Alternate Wikipedia Infoboxes V (Do Not Post Current Politics Here)

The Alternate 2001 F1 season Driver and Car Lineups
View attachment 447433
A few things: 1. That incident in 2000 not only got Michael sacked from Ferrari, but from the sport too? Where'd he go?
2. Did DC get sacked by McLaren or picked up by Jordan?
3. What's Montoya doing at Jaguar?
4. Ferrari Beat McLaren yet one of their drivers was disqualified? Shouldn't McLaren have the #1?
5. Thank you for giving Salo a full-time drive!
6. Why swap Panis and Verstappen? I like it but I don't get it.
7. Also Trulli seems like a random choice for McLaren.
A few things: 1. That incident in 2000 not only got Michael sacked from Ferrari, but from the sport too? Where'd he go?
2. Did DC get sacked by McLaren or picked up by Jordan?
3. What's Montoya doing at Jaguar?
4. Ferrari Beat McLaren yet one of their drivers was disqualified? Shouldn't McLaren have the #1?
5. Thank you for giving Salo a full-time drive!
6. Why swap Panis and Verstappen? I like it but I don't get it.
7. Also Trulli seems like a random choice for McLaren.
Thank's for the questions! Here's some of the reasoning behind the decisions.
1. After the incident, the FIA proved that Schumacher deliberately tried to take Hakkinen and so as this was the 3rd type of accident that Schumacher had been in, the FIA came down hard on him, banning from F1 until 2003.

2.DC had a woeful season and was on his way out of McLaren. Out of the potential replacements: Fisichella had joined Ferrari, Ralf would've been a bad move PR wise after the Schumacher controversy, Montoya and Button had too little experience, and Frenzten had already made a mess of his previous drive at a top team. So it left Trulli, who had a good season At Jordan, as the best option so a swap deal was agreed. Giving McLaren an up and coming driver while still leaving DC in a decent car for 2001.

3. Williams decided to keep hold of Button and Jaguar were able to outbid BAR to get Montoya in the car.

4. Ferrari wasn't punished as they had no involvement in the incident so they kept their constructors' points even though Schumacher was disqualified.

5. He deserved it! Demolishing Diniz in a poor Sauber car.

6. Verstappen was the best experienced driver Benetton could get as Alesi was past it and Jos had a successful at Arrows. And Arrows wanted a steady hand alongside de la Rosa and Panis was available so he was signed up.

7. See number 2

Hope that's satisfactory. Let me know if you have any more questions.
Of course, Danish may be different in this universe, but I'd change it to "Jyllands Grønne Føderation" or preferably "Jyllands Grønne Alliance". 'Føderation' is a weird word to describe a political party in Danish. 'Af' means 'by' as in 'made by'.
Thank you! I was sure I messed up the Danish but didn't know any better translations lmao.

Wikiboxes from a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.

I didn't realize Amidala and Mothma were both born in the same year until I made these! Interesting how they're associated most prominently with very different eras. I used mooostly canon content where possible, probably messed up stuff.

Wikiboxes from a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.

I didn't realize Amidala and Mothma were both born in the same year until I made these! Interesting how they're associated most prominently with very different eras. I used mooostly canon content where possible, probably messed up stuff.
Wonder if " death caused by Broken heart" will be a catagory

From the timeline linked in my sig.

The West Wing, Aladdin, Jack Ryan series, Empire Earth, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Homeland, 24, Cory in the House, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Scandal, In the Loop, Undercover Brother, GI Joe, Army Wives, The Thick of It, Doctor Who
View attachment 447664
From the timeline linked in my sig.

The West Wing, Aladdin, Jack Ryan series, Empire Earth, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Homeland, 24, Cory in the House, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Scandal, In the Loop, Undercover Brother, GI Joe, Army Wives, The Thick of It, Doctor Who
This might be the first call info box I’ve seen that references both The West Wing and Cory in The House
Added Bail and changed a couple things Padme and Mothma.
I approve of this.

What means "BrS" and "GrS" in the dates?

From the timeline linked in my sig.

The West Wing, Aladdin, Jack Ryan series, Empire Earth, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Homeland, 24, Cory in the House, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Scandal, In the Loop, Undercover Brother, GI Joe, Army Wives, The Thick of It, Doctor Who
That's a lot of stuffs.
Biden, And His Son Barack
Part 1 (of 3)

Who knows why Joe Biden chose to travel to Hawaii instead of the Bahamas? Not even the man himself can remember, it’s been too long. Both destinations were available, and perhaps it was a choice as simple and arbitrary as a coin flip. The fact remains, though, that it was Joe Biden’s choice to spend his spring break in Honolulu, and that is where he met the love of his life.

Ann Dunham typically did not date men like Joe – she preferred the different, the exotic, the taboo. It was why she’d been eyeing a Javanese student at her school recently. Biden, though, was courteous, funny, and had a quality she’d found lacking in her significant others of late – direction. Joe knew he was aiming for the Senate, and was glad to share his vision of a better tomorrow with whomever cared to listen (and he wasn’t all bark and no bite, either. When in high school, Joe participated in an anti-segregation sit-in at a Wilmington, Delaware theatre. Ann admired such activism). Ann listened, and liked what she heard – so much so that she invited him back to her place, which is how Joe learned of Ann’s Black son from her previous marriage. Ann watched his reaction. He passed with flying colors.

