Say What?!: A President Barry Goldwater Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Han, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Han Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Hey guys! I normally post on the US Election Atlas forum, but I decided that I'd try out my hand writing a timeline on this website (if you'd like to read the timeline I'm working on in the Atlas Forum, read here: http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=115233.0). Anyway, the format of this timeline is influenced by PBrunsel's timelines on the Atlas Forum (here's one of them: http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=62794.0).

    BTW, I know that this first update isn't that different from real life (and I know that this first post doesn't have a President Barry Goldwater. :p), but I need this update to set the stage for later changes, and I hope some of the butterflies will be fairly obvious.

    Say What?: A President Barry Goldwater Timeline

    by Han

    Event Date: 5-4-1963

    Event Description: New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Margaretta "Happy" Murphy marry at the home of Laurance S. Rockefeller in Pocantico Hills, New York. The wedding causes much controversy among the media, and rumors of Nelson Rockefeller's extramarital affairs run rampant. After the marriage ceremony, Nelson Rockefeller confides in his new wife that he has plans to run for President of the United States in 1964, and that he is worried their marriage may hamper his ability to clinch the nomination. The two agree not to consummate their marriage until after the election.

    Event Date: 6-2-1964
    Event Description: Nelson Rockefeller wins a tight victory over the conservative Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater in the California primary. The percentages are 50.6%-49.4% in favor of Nelson Rockefeller, but it takes all night for the results to be counted, and several recounts are needed. Nevertheless, Rockefeller is the proclaimed winner. The defeat, while close, is a stinging defeat for Goldwater, as Goldwater would have all but clinched the nomination with a victory in California. With Rockefeller's victory, he is still in the race, and still has a serious shot at winning the GOP nomination.

    Event Date: 7-9-1964
    Event Description: California actor Ronald Reagan feels very ill, and checks in with his doctor. The doctor diagnoses Reagan with the flu, and although Reagan will be alright, he will need to rest for several days. Reagan had been planning to attend the 1964 Republican National Convention to give a nomination speech for Barry Goldwater, and must change his plans. Reagan will not attend the Republican National Convention, but still hopes that his endorsement, Barry Goldwater, will carry the day.

    Event Date: 7-13-1964

    Event Description: The Republican National Convention begins, held in the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. The mood is tense, with liberals and conservatives withing the party reading to come to blows. No candidate has the 654 delegates needed to clinch the nomination, leading to the necessity of balloting. Before the first ballot is held, Nelson Rockefeller campaigns privately among liberal delegates, moderate delegates, and favorite sons, telling them that with their support, he can stop Barry Goldwater from winning the Republican nomination. The private campaign works, and Nelson Rockefeller wins the Republican nomination on the first ballot with 701 delegates, followed by Barry Goldwater's 331. As Nelson Rockefeller gives his acceptance speech, conservatives within the party show their distaste for the Governor by booing him. Even Barry Goldwater refuses to endorse Rockefeller. Rockefeller chooses Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton as his running mate. The Republican Platform supports civil rights, tax cuts, anti-communism, and government efficiency.

    Event Date: 7-17-1964
    Event Description: A day after the Republican National Convention has ended, Nelson Rockefeller flies to Michigan for an appearance with Michigan Governor George Romney, who is running for re-election. At the joint-appearance, the two make speeches lauding each other, and answer questions from the crowd.

    Event Date: 8-3-1964
    Event Description: Ronald Reagan, who has recovered from the flu, begrudgingly endorses Rockefeller out of party loyalty. Despite his endorsement, Reagan refuses to make any television commercials or appearances for Nelson Rockefeller. "It was Democrats that acted like Nelson Rockefeller," said Ronald Reagan to his wife, Nancy. "That made me want to leave the Democratic Party." As a result of Reagan's inaction, the California GOP does not take notice of him, and very few Americans know that the B-movie actor who starred in Bedtime for Bonzo is conservative.

