AHC: Ross Perot Wins or Deadlocks in 1992

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by John Fredrick Parker, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. John Fredrick Parker Donor

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    The Senate can only choose from the two Vice President candidates with the most electoral votes; so in the event of the Democrats coming in third, the Democratic Senators are probably more likely to pick Ross Perot's running mate than they are to vote in the Republican nominee.

    CONSOLIDATE: So looking at the list of potential candidates - let’s say one of them is picked by Perot, their ticket comes in second and deadlocks the election, and they subsequently become President (either Acting President due to deadlocked House, or they ascend quickly some other way).

    What would their presidency (take your pick) look like? And how is history changed?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  2. dwkelley Member

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    No, I think the Democrats will cut a deal with the Republicans to freeze out the third party. A bi-partisan vote for Clinton for President, Quayle (!) for Vice-President, and the Republicans get to name certain Cabinet officials (most of Defense, and part of State is my guess). Now, how that deal plays out in the rest of the country in the 1994 House / Senate elections is anyone's guess. Does Perot try to build a "national" party (candidates at more levels other than just President / VP)? And does Perot try again in 96?
     
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  3. John Fredrick Parker Donor

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    ... Why? What do Democrats gain by joining with the Right to freeze out the Center? Why would Republicans vote for a Democratic President just to make Dan Quayle Vice President? This kind of move makes no political sense.
     
  4. dwkelley Member

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    I think its a case of realpolitik. The Republicans can hold their nose and accept Clinton (who they know they can make deals with - remember that "compromise" isn't quite as dirty a word back then) with a sweetener of getting a good chunk of the appointments, or they can take Perot. If they take Perot, he gets four years on center stage, naming all the appointments, making policy recommendations, sending budgets to Congress, sending legislation to Congress (Perot will find at least one Congressman to sponsor it), etc. He gets four years on TV (again remember, this is before the Internet) saying "this is what I would do ... if the Democrats and Republicans weren't blocking me". Both the D's and R's are looking at four years appearing to either be obstructing him or (if they go along with him) being his lapdog. Either way, you see in 1994 and 1996 people running under the Perot flag for Senate, Congress, Governor, legislatures, mayors, and so forth. (I guess they can go Bush / Stockdale, especially if Clinton finishes a really distant third. But Stockdale is of course Perot's guy and so you still get four years of Stockdale standing with Perot, sniping from the VP chair.) The Republicans willfully ignore all the "intern issues" with Clinton to prevent an schism (no impeachment TTL!), but again they can privately hold that over him in order to get continued compromise.

    TL;DR: rather than give Perot four years of the Bully Pulpit to form a new party that will take political power away from both established parties, the Ds and Rs will agree to freeze him out and force him to try to set up a new political party from the "outside" (or hopefully go away instead), while showing at least a facade of compromise.
     
  5. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    Because in 1992, the parties weren't nearly as polarized as they are now. Both the GOP and Dems were still very much big tent parties. Want an excellent example? Elizabeth Warren was a Republican until 1996. Richard Shelby (Senator from Alabama) was still a Democrat in 92. Unlike now where the GOP is highly Conservative and the Dems are highly liberal, in 1992, both parties had Conservative and Liberal wings. Another excellent example, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Harry Blackmun was a Republican. And was widely considered the most Liberal Justice the court had ever seen. He was also the author of the decision in Row v. Wade.

    That's why the the two major parties would work together to stonewall Perot from the Presidency. They weren't nearly as ideologically divided 20+ years ago.

    And actually looking at it, what if they cut this deal: assuming Bill finishes a distant third in the general election, the House agrees to reelect Bush Sr to a second term, knowing that anyone they elect will be a lame duck for the entirety of their term. The Senate elects Al Gore as VP, giving the Democrats the tie breaker in the Senate. Bush would be effectively hamstrung in getting legislation passed and the Democrats look set to pick up more seats in 1994. And in 1996, after 16 years of a Republican in the White House, the Democrats likely win in a landslide.
     
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  6. John Fredrick Parker Donor

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    @dwkelley Hm, if the goal is to shut Ross Perot up and to hurt his chances creating a viable Third Party, then I'm not sure that "stealing" the White House (and Vice Presidency to boot) is the smart move here. And this rationale makes even less sense for Democrats in the Senate, since we all know what people say about the Office of the Vice President (in the pre Cheney era anyway); and to do go on record as saying they would rather Dan F***ing Quayle of all people be Vice President than whoever Perot picks TTL (be it Healy, Kirkpatrick, Brown, etc) is just straight up baffling and, by all appearances, politically suicide.

    @SsgtC If the Democrats came in third (in the EC), the (Democrats in the) Senate won’t be able to vote for them; they literally and constitutionally have to choose between San Quayle and whoever Perot picks.
     
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  7. Histor32 Kicked

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    I think if Stockdale got a chance to speak in between politicians that were unqualified as humans to be there he would have done fine .. That said tv is make or break.

    For Perot to win he had continue doing what he was doing .. Educate the public

    But he needed to have a plan that he was selling to win therm over. And that plan wasn't being being given out to debate upon early enough.

    Republicans nor democrats wanted what he was selling - no !one I'm not from kickbacks, bribes and lobbying.

    Perot was a lot of thinga , but the man put his money where his mouth was and called.it a iit was. May be rest in peace

    I voted and campaigned for him. I had neighbors rip out signs from my yard, even say nasty things because insolvent support the parry status quo.

    What ever ..
     
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  8. Mr_Fanboy Well-Known Member

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    To give Perot any chance of winning outright, you would need to seriously derail the general election campaigns of both Bush and Clinton. Fortunately, the nature of each party's 1992 primary season creates something of an opening.

    Folks forget this, but Jerry Brown had strong showings in several primaries during the later stages of the Democratic primary season before losing some steam due to gaffes. Here, have him avoid said gaffes and continue his momentum all the way to the DNC, with several commentators describing him as essentially the presumptive nominee. However, due to Clinton's early primary wins, nobody goes into the convention with a majority of delegates. In what is widely derided as an unfair backroom deal after the fact, Clinton is able to marshal just enough support with the party establishment to win the nomination. An outraged Brown, encouraged by his supporters and even those who were previously neutral, decides to cast his lot with Perot and join the independent ticket as a running mate. This means that Perot does not merely have a prominent running mate, but one widely considered to be the rightful Democratic presidential nominee. Tsongas, who was equally sympathetic to Perot beforehand and disgusted by the choice of Clinton, openly endorses and campaigns for the Perot/Brown ticket. Clinton is initially able to retain the support of most Democrats with a more conventional choice of running mate than Gore, perhaps a northeastern liberal such as Bradley or Cuomo, but then a massive sex scandal surfaces at some point in the general election. Maybe Juanita Broaddrick, after seeing all of the negative media attention that Clinton in the aftermath of the DNC, is more willing to publicly accuse him of rape during the general election campaign. Clinton never recovers - perhaps the party even replaces him on the ticket with another candidate late in the game, but that just creates more chaos that does not allow the new candidate to gain much traction.

    On the Republican side, Pat Buchanan narrowly defeats Bush in the New Hampshire primary, which gives him the momentum necessary to seriously contest other early primaries. Bush still ultimately wins, of course, but the fact that Buchanan won anything against a sitting president at all convinces his team that he needs to shore up his support among cultural conservatives. Dan Quayle makes some sort of serious gaffe (which is certainly not implausible) which creates the perfect opportunity for the Bush campaign to replace him on the ticket with someone like Jesse Helms, who gives a speech at the RNC that makes Buchanan's OTL convention speech look like it was written by Ted Kennedy in comparison. Buchanan himself, though, sulks over what he perceives as dirty tricks employed by Bush to smear him and derail his campaign. Already sympathetic to Perot's position on trade, Buchanan is conspicuously absent from the RNC and, while he may or may not openly endorse Perot, he certainly does make some very positive public statements about the man. Thus, Bush gets all the blow-back from moderates one would expect from picking a person like Helms to be his running mate without even improving his standing very much among Buchanan voters.

    Throw in a serious scandal for Bush as well as Clinton during the general election, and Perot may have a real chance to win the election outright.
     
  9. JMT Emperor of the Niners

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    What if Clinton just doesn't win the Primary? Have Brown win or have an alternate popular Southern Democrat jump in.
     
  10. Thomas Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    My impression is that Brown and Perot appealed to the same people, so a Brown primary probably means Perot doesn't run or doesn't gain any traction.
     
  11. LuckyLuciano Well-Known Member

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    Someone ought to right this into a fully fledged timeline
     
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  12. John Fredrick Parker Donor

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    True, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Clinton is the best man to lose to Perot... though then again, Tsongas liked Perot too, so unless Bob Kerry would do worse, it might actually be Clinton.
     
  13. Thomas Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Clinton is probably the worst of the Democratic candidates who actually ran, but I could see Cuomo being a big flop.
     
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  14. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    I rather like the idea that Perot forces it to the House, Perot cuts a deal with Clinton to pick a third to half of his cabinet, and then Perot goes off and wins the 1993 Special Election for Lloyd Bentsen's Senate seat. He proceeds to use his position in the Senate and strong personal relationship with half of Clinton's Cabinet to rival the President himself in terms of American political power.
     
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  15. Wendell Wendell

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    If You're the Republicans under these circumstances, are you going to try to get Senator Perot to run for president as a Republican in 1996, and is Clinton challenged in the Democratic primary?
     
  16. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    Perot was Pro-Choice, anti-intervention mostly, and for universal healthcare. He'd be a funny Republican. I think he'd try for Texas as an Independent in 1993.
     
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  17. Wendell Wendell

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    So is Donald Trump. Do Republicans want to risk a repeat of 1992 with Perot remaining very prominent after 1992?
     
  18. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    Officially, Donald Trump is the most pro-life person ever and hates socialism with a passion. Also this was before Iraq and 2008 discredit GOP leadership.

    Perot wasn't a Republican and the Republicans aren't going to recruit Perot.
     
  19. Wendell Wendell

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    Perot got as far as he did on Republican discontent.
     
  20. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    Exit polls had him at 38-38-24 Democrat-Republic-NonVoters when asking who the second choice of his voters were.

    If you look at the polls when Perot was in the 30s, Bush was only in the low 30s (he ultimately got 37%) and Clinton was in the 20s (he ultimately got 43%). It wasn't a matter of pure Republican discontent.
     
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