Ann, Barack and Joe:

[ ]

Joe Biden and Ann Dunham were married in the summer of 1965. Together, they had several children of their own (Beau in 1969, Bob in 1970, Fallon in 1971, and Zoe in 1974), and later adopted two more from overseas (Nomi (b. 1980) from Cambodia in 1981, and Moe (b. 1982) from Paraguay in 1984). Ann’s fiery progressive political beliefs soon clashed with those of the more centrist Joe, the breakfast table becoming a forum for political discussion, with the children – especially Ann’s oldest – being the audience. These were the talks that convinced Joe to participate in the anti-war demonstrations at the close of his college experience and the start of his time on the Wilmington City Council, and these were the talks that molded Joe’s underdog candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 1972. His bid to unseat Republican incumbent J. Caleb Boggs ended in victory, arguably in large part thanks to Joe and Ann becoming an effective politickin’ team.

A very busy Senator Biden focused on consumer protection, the environment, and greater government accountability, writing several laws with a variety of success. As a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Policy committee, Joe reviewed and criticized President Ford’s suspension of aid to Israel from March to September 1975. Joe joined other Senators in admonishing the President for retaining economic sanctions against Rhodesia throughout his Presidency, despite them ultimately being lifted in the wake of a pro-UK government being established in that country in 1979. Ann, meanwhile, was not content with only mothering duties. After years of teaching English to immigrant workers in Wilmington and New Castle, she began work at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum in 1973. Joe received national attention in 1975 when he broke with fellow liberals and took to legislatively limit desegregation busing, claiming the practice went against “common sense.” In light of having an adoptive black 14-year-old son, the move was heavily alienating to blacks and whites, but the anger had subsided by the time he was running for re-election to the senate in 1978. Joe also was criticized by the Catholic Church for supporting Roe-v-Wade, saying on local radio “I believe that life begins at conception, but it is neither my place nor the government’s place to impose religious beliefs onto the public at large.”

In 1976, Ford considered dumping Rockefeller from the ticket and replacing him with a more conservative Republican. Reagan was out of the question, and Baker declined. Dole was approached, but due to his busy schedule working on legislation with Senator Biden, he recommended freshman Senator Paul Laxalt instead. Ford was wary of choosing such a close ally of Reagan, but Reagan giving a speech in support of the move convinced him the move could win over the Reagan primary voters in the general election.

That fall, Joe and Ann were critical of the Democratic nominee, former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia, especially for “allegedly” appealing to racist-inclined voters during the 1970 gubernatorial race and for a comment he made in April 1976 (“I have nothing against a community that is...trying to maintain the ethnic purity of their neighborhoods”). In October, however, revelations concerning Carter campaign advisor Bert Lance’s connections to loans made to Carter’s peanut business from a bank controlled by Lance led to allegations that funds were being illegally diverted to Carter’s campaign. A 1977 investigation found no evidence to there being any truth to any of the claims, but such vindication came far too late to save Carter from being branded “as scandalous as Nixon” from Laxalt, Reagan, and other Republican figures, irony be damned.

In the end, though, Ford won over Carter. While both Democrats and Republicans broke even in the Senate, the House saw the Democrats gain only one seat, totaling 292 for them and 143 for the Republicans. Ford began his second term with a pledge to pass a tax reform bill and reassert America’s position on the world stage.

Meanwhile, Senator Biden was increasing his national profile. In the mold of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Joe visited South Africa in 1978 and admonished the nation’s apartheid policy. Backing a policy of arms control, Joe then supported the ultimately unsuccessful attempt at a SALT II Treaty in 1979, and urged President Ford to respond to the Soviet war in Afghanistan with extreme caution: “The American people will never accept another Vietnam.” By then, Ann had become one of the most visible “Senator wives” on the Hill, even more so than Senator John Warner’s wife, Elizabeth Taylor, the famous actress. Known for her outspokenness, Ann publicly disagreed with anyone without hesitance. She even sparred with her husband over his support for a crime reform act that was ultimately shot down in 1976. Ann championed for women’s rights and rural development, and co-ran for husband’s 1978 re-election bid with a focus on grass-roots development. Their children, especially the then-17-year-old Barack, covered the state of Delaware, which contributed to Joe winning 65-to-34.

Joe was not the only Democrat to each victory in the 1978 midterms. Dick Clark (IA), Toney Anaya (NM), and Bob Krueger (TX) won election while Thomas McIntyre (NH) won re-election; these wins contributed to the Democrats gaining net of 2 seats, totaling 61 seats for them and 38 seats for the Republicans (with Senator Harry Byrd winning another term as an Independent). For the House, Ford’s unpopularity lead to the Democrats gaining 17 seats, totaling 309 seats for them and 126 seats for the Republicans. Ford’s post-midterm legislation problems were compounded in January 1979, when the Iranian Revolution led to the execution of the Shah of Iran, the ousting of American personnel from the nation’s borders, and the nationalizing of Iran’s oil depositing, sparking a worldwide energy crisis. In March, Ford ordered the CIA to attempt a countercoup, only for the operation the fail spectacularly by May after Ford publicly celebrated the “independent” rebels in April. Ford spent the rest of his term focused on domestic issues in the hope of saving the economy and, in turn, salvaging his legacy.