    Event Date: 8-24-1964
    Event Description: The Democratic National Convention is held at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Incumbent President Lyndon Baines Johnson is the presumptive nominee, and indeed, wins the Democratic Nomination by an almost unanimous margin. Johnson picks Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey as his Vice Presidential candidate. Aside from controversy over the Mississippi delegation, everything else runs smoothly. The 1964 Presidential Election is essentially set: Nelson Rockefeller and Lyndon Johnson will face off in November in what is sure to be an interesting race. While some pundits wondered whether Alabama Governor George Wallace would run as a third party candidate, Wallace refuses, as polling shows Johnson in the lead far enough that Wallace cannot plausibly throw the election to the House.

    Event Date: 8-30-1964

    Event Description: Gallup releases a poll with with 53% for Lyndon Johnson, 39% for Nelson Rockefeller, and 8% undecided. It is clear that Nelson Rockefeller has his work cut out for him for the election.

    Event Date: 8-31-1964
    Event Description: Immediately after reading the Gallup Poll, Nelson Rockefeller phones Barry Goldwater, begging for his endorsement. "Please think about your party, Barry," plead Rockefeller. "I'll try to get some of your policies enacted." "You and I both damned well know that you won't get my policies enacted," retorted Barry Goldwater. "Anyway, if I was in your position, would you endorse me? I know you wouldn't." Nelson Rockefeller thinks about it, understands, and says "Alright Barry, just take care." Rockefeller hangs up, disappointed he can't get his rival to endorse him (though he completely understands).

    Event Date: 9-3-1964
    Event Description: U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy resigns his position to run for Senate in New York. Nicholas Katzenbach, the Deputy Attorney General, is now Acting Attorney General.

    Event Date: 9-9-1964
    Event Description: The Lyndon Johnson campaign publishes pamphlets in the South, emphasizing Nelson Rockefeller's strong support for civil rights. The Johnson campaign knows that the "Solid South" may not go Democratic this year, considering that Johnson worked hard to get the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed. Indeed, Johnson has been blocked off the ballot in Alabama. In northern urban areas however, the Johnson campaign publishes pamphlets lauding Johnson for his successes in civil rights.

    Event Date: 10-15-1964
    Event Description: A Georgetown College student from Arkansas, Bill Clinton, takes a trip to Bohemian Caverns, a jazz club in Washington D.C. Tonight, the John Coltrane Quartet (featuring John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and McCoy Tyner) is playing, and Clinton does not want to miss this performance. Coltrane's quartet wows the young college student, and Clinton is able to meet Coltrane and receive his autograph after the performance. Clinton writes in his diary: "After seeing Trane put so much passion into his performance, I believe that I want to become a musician. I believe I have the passion that Trane has, and I believe that I can make him proud." Aside from working on his considerably difficult studies at college, Bill Clinton will now spend three hours everyday practicing the saxophone. While Bill Clinton originally had dreams of a political career, these dreams have been replaced by dreams of becoming the next John Coltrane.

    Event Date: 11-3-1964
    Event Description: Lyndon Johnson defeats Nelson Rockefeller in a landslide, easily outpacing the New York Governor. The Democrats only wait for the official declaration of victory, while most Republicans find themselves going to bed early. Ultimately, the sympathy vote, as well as the good economy, lead to Johnson's landslide victory. Rockefeller does so poorly that he loses his home state, and his best showings are in the typically Republican northeast and west. Johnson's coattails extend to the House elections, where the Democrats pick up 13 seats, but not to the Senate, where the Democrats are only able to pick up 1 seat. Meanwhile, the runner up for the GOP nomination, Barry Goldwater, sits at his home and watches the election results on television. He has been elected to another term in the Senate by a 52%-48% margin, even though Johnson carried Arizona in the Presidential Election. "Don't worry, Barry," said his wife, Peggy Goldwater. "The Democrats will be unpopular come 1968, and without Rockefeller in the picture you'll be able to win the Republican nomination and the election."

    [​IMG]
    Lyndon Johnson (D-TX)/Hubert Humphrey (D-MN): 55.3% PV, 460 EV
    Nelson Rockefeller (R-NY)/William Scranton (R-PA): 42.4% PV, 61 EV

    Unpledged Electors: 17 EV

    Senate Results:
    [​IMG]
    Democrats (+1): 65
    Republicans (-1): 35

    House Results:

    Democrats (+13): 272

    Republicans (-13): 163
     
  2. RogueBeaver Team Raitt

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal
    I like what I'm seeing here. :cool: Keep it coming- I want to see how Barry deals with Vietnam, civil rights and race issues. :D
     
  3. Brian Roastbeef ENDUT! HOCH HECH!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    This looks very interesting. I'll be following...

