AHC: President Robert D. Ray

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by David T, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. David T Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    One of the forgotten (except by Iowans of sufficient age...) figures of 1970's and 1980's politics: Iowa's long-serving very popular moderate Republican Governor Robert Ray, who died a few months ago. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_D._Ray Any way to get him on a national GOP ticket? (Almost certainly this would be as VP, not president, but once elected he's "a heartbeat away" etc.)

    Two possibilities: (1) Ford chooses him to replace Nelson Rockefeller as his running mate in 1976. Arguably he could help the ticket more than Dole (whose talk about "Democrat wars" was probably not helpful among swing voters). And Iowa was a swing state, as were nearby Illinois and Wisconsin and Missouri.

    (2) Reagan (or if he is nominated Bush) chooses Ray as his running mate in 1980 to appeal to midwestern farmers (who were angry over the grain embargo) and moderates.

    "As the 1980 Iowa caucuses approached, political campaigns courted him heavily for an endorsement in the first-in-the-nation contest.

    "“Every day there was either a candidate or somebody from a campaign wanting time with the governor to discuss an endorsement,” said Oman, Ray’s chief of staff. “He listened to them all, and he considered some of them.”

    "Ray no longer had the perceived weakness in foreign affairs that led Ford to pass him over for Dole for the vice presidential nod in 1976.

    "Ray’s work with refugees had made him a national spokesman on the issue, and he had traveled extensively abroad to promote Iowa exports, including stops in China and the Soviet Union in the summer of 1979.

    "While Ray never openly ruled out a White House run, he also never said he wanted national office. And when the 1980 caucuses arrived, he remained neutral, refusing to endorse anyone before the voting.

    "After the caucuses, Ray endorsed U.S. Senate leader Howard Baker, a moderate Republican from Tennessee with a reputation for compromise so renowned that he was known as the “Great Conciliator.”

    "George H.W. Bush won the Republican Iowa caucuses and ultimately became the vice presidential running mate of future President Ronald Reagan.

    "“Some people believe Ray could have been Bush’s vice presidential nominee, but I think Bob Ray just liked being governor of Iowa,” said Yepsen, the political reporter. .." https://www.desmoinesregister.com/s...ApbmL19ZItVKgaOJXdraLnh-hCTrVqY477JLQPUfJZCLQ
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    Aloha, NVB, marathag and 3 others like this.
  2. NVB Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2016
    The Buckeye State
    Reagan picks him as a running mate in 1980, he runs for a term of his own in 1988.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  3. Colonel Zoidberg Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    Ronald Reagan and Robert Ray. Try saying that five times fast on a cold day.

    And yes, that would work, as would Nixon picking him to replace Agnew - like let’s say Nixon met Ray, liked the guy, kept in contact and decided, what the hell, he’s the one who should replace Agnew. Bada Bing, bada Boom.
  4. dw93 Can't Afford to be a Donor

    May 8, 2015
    Ford/Dole win in 1976 and Dole edges out Reagan for the Republican nomination in 1980, picking Ray as his running mate. The Dole/Ray Ticket loses to the Democratic ticket. A Democratic administration elected in 1980 has a rocky term and the GOP nominates Ray in 1984. Ray beats out the Democratic incumbent in 1984.