After months of deliberation, Joe sat down with Ann – he believed that 1980 would be their year. Barack, Beau, Bob, Fallon, and even 4-year-old Zoe were onboard; Ann enthusiastically concurred.

Joe declared his bid for the Presidency on June 9, 1979, at age 36. The young politician appealed to the baby boomers and young voters, but initially was not taken that seriously despite his resume due to his age. As the primaries approached, it seemed that the leftist wing of the party was split between him, Senator Kennedy (whose fallen brother Joe seemed to emulate more so than Ted himself) and Governor Jerry Brown, with the more conservative Fritz Hollings and Scoop Jackson being the two other major candidates. As Joe and Ann’s family histories and humble roots gained attention and Biden triumphed in the pre-primary debates, old accusations of Joe committing plagiarism in college soon resurfaced. After the Washington Post revealed it was the Ted Kennedy campaign behind the accusations, Joe called the Senator a hypocrite, pointing out Ted’s own history of academic controversies. As Iowa neared, attacks in the form of false rumors concerning Ann and Barack backfired when Joe and Ann filmed an ad emphasizing themes of family and multicultural understanding. While Republicans and conservatives showed “bleeding heart!” then ad raised their profile and allowed the Biden “power couple” to edge out Jackson and Senator Dale Bumpers in the January 21 Iowa caucuses, causing the money-hemorrhaging Jackson to drop out.

Kennedy won the February 27 New Hampshire primary as expected, albeit by a smaller-than-expected margin, and lost the February 10 Maine in an upset. The March 4 Massachusetts primary suddenly became competitive. Ted and Joan Kennedy’s respective battles with alcoholism, plus Brown repeatedly reminding voters of the fatal Chappaquiddick incident in which Ted played a part, was just enough for Ted’s home state to reject him for the less controversial Joe Biden (Kennedy refused to drop out, and ultimately won only Connecticut and Vermont before dropping out on April 27). Super Tuesday saw the more moderate Bumpers suddenly gain prominence in the race, breathing momentum into his fledgling campaign, while Brown’s campaign continued to falter until ultimately bowing out in early May.

A string of victories in northern states secured Senator Biden’s place as the frontrunner, but Bumper’s wins were enough to make the primaries competitive all the way until June. Despite having enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot, Joe sensed that he would lose if he failed to win over the more conservative Democratic base that Bumpers had tapped into. After vetting several candidates such as Senators Frank Church, John Glenn, Lloyd Bentsen, Jim Sasser, and Congressman Mo Udall, Joe chose Bumpers himself to be his running mate for the sake of party unity. The July convention led to a significant bump in the polls, bringing hope to the Democrats.

On the Republican side of the aisle, Laxalt declined to run to succeed the term-limited President Ford, seeing 1980 as the very last chance for his aging friend Ronald Reagan to win the White House. Others did not think the same, and ultimately Congressman John Anderson, former Governor John Connally, Senator Howard Baker, Congressman Phil Crane, Senator Bob Dole, Senator Bill Brock and Senator Charles Mathias threw their respective hats into the ring. While Connally and Baker dropped out before the primaries, Crane refused to bow out due to his belief that the party needed a fresher conservative face. Reagan trouncing him in pre-Iowa debates prevented the Congressman from siphoning too many votes away from the former Governor’s campaign. The more liberal Anderson and Mathias, meanwhile, cancelled each other out as the campaign wore on, and Dole failed to situate himself as a compromise moderate candidate. Brock proved insignificant, but still refused to drop out even after Reagan clinched the nomination in April. Reagan entered the RNC in August without a definite running mate; believing Bumpers’ selection could cost them vital southern states, his advisors convinced him to pick the more establishment-friendly Senator Baker for running mate, the pick becoming official the day before the vote. After weeks a heavy debate, Anderson decided against a third-party or independent bid and instead endorsed Biden as being “the lesser of two evils.”

Biden/Bumpers campaigned on the same issues of Joe’s 1972 senate race: environmental protection, civil rights assurance, improving public transportation, more equitable taxation, and healthcare. Bumpers agreed on opposing school prayer and inserted farm relief and small businesses protection into the campaign mix. Both men were energetic on the campaign trail, and extensively visited multiple states. The fiscally-oriented progressive voters enjoyed how Joe was one of the least wealthy members of the Senate, but not his and Bumpers’ acceptance of donations from major donors. The ticket also appealed to organized labor, with Biden voting in favor of a major labor law reform bill in 1978, while Bumpers missed the vote but stated in 1980 that he would have voted in favor of it as well.

After 12 years of executive control, Reagan feared voter fatigue of the Republican label would cause him to lose despite clearly distancing himself from Ford. The Republicans responded with dogging Joe Biden over past plagiarism concerns, including his failing to site passages lifted from a 1967 RFK speech Biden used in a rally held shortly after the DNC. On a more positive note, but nominees campaigned with charm, humor and optimism. Both men also pledged to nominate a woman to the US Supreme Court, should a seat be vacated.