    Of course Barry won't have Rocky to contend with come 1968, but I am indeed interested as to how he will respond to Nixon.
     
  4. Zacoftheaxes Atari Democrat

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    Oh holy shit it's Han!

    Nice to see you here, and wonderful timeline.
     
  5. RogueBeaver Team Raitt

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal
    Nixon and Barry were allies IOTL. In 1968 Barry will have to contend with "that mean little asshole." No love lost on either side there, dating back 15 years.
     
  6. Aranfan *yay*

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Hmm, I can get behind this.
     
  7. Brian Roastbeef ENDUT! HOCH HECH!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    True although the easy relationship between Barry and Nixon IOTL was likely made easier by the fact that after 1964 Goldwater was never again seriously considered for the Presidency, instead focused on his return to the Senate. ITTL though, Nixon and Goldwater are likely both focused in the same direction - could have them butting heads.

    Of course, I could also see Nixon and Goldwater being friendly to each other in this scenario to marginalize any bid by Romney, then settling the remainder of the primary fight respectfully...

    And yeah, as for the "mean little asshole" that race could be just as ugly as 1964 was IOTL... kind of odd really, as Goldwater and JFK always seemed to hold each other in mutual respect and would likely have had a very gentlemanly race had they gone up against each other.

    Anyway, a lot of interesting dynamics to play out here. Guess I just have to sit back and let Han tell the story. :cool:
     
  8. RogueBeaver Team Raitt

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    Montréal
    Brian: It's not odd 1) considering personalities involved b) when the mean little asshole considered the President to be a tool of Las Vegas gambling interests, and thinks he's a dumbass to boot. But I'll let Han tell that story later on. :p
     
  9. Han Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Thanks for the support guys! :) I'll try to get the next update as soon as I can! If you guys have any more comments or suggestions I'd love to hear them!

    Hey Zac! Nice to see a familiar face here! :)
     
  10. RogueBeaver Team Raitt

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    Apr 28, 2009
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    Montréal
    Will Nixon be Secretary of State or UN Ambassador? Preferably at Foggy Bottom. :D
     
  11. Han Well-Known Member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    You'll have to wait to find out. ;) If I follow the path I have in mind, his life will be interesting...
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  12. Orville_third Banned

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    Mar 3, 2009
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    Piedmont Socialist Republic
    Will Reagan still do "Operation Coffee Cup?"
     
  13. Zacoftheaxes Atari Democrat

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    New York
    Plenty of them, Morgan and Yelnoc are here too.
     
  14. mikegold Member

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    Jan 9, 2006
    I'm M on the Atlas forum. :)
     
  15. Historico Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Hey, welcome to AH Board, Han...You know I atleast thoroughly enjoy your tl's at Atlas Forums. I think here though, that youll get more helpful feedback from a variety of Historical specialists. I love where this TL is going and Keep it comming:D, Btw set up an account at Corbis images, so you can bring in more pictures to help illustrate the TL...
     
  16. Han Well-Known Member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Wasn't that before the 1964 Presidential Election? I know Reagan produced "Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine" in 1961.
     
  17. Han Well-Known Member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Oh cool! I don't think I've ever run into you before, but I'll be on the lookout. :)
     
  18. Han Well-Known Member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Hey Historico! Thank you very much for the nice words! :D I've always enjoyed your TLs and your words of advice on the Atlas Forum, and I'm excited to be on the AH board.
     
  19. Van555 Social Reformist

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    Jun 30, 2010
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    Santa Clara Region, Republic of California
    This could be a very bad thing!
    Then again, it's no Agnew or anything!
     
  20. RogueBeaver Team Raitt

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal
    Rocky will be facing two "leaders of the opposition"- the junior senator from New York and the senior senator from Arizona. Should be fun. :cool: