2018 Presidential Election

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Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

Seaborn celebrates St. Patrick's Day with Irish prime minister

President Sam Seaborn celebrated St. Patrick's Day at the White House alongside Irish prime minister Jim Flanagan.

The president reaffirmed the celebration of Irish and Irish-American heritage and the United States' friendship with the Republic of Ireland.

"Many millions of Americans, myself included, have ancestors who hailed from Ireland," Seaborn said. "As a nation, we have a strong and enduring connection to the Emerald Isle, and today we celebrate that connection."

Flanagan reiterated Seaborn's words of friendship between Ireland and the United States. The Irish prime minister joked that the president "didn't have an excuse this year" to not meet on St. Patrick's Day, referencing the birth of the Seaborn twins the day before St. Patrick's Day 2020 that resulted in Flanagan's visit to the White House being postponed until April. The White House shared a picture of the aforementioned twins celebrating their first birthday yesterday, disclosing that thousands of articles of clothing and toys for infants had been sent to the White House by well-wishers since the president and First Lady Lauren Parker-Seaborn announced her pregnancy in 2019.

The two world leaders shared a Guinness and a closed-door meeting before Flanagan travelled to New York to celebrate with mayor Richard Corey.
 
A quick note that the BBC uses "Taoiseach" (the official term in both Irish & English for Ireland's head of government) while NBS uses "prime minister", reflecting general OTL usage between British and American news sources.
 
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Saturday March 20th 2021

Michigan Governor Ben Laurion announces Presidential run


Michigan Governor Ben Laurion has announced he is seeking the Republican nomination for President. The 50 year-old tweeted "I'm in", just after midnight (est) joining a field of four others so far in his party competing for the 2022 election.

The two-term Governor first elected in 2014, and re-elected four years later, is term-limited next year, formally announced his run for President at a morning event in Lansing. In his announcement speech, he promoted his legislative achievements as Governor including sorting out the states finances, lowering taxes, passing voter ID rules and anti-abortion measures. "If our reforms can work in a state like Michigan , they can work anywhere in America," he said. His appeal as a candidate is that he seems to be a candidate who energises the grass-roots conservative activists while, as a two term incumbent Governor of a moderate state (which voted Democrat at a Presidential level, the same day, he won both of his gubernatorial victories), he is still acceptable to the party's establishment, and appeal to "Vinick Republicans" and independent voters.

In running he will need to bridge that gap as the ideological components of his party are courted with more focused appeals by his competitors such as Ohio Senator Ruth Norton-Stewart and former Oklahoma Senator Alan Duke for the conservative vote, whilst he will be competing with Illinois Senator Jasper Irving for the more moderate and independently minded voters. If he could post strong results in solidly conservative Iowa and independent-minded New Hampshire in the opening primary battles next January, he'll have demonstrated that he can achieve such a feat and could be well on his way to the nomination.


He has already demonstrated an ability to win over voters who traditionally lean away from Republicans. Importantly, he’s done so without sacrificing his ideological conservative purity on issues that matter to the base of the party. He’s in favour of cutting government spending and lowering taxes. He opposes abortion, although it’s unclear whether he would actually change abortion laws. In virtually all policy areas, Walker is a “model conservative” but he has managed to present those policies in a more moderate and appealing way.
 
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Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Harris faces backlash from some within GOP over "culture war" focus

Speaker of the House Mitchell Harris (R-IN) has reportedly faced backlash from some within his party over the speaker's decision to highlight "culture war" issues instead of economic issues. Those close to the discussions say that the speaker, who took office in January following the Republican takeover of the House, has been pushing a strategy to de-emphasize planned legislation that would lower income tax rates, raise the age for full Social Security benefits to 70 for those born after 1965, and a planned budget that would sharply reduce non-military spending.

Instead, those sources say, Harris and others in the Republican leadership have decided to draw attention to what one GOP congressman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, called "red meat legislation." Chief among these are the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act, which would permanently ban taxpayer funding for abortions except in case of rape, incest or if the health of the mother is threatened, the Fairness In Women's Sports Act that would reduce Department of Education funding to schools and universities that allow transgender women and girls to participate in women's sports, and the Second Amendment Protection Act (SAPA) that would remove some restrictions on firearm ownership and automatically grandfathering in legally-purchased firearms that could be outlawed under future gun control proposals.

None of these acts are likely to become law with a Democratic president, and several Republican senators have told Senate Majority Leader Cody Riley (R-AL) they would vote against SAPA over its removal of restrictions on firearm ownership by people convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse or stalking. But the effect is reportedly to "highlight the contrasts [between the parties] and energize the base" ahead of 2022, one Republican strategist said.

Congresswoman Josie Bail (D-OH), chair of the House Democratic Caucus, criticized the Republican leadership on CBS' Face the Nation for what she called "playing politics" when further economic action is required. "The American people elect us to Congress to work with the president on important issues facing our country, and I find it hard to believe that [the American people] would consider keeping transgender girls out of women's sports to be more important than making sure people affected by this economic downturn can feed their families and keep a roof over their head."
 
It's funny how the 4 declared candidates for the Republican nomination are all from the same region. The Midwest.
We have five declared candidates:
  1. Gus Edwards, Former Michigan Congressman
  2. Alan Duke, Former Oklahoma Senator
  3. Ruth Norton-Stewart, Senator Ohio
  4. Jasper Irving, Senator Illinois
  5. Ben Laurion, Governor Michigan
 
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Wednesday March 24th 2021

Wu "can't make his mind up" about Presidential bid


Andrew Wu, the former two term Governor of North Carolina apparently "can't make up his mind" regarding getting into the 2022 presidential race.

Wu, 49, Governor of North Carolina between 2007 and 2015, seems to be undecided about entering the presidential race or running for North Carolina Governor once again. (Governors in the state are limited to two consecutive terms, but are eligible to run again after four years out of office, it would be eight years in Wu's case). Current Governor and former Senator David McNamara is term limited next year.

"He is really torn about what to do" a source close to the Governor Wu told NBS yesterday "Having decided at the last minute to sit out the 2018 race, he believes he does have a message and record which will appeal across all the wings of the party but he doesn't make rash decisions, he likes to weigh everything up, the problem is that the race may be passing he him by, by keep delaying, and a part of him just wants to return to be being Governor".

Wu's backstory of being born to South Korean and America parents in North Carolina (his father was South Korean who served in the US armed Forces, his Mother a Army nurse) is certainly an uplifting one, as is record as North Carolina Governor, but it does seem not for the first time, his time in making decisions seems to be looking costly.
 
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Andrew Wu is like Mario Cuomo in 1992. He can't make up his mind
Yes, that is a very fair point and also he has much in common with former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (Jindal was the template for Wu when he was created way back in 2009 on the original thread).
 
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Thursday March 25th 2021

Westminster by-election in Dundee East as SNP MP resigns to fight Scottish Parliament seat

A by-election will be held in the UK parliament constituency of Dundee East following the resignation of the sitting member MP Matthew Kennedy to run for the corresponding seat in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election to held on May 6th. This was necessitated by Scottish National Party rules which says any MP has to resign from Westminster prior to becoming a MSP candidate. The election will be held one week earlier than the Scottish Election on Thursday April 29th.

At the 2018 General election, Kennedy increased his majority to 6,764 after gaining it at the 2013 General Election by just 201 votes. It was represented by former SNP Leader Jock MacDonald from 1973 to 1987. Local Councillor Jamie McGarr has been confirmed as the SNP candidate.
 
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Saturday, March 27th, 2021

Congressman Alton Moore announces long-shot bid for presidency

Congressman Alton Moore (R-CA) announced his intention to seek his party's nomination today while at a visit to Charleston, South Carolina. The 11-term congressman for California's 49th district announced that he would run for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in lieu of seeking a twelfth term in Congress.

"It's a long, challenging road ahead, but I think it's the right thing to do for our country," Moore told a group of supporters in Charleston. "I'm running to restore our Constitution and the values of limited government and enforcement of laws that our current administration has abandoned."

Moore, 69, has represented the northern portions of San Diego County since 1999 and recently became the Chair of the House Administration Committee after his party won last year's midterm House elections. His policy positions and voting record have been rated as "very conservative" by interest groups, even bucking the party line to vote against small business loans, stating that it is "not the government's job to gamble with the people's money."

Prior to becoming a congressman, Moore served for five years in the United States Army after graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1974. After leaving the military as a captain, he became co-owner of a San Diego electronics business, which his oldest son, Darrell, now owns.

With his entry, Moore becomes the sixth Republican to seek the party's nomination to reclaim the White House. He faces long odds to win the party's nomination, with much lower name recognition and fundraising donations compared to other announced candidates like governor Ben Laurion (MI), senators Ruth Norton-Stewart (OH) and Jasper Irving (IL), and former senator Alan Duke (OK).

Moore's office has stated that the congressman "does not plan" on seeking re-election to Congress in 2022. Sam Seaborn, a native of Orange County, became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the 49th district since it was created in 1993, and the district is reportedly on a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) list of targets for next year's House elections.
 
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Sunday March 28th 2021

Scottish Green's will not contest Dundee East by-election


Joint-leader of the Scottish Green Party Patrick Burley confirmed to BBC Scotland today that the party would not be fielding a candidate at the upcoming Dundee East by-election which will be held on April 29th.

"No, we will not be fielding a candidate in Dundee East, and we urge all those voters who would normally support us to vote for the SNP candidate". The Scottish Green party which supports Scottish independence received only 842 votes (1.81%) of the vote the general election in September 2018.

In other news regarding the by-election the Conservatives have confirmed that Bobby McKeown who stood in 2018 and increased the party's share of the vote by over 10% will be the candidate once again.
 
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Wednesday March 31st 2021

Exclusive: NBS First Polling of the 2022 Republican nomination battle

NBS has worked with YouGov to make the first detailed survey of the Republican race for President in 2022.

Nationwide

Norton-Stewart: 26%
Duke: 19%
Laurion: 17%
Irving: 15%
Edwards: 2%
Moore: 1%
Undecided/other: 20%

Iowa
Duke: 26%
Laurion: 19%
Norton-Stewart: 18%
Irving: 12%
Edwards: 6%
Moore: 2%
Undecided/other: 17%

New Hampshire
Laurion: 27%
Norton-Stewart: 20%
Duke: 13%
Irving: 12%
Edwards: 8%
Moore: 1%
Undecided/other: 19%

South Carolina
Norton-Stewart: 26%
Duke: 20%
Laurion: 19%
Irving: 14%
Moore 2%
Edwards: 1%
Undecided/other: 18%
 
OOC: Another infobox set. This time, two (one current, one former) UK party leaders, the remaining main cast members from the original Star Trek, and another Trek doctor (but probably not the one you're expecting):

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Cast
Diana Muldaur as Katherine Mulholland (new character)
Grace Lee Whitney as Ellen Pierce (new casting)
Dominic Mafham as James Taylor
Majel Barrett as Lorraine Underhill (new character)
Anthony Head as Robert Webster

Yes, at least one Trek doctor actually gets to be a medical doctor (unless you think Phlox was a medical doctor who was just really interested in cartography).

Mulholland is the first ATL Surgeon General, and replaces this fashionable beast. There are a couple shout-outs to Muldaur's roles in Star Trek (she appeared twice in the Original Series before spending a season on the Enterprise-D).
Janice Rand gets a good consolation prize: the second ATL Second Lady.

Not a whole lot to add: the former Mrs. Pierce outlives her husband and died when Whitney did IOTL. I corrected a mistake in her husband's infobox and corrected the number of children the couple had (her husband's infobox incorrectly listed 5 children with Ryan Pierce as their son; they actually only had four and Ryan is the former vice president's nephew).
Taylor was the leader of the UK Conservative Party when the old thread started and resigned after an incredibly hapless leadership. He made a sort-of comeback in 2013 when he got elected in the first of the UK's gubernatorial elections and (I'm assuming) was re-elected in 2017.

ITTL, Taylor holds the distinction as the only Conservative Party leader (since the party formally began having one leader in 1922) to have never been prime minister at some point, while IOTL there were three (the party's leaders during the Blair years until David Cameron took over in 2005).
Barrett (Nurse Chapel in the original series) is the final main cast member of the original series to have a role in TWWverse. Underhill is a new character that was created by @Prometheus_2300 when he and I were working out TTL's senators since 1985 and everything lined up to put Barrett into the role.

I based Underhill's career off of Harriet Woods. The only other notable new character (besides her) is John Ashford, who is the second ATL governor of Missouri (Kelso Templeton, who future president Glen Allen Walken got his start in politics under, is the first). I threw in a couple of nods to Barrett's role as Lwaxana Troi and her marriage to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.
Webster's the outgoing leader of the NPP. His biography was done here. The only real new information is his alma mater, wife's name & number of children.

I'd been operating under the assumption that NPP were essentially TTL's UKIP, so it came as a surprise when I looked back and found out that they're actually TTL's BNP that essentially cleaned up their image enough to elect MPs. Which is pretty wild, considering that Webster himself was a member (and candidate!) of a party that espoused this horrible drivel.
 
Taylor was the leader of the UK Conservative Party when the old thread started and resigned after an incredibly hapless leadership. He made a sort-of comeback in 2013 when he got elected in the first of the UK's gubernatorial elections and (I'm assuming) was re-elected in 2017.
Taylor was written as a mixture of William Hague, IDS, Liam Fox and David Cameron. He was re-elected in 2017 and is running for a third term in May (no term limits).
I'd been operating under the assumption that NPP were essentially TTL's UKIP, so it came as a surprise when I looked back and found out that they're actually TTL's BNP that essentially cleaned up their image enough to elect MPs. Which is pretty wild, considering that Webster himself was a member (and candidate!) of a party that espoused this horrible drivel.
Just to explain the brief history of the NPP and the National Democrats and the links to the real world. The National Democrats where formed in 1995 as a anti-EU party from the Conservatives (think of the whip less Tory MP's under Mayor's leadership combined with James Goldsmith Referendum Party ). Webster's NPP where based on the BNP (originally), but when I wrote the Webster bio, I saw him understanding that the far-right couldn't keep being like the National Front, and he wanted the party as a "Patriotic working class party". During the noughties he steadily moved the party more and more into the political mainstream, and was competing with the National Democrats as an "anti-EU " party. The party was further helped with the collapse of the National Dems after the 2013 General Election, and the NPP picking up both former Nat Dem Councillors and donors. (Of course in the real world it was the BNP that has collapsed, whilst UKIP was successful in 2014 and the 2015 General Election, it has now totally collapsed as a far right fringe-party, and has been replaced by the "Reform Party" (formally Brexit) as the mainstream right-wing alternative, whilst appealing to Labour voting areas and older former Conservative voters. (This is basically how I have written the NPP since 2013 onwards).
 
Just a little bit of housekeeping, for those wondering about profiles for the two latest declared presidential candidates, Ben Laurion and Alton Moore, I should have these done in the next week or so.
 
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