Debates between Joe and Reagan, if anything, demonstrated their generational divide, with Joe questioning Reagan’s health and Reagan famously criticizing Joe’s “youth and inexperience,” a jab that came off as mean-spirited and uncouth for a potential President. Another controversial remark came when the third debate’s head moderator asked about American sanctions on Iran, and Reagan, in criticizing Ford’s sanctions as “weak,” suggested he would send troops to overthrow its new government. Biden simply and bluntly rebutted with “killing people over there won’t help people over here,” and added that an invasion of Iran could lead to another Vietnam, and that the oil crisis demonstrated the need to focus on domestic oil production as a way to increase jobs at home. In the final weeks, these comments made up much of the political discussion in the media.

As the date approached, polls showed Joe in the lead, and such premature talk of his victory threatened to keep less active Biden Backers at home rather, than stand in line to cast their ballots. On election night, Joe, Ann, and the children gathered in Delaware with his campaign staff to await the results, and leapt for upon the announcement that Joseph Biden would be the next President of the United States.

The Senate saw Democrats gain 11 seats. Jim Folsom Jr. (AL), Clark Gruening (AS), John Culver (IA), Elizabeth Holtzman (NY), and Pete Flaherty (PA) won election, while Herman Talmadge (GA), Frank Church (ID), Birch Bayh (IN), John A. Durkin (NH), Robert Morgan (NC) and Gaylord Nelson (WI) won re-election, giving their party 72 seats in total, compared to the Republicans’ mere 27 seats (with the 50th seat held by the Independent Harry Byrd). The House saw Democrats gain 29 seats, increasing their majority even further, from 309 to 341, leaving Republicans with just 97 seats.

The transitional period was an eventful string of weeks as Joe, Ann, and their family members – the Bidens, the Dunhams, and even the Obamas way over in Kenya – rejoiced in the start of a new era in American history:

On November 20, the President-elect celebrated his 38th birthday.

On December 10, a man named John W. Hinckley Jr. was arrested after attempting to fire a gun at outgoing Governor Ford; Ford was uninjured in the assassination attempt (Ford’s third in total), for which Hinckley was controversially found not guilty by reason of insanity in September 1981 and spent the next 25 years under psychiatric care.

Finally, on January 20, 1981, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 39th and youngest-ever U.S. President.

Then Joe got shot. Just 38 days into office (on February 27, a Friday), Joseph Paul Franklin (1950-2013) took a sniper position on a rooftop across from a hotel in Pittsburgh and waited for Joe to exit from delivering a speech on the return of employment opportunities to the region. A secret serviceman spotted Franklin and jumped to cover Joe, depriving Franklin of a clean shot. Desperate, he blindly fired several rounds, and one of the bullets caught Joe squarely in the shoulder. Joe was immediately rushed to the local hospital, where doctors discovered the specifics of the shot – it had missed his heart, but Joe was quickly losing blood. As the media reported the incident, Franklin was cornered by police and shot twice in the chest, but survived. As it turned out, both Joe and Franklin were operated on at the same hospital and in adjacent rooms. Six hours after the shooting, President Biden appeared on national TV from his hospital room, the bandages on his shoulder peeking out from under his clothes: “Our nation’s systems of communication and medical attention were in full display today; the swiftness and excellence of Pittsburgh’s EMTs, doctors, police, and reporters demonstrate one of the many great elements of America – our efficient ability to ward back and prevail over discord when faced with a potential crisis. ...I’ll be back to work on Monday!”

Subsequent FBI interrogations revealed that Franklin was a white supremacist serial killer. During police interrogations, he admitted to murdering and attempting to murder several interracial couples, Jews, and African-Americans between 1977 and 1980, and had been stalking members of the Biden family for months. He also claimed to have unsuccessfully tried to fire at publisher Larry Flint in 1978 for publishing interracial sex in an edition of Hustler magazine, and admitted to committing the near-fatal shooting of civil rights activist Vernon Jordan in 1980. In October 1981, Franklin received five life sentences without the chance of parole until 2001. In prison, exposure to and conversations with African-American inmates led to him renouncing his views; this, however, led to him being killed in prison in 2013 by a white supremacist inmate for “betraying us [white supremacists].”

Once return to work, President Biden’s focus on anti-gun violence legislation led to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Bill of 1981, which in its early stages proposed increasing prison sentences and potentially create a financial incentive for jailing people and keeping them there for longer time periods. Many critics pointed to First Lady Ann being behind the “first draft” being significantly revised, as she was concerned over the potential impact that version of the bill could have on minorities. A second version of the bill emerged in 1982 that promoted the hiring of more police officers, the promotion of citizen oversight committees for high-crime areas, and the building of more prisons, which would create jobs but not financial ties to filling these prisons by minimizing the monetary “value” of inmates. With Ann’s influence, Joe opposed capital punishment being added to the bill in any way. Joe finally signed it into law in mid-1982, with Republicans and conservative Democratic politicians failing to overrule said veto.

On the judicial side of things, Associate Justice Potter Stewart stepped down in July 1981. His replacement ended up being 55-year-old Shirley Ann Mount Hufstedler (1925-2016) of California, a Circuit Appeals Judge since 1968 and the very first female Supreme Court Justice.

Meanwhile, First Lady Ann championed the women’s movement, and called for “homemakers and housewives everywhere” to do their part in making the world a better place for the next generation. She promoted handicrafts and vocational education programs, and consulted with rural development organizations. In an unprecedented move in regards to a First Lady’s direct involvement in her husband’s policies, Ann even worked on a microfinance micro-credit systems model for the Treasury Department in 1982. The next year, she convinced her husband to issue an official apology for the Trail of Tears and increase Federal assistance to Native American tribes. With accusations of being the “power behind the throne” and occasionally wearing clothing deemed “too revealing” by conservatives, Ann proved herself to be a very open and outgoing First Lady.

Joe’s experience and connections made in the Senate quickly produced the legislation that became the 1983 Campaign Finance Reform Act, the 1981 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act, and the 1981 Consumer and Consumer Goods and Services Protection Act (which was praised as “a triumphant victory” by consumer advocate Ralph Nader). Additionally, Joe lift Ford’s 1978 grain embargo against the USSR, which had led to decreasing US exports and had developed a burden for farmers. Working with Vice President Bumpers, Joe lowered interest rates for farming equipment and farmland prices, which impeded foreclosures as it helped farmers pay their mortgages. Grateful, Democrats saw several victories in rural areas during the 1982 elections.

As 1982 progress, a growing number of gaffes led to the President’s popularity waning, and increasingly criticized as “vein,” “inexperienced” and “immature” by talking head on the right. However, close allies saw that as the years and responsibilities of the office grew on him, Joe became “more mature each month,” according to the former head of Secret Service.

In September, Joe passed the Cabinet Departments Reorganization Act. The secretary position of Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, headed by June Lazenby Green (I-DC), was split into the secretary positions of Health and Human Services (headed by Elmo Hunter (D-MO)), Education (headed by June Green), and Welfare (headed by Neilia Hunter (R-NY)). Additionally, the office of Housing and Urban Development (headed by Soapy Williams (D-MI) was renamed “Housing and Community Development.”

For the economy, Joe tried to walk the thin line between protectionism and free trade, ultimately leaning to favoring the latter, especially during his second term. Initially, Joe supported the War on Drugs, and via executive order increased penalties for anyone found guilty of selling drugs with 1,000 feet of all grade schools. He also supported further crackdowns on marijuana and other soon-to-be-called “recreadrugs” smuggled in from Mexico and elsewhere. However, the President began to soften his rhetoric over the dangers of marijuana after talks with his son Barack – talks that not even his aides were let in on. In 2002, it was revealed that in 1981, Barack, then a Harvard Law School student, began smoking marijuana with friends, even smoking the recreadrug at the White House during Christmas ’81 without the President finding out. Joe discovered Barack’s secret upon a surprise visit to his apartment in Massachusetts in April 1982, and heated talks between them, Ann, and the other Biden children were what led to Joe softening his opposition to marijuana, albeit after Barack proved he could quit smoking the recreadrug cold turkey, which he did in May of 1982.

In October, the Biden Administration officially recognized AIDS as a public health epidemic and instructed the C.D.C. to take charge of confront the issue. Subsequently, cooperative work by teams led by researchers Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier led to the 1983 “discovery” of LAV/HTLV-III (renamed HIV in 1984) and the two men sharing a Nobel Prize in 1986.

Overseas, Lebanon had been in a state of civil war since 1975, and Israel and Syria were privately contemplating undertaking military action. While Joe was a passionate defender of Israel (which was causing some tensions with OPEC to restart, though thankfully only at the diplomatic level of things), he sought to bring peace to Lebanon first before trying Israel’s idea of an invasion of their northern neighbor. Secretary of State Jimmy Carter, whom strongly opposed the President’s attitude toward Israel during the situation, visited with other diplomats in Beirut. In January 1982, the sides agreed to a temporary ceasefire, but after a Christian church was bombed in June, the UN sent in international peacekeeping forces. Carter met with Israel’s prime minister and stressed that Israel invading the country would only make things worse. After a temporary caretaker government was toppled by both sides of the civil war, the UN proposed splitting Lebanon on religious lines; this was rejected by both sides. Finally, Biden and Carter managed to have a Peace Treaty signed in November 1983, end the civil war (though internal violence persisted for years onward along the “Green Wall” border).

Over in Africa, Joe Biden strongly opposed Apartheid, and received Congress’s permission to impose higher tariffs on the country, arguing to his Attorney General “we’ll squeeze the policy out of them [the political leaders].” Indeed, these sanction proved unpopular among Afrikaners, especially after the country entered recession in 1983 and protests began in full in 1984. In 1985, the South African government introduced reform to “gradually” end Apartheid, with the entire system being abolished in early 1989.

With Joe and (especially) Ann fighting for it, The Violence Against Women Act was drafted in 1981 and finally signed into law in late 1983. The law provided $1.5 billion toward enhancing investigations into and prosecutions of violent crimes against women, increased the pre-trial detention of the accused, provided automatic restitution of those convicted, and allowed for civil redress in cases that prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted. Joe praised its passing as a “historic commitment to women and children victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault,” (indeed, domestic violence dropped by over 50% between 1984 and 2014) but would lead to a cultural backlash in “conservative America” just a few years later…

But in the meantime, Biden enjoyed approval ratings that hovered between 50% and 55% for most of 1983. Despite this, he received a primary challenge in the form of Senator Fritz Hollings of South Carolina, whom was much more conservative than Joe. However, Hollings only managed to win his home state of South Carolina and failed to catch on elsewhere, meaning Joe faced no significant opposition in renomination.

In the G.O.P. political arena, several Republicans believed that they would be the one to make Joe a one-term President. In a crowded Republican primary season, Governor Bill Clements of Texas won over businesspersons; George H. W. Bush, having served as Ford’s Secretary of State from 1977 to 1981, campaigned on his foreign policy experience; Charles Mathias ran “one more time;” Paul Laxalt ran with the backing of both Ford and Reagan, which was either a benefit or a detriment, pending whom you asked; Bob Dole once again ran, albeit on an even more conservative platform; 49-year-old Congressman Jack Kemp sought to capture the youth vote. All won at least one primary or over 5% of the ultimate number of total primary votes cast before dropping out, save for Clements. The Governor of Texas since 1979, Clements clinched the nomination by the first of May; he chose Richard Kelly, a Congressman from 1975 to 1981, and then Senator since 1981, to be his running mate.

Ann, Joe and Barack on the campaign trail:

[ ]

In July 1984, polls showed Clements only trailing the President by 5%. Then a scandal arose in the form of FBI investigators catching Clements’ running mate accepting bribes in a sting operation. Clements claimed it was “all a frame-job” orchestrated by Biden, but in the wake of Clements’ own controversies, the Governor’s conspiratorial rhetoric both failed to catch on and made him seem, to put it lightly, “too emotional” for the Presidency. The three debates between the Governor and the President only worsened Clements’s numbers as he struggled with numerous questions and queries. In one instance, Clements criticized Joe for not “defending democracy” in Nicaragua after Daniel Ortega’s Sandinistas defeated right-wing rebels and finally secured power there in early 1983; Biden counter-argued that to intervene in such a local affair would violate international law, explaining “foreign policy has come a long way since the Monroe Doctrine, Governor.”

As election night approached, it did not look good for the GOP ticket, and as predicted, it was a landslide win for Joe Biden. In the Electoral College, one faithless elector refused to vote for Clements and instead cast his vote for the Libertarian Flynt/Means ticket, which had received 1.08% of the vote (1,000,652 votes), a new record for that party (although most of the votes were likely anti-Clements protest votes). Democrats won majorities in both chambers of Congress, with the sole Republican pickup in the Senate being in Texas, where Congressman Ron Paul won over Lloyd Doggett by a narrow margin.

The results of the 1976, 1980, and 1984 Presidential elections:

[ ]

The start of President Biden’s second term coincided with Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascension to premier in the USSR. Biden immediately met with the young reformist in a move many Republicans shouted as “treasonous,” even as the two signed the landmark NAC (Nuclear Arms Control) Treaty at the White House in early December 1985 which committed both signatories to the complete abolition of their respective country’s nuclear missile stockpiles, though an exact date was never set. The Senate ratified the Treaty the next year. In Afghanistan, Joe Biden had been helping anti-Soviet troops fight back since 1981, doing everything short of sending in US troops. In 1985, though, with the ascension of Gorbachev, and he and Biden’s warming of relations between the US and USSR, the US and USSR militaries became less active in the region in an indirect showing of respect for the other. In 1986, in light of continuing mounting casualties, Gorbachev had Soviet forces quietly pull out from the deadlocked conflict.

For his work in the Middle East, and ending War in Lebanon with the 1984 Peace Treaty, Biden, in a surprising turn of events won the Nobel Prize in 1985, sharing the award with the President of Lebanon.

In April 1985, just as the Soviet Union was really starting to fall apart, Gorbachev’s Commissar of Agriculture ordered a ban on chicken imported from the US, hoping it would encourage domestic chicken production. This prompted President Biden to criticize the action as showing that Russia “is not ready to abide by the rules of international trade…Russia has failed to behave as a responsible member in the international community,” and after several weeks of rising tensions – leading to Sunday morning cartoonists darkly suggesting that WWIII would start over some chickens (“Why did the chicken cross the road? To avoid the radiation fallout.”) – Gorbachev sacked his Commissar of Agriculture, and the warming of relations between the two countries resumed.

Meanwhile, more domestic progress occurred during Biden’s second term. Under the more centralized Biden Administration, federal programs to provide funds for schools in low-income areas were expanded to cover hot lunch fees, textbooks, chalkboards, and other essential materials. Senator Ted Kennedy co-sponsored a bipartisan opt-in/opt-out universal national health insurance bill that was passed by the Senate, then House, in 1985 and signed into law in 1986. This, however, became another rallying point for conservative leaders. The 1986 Federal Assault Weapons Ban only contributed to the inevitable backlash...

Several states north of D.C., though, things were looking up for the oldest Biden son. Barack, still in college, met 19-year-old bachelor-of-arts degree recipient Majora Carter (b. 10/27/1966), proudly from the South Bronx, in 1985 in New York City. They were married in 1988, and Barack moved to the city to teach at NYC Tech in 1990. Carter would mount a successful career as an urban revitalization strategist and radio show host during that time, founding and leading several non-profit environmental justice solutions corporations and lead efforts to clean up city river banks.

