role of the aging, drunken and irascible US Marshal Rooster J. Cogburn…


[Taken from...Movie Night, from The Classic Movie Channel]
************************************************** ******


Vice-President Wayne enjoyed from the very beginning a close and interesting relationship with the official Nixon Speechwriters, Buchanan and Safire, who would produce an appropriate and ample rhetorical frame for The Duke to deliver his scathing criticism of political opponents, especially journalists and anti-war activists.

Alliteration was particularly tricky many have claimed, as Wayne had his qualms about some of the ‘gems’ Safire and Buchanan had crafted for the Nixon campaign. ‘Silent Majority’, Buchanan’s brainchild, was perhaps what convinced Wayne to trust that the writers knew what they were doing. Some were accepted, most famously “the Four H they had created for themselves: hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history”, although others, such as ‘Pusillanimous Pussyfooters” were not immediately accepted. The “nattering nabobs of negativism” epithet was allegedly the result of quite a long argument between Wayne and his advisors, but he used it at the end.


[Taken from…John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth]



************************************************** ****

MASSACRE AT KENT STATE; NATIONAL GUARD LEAVES 4 DEAD



[Taken from…The Washington Post, May of 1970]

************************************************** *****

VICEPRESIDENT WAYNE DEFENDS MILITARY INCURSIONS IN CAMBODIA



[Taken from…the New York Times, May of 1970]
************************************************** *****


Edwin Reinecke’s defeat to the Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh in the Elections of 1970, although not a reflection of the state of the country then, which was still very supportive of President Nixon and Vice President Wayne, was seen by many as evidence that certain issues had been neglected in favor of others by the Nixon administration, as the so-called Southern Strategy came into action.


John Wayne’s victory in 1966 had, on the other hand, opened all kind of doors, many of which should have been left unopened, for both parties. The first of these “big name projects” was crafted by the California Democratic Party Bosses in 1967, following their defeat against John Wayne. The first candidate, intended to run against Wayne in 1970, was the famed westerns actor Gregory Peck, a project that had to be scrapped due to Peck’s lack of political ambition. The offer was then made to Liberal activist and Civil Rights fighter Charlton Heston.


At the end though, John Wayne went to the White House, and at the prospect of running against a small name incumbent as was Lieutenant turned Governor Ed Reinecke, the nomination was eventually won by the Speaker of the State Legislature Jesse Unruh, and thus was the project scrapped by the Democrats. The Republicans, on the other hand…


************************************************** ******


The sight was quite interesting. At many speeches the Vice President was joined by close friends from the Hollywood years, most prominently Jimmy Stewart and Ronald Reagan, who accompanied him almost every time he visited California. By 1971, John Wayne was the most visible figure of the Republican Party and the face of the Nixon administration, as could be seen in the fact that every action undertaken by Richard Nixon was vigorously and adamantly defended by the Vice President. In more than one occasion a new project would be introduced by the Vice President in an address to Congress or the Nation.


The man was probably bigger than Nixon himself, yet he remained almost completely uninterested in governmental policy other than Vietnam…



[Taken from…John Wayne, the Man Behind the Myth]


************************************************** *******


Richard Nixon’s visit to the People’s Republic of China on February of 1972 was the first major cause of conflict between Nixon and his Vice-President. The two men, both strong willed and strong headed, were prone to not see eye to eye on many issues, but the fact the these two men that had made their careers out of their strong anti-communist stances began their political fallout as a result of Nixon’s boldest diplomatic move in his career seems somewhat fitting.


The China Strategy had been in the works since late 1971, when Kissinger visited Beijing to lay the groundwork for Nixon’s visit, yet in the time being Vice President John Wayne was allegedly only informed in January of 1972, just a week before Nixon’s visit. As could be expected, this lead to an argument between the two men and Kissinger, and it was only after a few days of discussion and a reassurance by Nixon that Taiwan would not be abandoned that the issue was dropped by both men.

The Vice President was somewhat left at ease following the talks with Nixon, yet following events would prove that Vice President Wayne was not particularly enthusiastic about Nixon’s China policy…



[Taken from…John Wayne, the Man Behind the Myth]

*************************************************


WHITE HOUSE TAPES REVEAL PRESIDENT WAYNE OK WITH KENT SHOOTING


More than thirty years after the Kent State Massacre that resulted in the death of 4 anti-war protesters at the hand of the National Guard on October of 1970, White House Tapes recently declassified reveal that the then Vice President John Wayne, in conversation with the Evangelical preacher Billy Graham, supported the intervention of the National Guard at the Kent State Protests and wished people would stop caring about “un-American traitors”

[Taken from…The WASHINGTON POST, October 2001]




To be continued…
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  #20  
Old September 2nd, 2009, 07:42 PM
Historico Historico is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Nice update Mav, Was the Nixon 1968 win any smaller than IOTL? I like the idea of the Duke being a more charismatic Agnew. I guess the only question now is how, will Wayne become President...Might Brewer get to old Tricky Dick before Watergate does...Keep it comming.
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