Beginning in 1986, First Lady Ann Dunham furthered her role to serve unofficially as a diplomat, visiting many countries to promote cultural diversity. In Indonesia, Ann lauded the nation’s people’s entrepreneurship and for having “the same economic needs, beliefs and aspirations as the most capitalists of Westerners” and promoted programs to combat income inequality both there “and everywhere.” During such a trip in 1987, she and her son Barack privately met with Barack’s birth father, Barack Obama, in Kenya (Obama would die from liver cancer in 1989). A short time later, Dunham developed a correspondence with the Finance Minister of Indonesia, Lolo Soetoro, which quickly grew into a relationship of deep friendship and mutually respect; Ann attended his funeral in 1987.

On April 19, 1986, Libya bombed a US passenger plane taking off from Cairo to Boston. Soon after, Joe Biden authorized the CIA, with some assistance from MI6, to stage the overthrowing of the Gaddafi regime. In September, turncoat members of the Libyan Air Force bombed Gaddafi’s palace, later discovered to house scores of evidence of human rights violations. After weeks of fighting, the U.S. Air Force-backed faction secured power. However, Gaddafi and most of his inner circle were unceremoniously killed during the melee; Joe Biden had wanted to see Gaddafi tried as war criminal, but you can’t have everything. Case in point, Ann’s distaste for blood and guts – in the White House’s private quarters, the intervention in Libya upset the more pacifist First Lady to the point that the First Couple did not fully reconcile until after Biden had ended bombing campaign, called for an investigation into human rights abuses, and had called for cultural exchange programs between American Universities and Middle Eastern communities.

On September 26, 1986, Chief Justice Warren Burger stepped down. After considering Cornelia Groesfsema Kennedy (1923-2014) of California, a Circuit Appeals Judge since 1979 whom was a liberal Republican, Joe Biden instead nominated 64-year-old Circuit Appeals (since 1977) Judge Damon Keith (b. 1922) of Michigan, making Keith the U.S.’s first African-American Supreme Court Chief Justice. Only weeks after this, Justice Powell stepped down as well. Joe Biden openly hinted at nominating Constance Baker Motley (1921-2005) of New York City, an African-American female and a District Court Judge since 1966 for the role. After much opposition to the selection from Republicans, Biden instead nominated the much-younger Ruth Bader Ginsburg (b. 1933) of D.C., a Circuit Appeals Judge since 1981; the senate narrowly approved her.

The 1986 midterm elections were a blowout for the Democrats, whom lost their long-held Senate majority and just barely held onto the House. The biggest loss was Senator Gary Hart’s seat, as he was a potential Presidential candidate in 1992 (or even 1988, if the allegedly unambitious Vice-President Bumpers declined to run). In light of this, Republican Senators attempted to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment during the next two year, only to fail from a lack of party unity and other factors.

Early 1987, the Soviet Union finally collapsed, but Gorbachev managed to retain power as the former republics became independent nations and Communist hardliners attempted to form their own country in the Crimea for a few months in the spring. Ultimately, Gorbachev stepped down in 1993 and in 1999, his conservative successor was succeeded by the moderate 40-year-old Boris Nemtsov. In December 1988, the Berlin Wall was finally torn down, ending an era of confinement and fear.

The fact that the President almost didn’t live to see it would later give Joe pause. On December 18, 1987, after several weeks on increasingly severe neck pain, Biden collapsed in the oval office and was rushed to the hospital, where he immediately received life-saving surgery to correct an intracranial berry aneurysm that had begun to leak profusely, so much so that a priest was brought in to administer the last rites. In January 1988, he collapsed again, this time at a public event, and this time from suffering an “inflamed” pulmonary embolism, which again led to immediate surgery and (due to it “almost” fatally bursting) a priest. (According to a 2011 report, Joe actually flat-lined for 83 seconds and received substantial blood loss, and slipped into a coma for two hours before regaining consciousness. Biden would state in 2019 that during the 83 seconds “I saw whiteness and nothingness at the same time. I felt empty and warm.”) In both of these incidents, the nation held its breath and VP Bumpers served as Acting President.

Biden had to minimize his work schedule for seven months, finally becoming active again in DC in August 1988, shortly after the DNC, where he had given a very brief speech in support of his VP. Historians like to compare this health scare crisis to President Wilson’s own near-fatal health scare in 1919, which effectively led to his wife becoming the power behind the throne. During the 1987-1988 crisis, conservative politicians such as Pat Robertson accused the First Lady Ann Dunham of capitalizing off her husband’s “hidden mental deterioration” to work to pass “radical” executive orders. No such “radical” executive orders ever came to light, however, and Biden, learning from Wilson, opened the White House and his recovery to the press, staying true to his commitment to government transparency.

In 1988, with only minor-candidate opposition on some ballots (except for Jesse Jackson, whom ran a spirited campaign that saw him win four primaries in the South before dropping out in March due to low funds and controversial comments), Bumpers won the Democratic primaries and chose U.S. House Whip John Murphy, a Congressman from New York since 1963 whom was to the Vice-President’s left, to be his running mate. In the Republican Party, the focus was on the large field of Presidential candidates, with the early frontrunners being Bob Dole, Paul Laxalt and Pat Robertson. Then South Dakota’s Bill Janklow (having declined a bid for the US Senate in 1986) stumbled onto the national scene, and quickly his controversial and scandalous but nevertheless bombastic attitude gained a small but loud following. These four candidates divided enough of the conservative vote to allow Governor Richard Snelling of Vermont to come out of nowhere and win the New Hampshire primary by a narrow plurality. From there, Snelling built up momentum, soon causing Janklow and Laxalt to drop out, and being the presumptive nominee by April. Snelling, a millionaire micromanager with a bit of a temper at times, was a pilot, self-made businessman, and longtime state politician. After losing a bid for Governor as the GOP nominee in 1966, he ran again ten years later, serving from 1977 to 1981. After losing a bid for the US Senate in a near-landslide in 1980, Snelling again ran for governor, winning three more two-year terms in 1982, 1984 and 1986. And now he was the expected nominee of a party farther to the right than he; in a move controversial in of itself, Snelling reluctantly ended up with Janklow as his running mate in the hopes of party unity (after Dole and Laxalt declined and Robertson refused). Despite this endeavor, one notable Republican walked out on the convention; discontent with both major parties being “of ‘big-government’ mind,” freshman Senator Ron Paul of Texas broke ranks and successfully won the Libertarian Party’s nomination in September.

General election saw Democrats accuse Snelling of being the candidate of special interest groups such as oil companies in connect to his father’s history in the petroleum industry. To confront Bumper’s initial 10% lead in the polls, Snelling travelled extensively, winning over the rural vote with his views on gun rights and his call for farm relief. Bumpers spent comparatively less time meeting with supporters and stumping, instead hosting large fundraisers and producing higher-budget TV ads. In September, the Democrats were rattled when Congressman Murphy was indicted in a bribery scandal; Murphy was quickly dropped from the ticket, but the damage remained. Adding to the party’s woes was Bumpers’ performance in the debates, which made him come off as distant, robotic, and at times even uncaring of key issues. By late October, polls showed the race to be practically dead-even. Plus, the moderate Bumpers’ push of the party closer to the center threatened to lead to many leftist voters to either staying home, or voting for Paul (and even Snelling) out of sheer protest.

On election night, Snelling won the popular (albeit by a plurality) and the electoral vote by a relatively comfortable margin. Paul did surprisingly well for the third-party candidate, his minimal-government message actually leading to him winning the state of Alaska by a plurality. Many analysts believe that had Bumpers gone with Senator Paul Simon or some other more liberal VP from the get-go, Snelling would have lost, though it is debatable if he would still have won the popular vote or not. While most Democrats blamed Murphy for damaging the campaign, Republicans saw the sagging economy and rise in taxes as the primary reasons for their ticket’s victory. Snelling fared far better in rural counties across the northeast, Midwest, and western states than had past Republican nominees. After recounts were performed in Oregon, Ohio and Iowa, Bumpers formally conceded.

Biden wished Snelling the best of luck as he set of for an early and comfortable, but ultimately “part-time,” retirement, leaving the office at the age of 46. In early 1989, during a trip to New Orleans for a teacher’s convention, Barack Biden and Majorca Carter were shocked at the local decay of several nature areas, and as the months followed the two became more invested as Majorca began to embrace the culture. In 1992, she accepted the offer to head a major local government position, and Majorca and Barack moved from NYC to New Orleans later in the following year. It was a major decision for both of them, Big decision but neither ever forgot about NYC.

Upon entering the office of the Presidency, Richard Snelling called for a limited sales tax that would generate money for healthcare and allow for a reduction in property taxes and personal income taxes, similar to what worked for Vermont. A farming financial assistance bill was introduced on the floor of the house as well.

Meanwhile, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a university professor of engineering and astronomy in his birth state of New Jersey since 1983, ran an underdog campaign for governor as a Democrat and won the job in November 1989. During this tenure, Aldrin was praised for his openness about his past post-NASA struggles with alcoholism and clinical depression, which led an arrest for disorderly conduct in 1977 before finally sobering up in 1978. Aldrin’s victory as one of only a few Democratic pickups in that year’s major elections in light of Snelling’s high approval ratings.

Snelling’s second year in office, however, would be less popular. After roughly ten years of steady growth, the economy entered a mild recession and stayed in that position from June 1990 to Feb 1991. An unpopular 1990 federal sales tax meant to combat economic losses caused by the recession prompted a loss in House and Senate seats in November.

Snelling dealt with only minor foreign policy issues until early May 1991, when Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein, “our [America’s] own little local mad dog” as Snelling once privately called him, invaded Kuwait over a suspicious border skirmish. Soon the President’s inner circle began considering how the White House should respond. But then the situation changed.

Snelling worked hard. Too hard. On May 13, First Lady Barbara found her husband slumped over his desk in the private quarters of the White House, his shirt caught in the grasp of his cold fingers from where the late leader had clutched his chest (a reflex common in such cases of a fatal heart attack).

The 1988 Election Results, plus wikiboxes for Joe Biden and Richard Snelling:

[ ]

The nation was now in the hands of the rambunctious Bill Janklow, a man whom always seemed to be just itchin’ for a fight…

(E.T.A. for Part 2: tomorrow for sure)