Blue Skies in Camelot: An Alternate 60's and Beyond

So in a twist of irony, considering all the talk of ITTL live action Kevin Conroy, but OTL Kevin Conroy will be officially playing a live action version of Bruce Wayne/Batman in December’s Crisis on Infinite Earths on the CW.

Kevin Conroy To Play Bruce Wayne in Crisis on Infinite Earths
Man, I am really eager to see if he can do Batman justice on a live-action role.

EDIT: Fun fact. On 9/11, he volunteered at soup kitchens for firefighters, during which he played Batman in public.
 
Man, I am really eager to see if he can do Batman justice on a live-action role.

EDIT: Fun fact. On 9/11, he volunteered at soup kitchens for firefighters, during which he played Batman in public.
Based on what been released so far, I suspect they’re going for a Batman Beyond style Bruce for him, a more grizzled mentor/“guy the chair” style of Bats.

And I’d heard that story on one of the DVD commentaries. Apparently no one believed the staff when they were saying they had Batman in the kitchen till Conroy started doing the classic “I am the night!” through the doors, at which point everyone absolutely lost it.
 
Based on what been released so far, I suspect they’re going for a Batman Beyond style Bruce for him, a more grizzled mentor/“guy the chair” style of Bats.

And I’d heard that story on one of the DVD commentaries. Apparently no one believed the staff when they were saying they had Batman in the kitchen till Conroy started doing the classic “I am the night!” through the doors, at which point everyone absolutely lost it.
I've heard that story. Should be interesting. He has plenty of experience, having voiced him in several animated shows for years.
 
How have the butterflies affected Roger Delgado's life? I hope that about a decade of butterflies between the start of this timeline and his death would be enough to prevent him from dying in a car crash in Turkey.
The butterflies of more than a decade have, in fact, allowed Delgado to survive his OTL fatal crash. :) The original Master is still going strong as of 1976.

Thanks for responding Mr President. Of course Roy Cohn would support Congresswoman Schlafly. Even with all the changes in this timeline Cohn still represented Trump. Have you thought at all about the idea i suggested to you in our messages by the way?
No problem, @Kennedy Forever! Yes, I have, and I am very interested in it. I apologize for not responding just yet, as I have been swamped at work and wanting to take the time to give a more thorough response. Please allow me to PM you later today with details.

HI President Lincoln
What's going on with the planet of apes franchise? the series had a anti nuclear message.does it still have one in this world?

I am curious about Bobby and Ted if they launch a presidential campaign.
also. Nixons plumbers are still out there so will be a alternate Watergate??
Hi there, @insect! I hope this message finds you well. :) Please allow me to unpack and answer your questions as best as I can...

After obtaining the film rights to Planet of the Apes in the mid 1960's, film producer Arthur P. Jacobs turned to Rod Serling, Sci-Fi visionary and creator of The Twilight Zone to pen the screenplay (as per OTL). Serling's script was relatively faithful to the original novel, however it did change several key elements. As with much of his renowned work, Serling alterted the story by inserting contemporary Cold War themes; notably, Serling is responsible for the film's legendary twist ending: that the planet is actually a far future Earth, where Apes rose after mankind destroyed themselves with nuclear warfare. The film's projected cost was easily in excess of $10 Million, leading many Hollywood Studios to be quite hesitant to attach themselves to the project at first. In the wake of the success of NBC's Star Trek however, and the renewed widespread interest in Sci-Fi which came with it, Planet of the Apes managed to find a studio in Fox that was willing to foot the bill in order to bring Serling's wonderful, imaginative script to life. Charlton Heston was still persuaded to star, and the film went on to be one of the biggest successes of the year at the Box Office. Especially lauded were the film's makeup effects, for which creator John Chambers would eventually win an Honorary Oscar, and Heston's leading performance, one of the stand outs of a long and fruitful career. The film also launched a franchise which, though it would suffer from diminishing returns and never reach the acclaim and popularity of the original, nonetheless lay the groundwork for future franchise film series, such as Star Wars.

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Anything is possible! To give my own thoughts on possible future Presidential runs for Bobby/Ted ITTL...

ITTL, JFK surviving to finish out two full terms as President has left a truly monumental legacy on the Democratic Party and American History/Politics as a whole. John F. Kennedy is widely regarded to be in the same tier of President by most Democrats ITTL as FDR (compare to how OTL modern Republicans think of Ronald Reagan), a heroic, inspiring figure, whose soaring, ideal-fueled rhetoric and strong leadership piloted the United States through the golden age of the 1960's, even as he fought hard for Civil Rights, a War on Poverty, a New Frontier in Science and the arts, better access to Health Care, and a more fair economy for all at home, as well as a more democratic and diplomatic approach to foreign policy abroad. Though his reputation took a small hit at the revelation of his affairs, his more recent fidelity to Jackie and almost impeccable record as President have led most Americans and historians to forgive JFK his infidelities. Though Bobby and Ted are perhaps best equipped to inherit this magnificent legacy, each has their own issues with turning that inheritance into a Presidential bid of their own. First and foremost, with JFK surviving ITTL, his Presidency is not known as "Camelot". It was not a brief, shining moment of what could have been, it was a long, spirited fight for progress and change which took a lot of effort and made more conservative Americans uncomfortable, leading to tremendous change, but followed by the election of the more centrist George Romney in 1968.

IOTL, both Bobby and Ted were seen as figures who could bring back the "magic" of "Camelot". Our national zeitgeist longed for a return to the spirit and promise displayed by President Kennedy in those glorious years before Vietnam and the protests which would tear the country apart under Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford. Because JFK "saw his mission through" here, Bobby and Ted do not have that claim to fame. While both are absolutely still colossal figures in the Democratic Party, each has their own roadblocks on the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Ted has little to no interest in running for President. He's always been more of a Parliamentarian and slick deal maker than an executive leader anyhow, and besides, even without Chappaquiddick around his neck, ITTL, Ted's affair with and subsequent marriage to Sharon Tate have left a rather dim view of him to many Americans. If JFK could be forgiven his dalliances due to his performance as President, combined with his renewed affection toward Jackie, the public would not extend the same courtesy to "Slick Teddy". As for Bobby, he's faring slightly better than his younger brother in the polls, though the revelations about his early tenure as Attorney General have cost him somewhat with the minority constituencies he claims to represent and sympathize with most. The scandal also kept Bobby out of the Presidential race in '76, though if the Democrats fail to win this time around, RFK could try to run again with renewed vigor in 1980, assuming he wins his reelection bid in the Senate this year. The biggest claim RFK will need to counter if he wants to do this is that he is "Prince Bobby", heir apparent, riding off of his brother's coattails to his "anointed" seat in the White House. This is, of course, a rather long series of events which will need to line up in order for Bobby to fulfill Jack's hopes for him and become President in his own right. If the Democrats win in '76, then assume Bobby is out of the race until at least 1984. He wouldn't be too old by then (59), but by then he'll be competing with a new generation of Democrats (such as Gary Hart, Jerry Brown, and others) who will want to be making a name for themselves as well.


Now that I think of it, @President_Lincoln, how's George Romero doing?
Quite well! Largely on the same path as OTL, Romero's 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead has still given rise to the Zombie genre in horror. Expect him to pop up from time to time in the Pop Culture updates. :)

I've got a bit of an odd update request...but something I got thinking about...what is the official status of UFO's and to an extent...Area 51 in this reality @President_Lincoln????
The official status? I'm sorry, could you explain your question in a little more detail for me? Do you mean the U.S. Government's public stance on it? The popularity of UFO conspiracy theories? Thank you. :)
 
affair with and subsequent marriage to Sharon Tate have left a rather dim view of him to many Americans. If JFK could be forgiven his dalliances due to his performance as President, combined with his renewed affection toward Jackie, the public would not extend the same courtesy to "Slick Teddy".
And I just realized something: Ted's up in November...it could be cool to see his ass Kicked out in November, possiblly by Silvio O'Conte or if we want special humiliation a primary from his own party

Also on Bobby Kennedy, not only would he have to box with the New Democrats like Gary and Brown, he'd also have to fight with the Socialists and the Christian Democrats...hed of lost his youth appeal by then and he'd have to find a way to keep his appeal to Blue Collar and minority Dems who would be targeted by both the Christian Dems and the Socialists.
 
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Chapter 102
Chapter 102: Dream On - The 1976 Democratic Primaries and National Convention


Above: Governor Lloyd Bentsen (D - TX) (left); Representative Mo Udall (D - AZ) (center); and Senator John Glenn (D - OH) (right); by the eve of the Iowa Caucuses, these three men had become their party’s leading contenders for the Presidential nomination.

“Since launching my campaign, I have had the good fortune of having one of my dear constituents back home explain to me the difference between a cactus and a caucus. On a cactus, I have learned, the pricks are on the outside.” - Mo Udall​

The crowd of prospective Democratic voters, packed like sardines into a Des Moines high school auditorium in an attempt to beat the winter chill, and exhausted after weeks and weeks of the same old promises, platitudes, and piles of shit from other campaigns, cheered and laughed themselves red in the face. They found Congressman Mo Udall a funny, honest breath of fresh air. This last trait, Mo’s honesty, had been the cornerstone not just of his Presidential campaign, but also his six and a half terms in Congress as well. Arizonans who consistently voted for Barry Goldwater for the U.S. Senate would also almost always pull the level for Udall as well, because he was seen to share Barry’s forthright authenticity, even if they occupied opposite ends of the American political spectrum. Desperate to counter Udall’s growing momentum, his detractors in the race for President claimed that he was underqualified. Thirteen relatively undistinguished years in the House of Representatives made up the entirety of his experience in national politics. Not even a term as Governor or in the U.S. Senate to his name, how could this wisecracking Southwestern liberal expect to be taken seriously against Democratic behemoths like former astronaut John Glenn, or the heir to LBJ’s southern machine, Lloyd Bentsen? The answer lay in highlighting not just Udall’s sterling personal qualities, but the nature of his time in Congress as well. A tireless crusader for the environment and conservation, women’s rights, civil rights and protections for minorities, the New Deal and New Frontier, and leader of a Quixotic campaign against a bloated, ancient seniority system in Congress, which hoarded political power in the hands of a few key older legislators, rather than distributing it based on merit, Mo had by no means spent his thirteen years in Congress sitting on his hands. Besides, though it had been a while since a sitting member of the House had been elected President, if Udall managed to win the whole thing, he wouldn’t be the first. Udall’s ever more numerous and enthusiastic backers were quick to point out that even Abraham Lincoln, the nation’s greatest President, had only served a single term in the House of Representatives before being called upon to save the Union. Though Udall would never presume to compare himself to the Great Emancipator, as his humility and modest attitude were far too great for such a claim, between his impeccable honesty, impressive height, and irresistible humor, the Congressman was nonetheless racking up polite comparisons to Lincoln everywhere he turned. Liberals across the country were also embracing him for his bravery in staying true to his progressive ideals despite the conservative political landscape around him. The New York Times wrote of him, “In a Southwestern den of Lions, Mo Udall stands as a liberal Daniel.” Unabashed in his desire to move the country forward, he easily won the support of the Kennedy Family, including the former President JFK (who, in slightly improving health, made his first public appearance in two years to stump for Udall across New England), in his quest for the nomination, and made rural Iowa, a state full of tiny farming communities just like the one he had grown up in, St. Johns, Arizona, the focal point of his early campaign.


1976 would be the first year that most states had an open Democratic Primary and Udall’s campaign wanted to make the most of the new system by racking up as many early victories as possible, to build Mo’s name recognition and snowball momentum until he could get the media to call him the front-runner. That dubious, unreliable at best title had been traded back and forth over the preceding autumn and early winter by Governor Bentsen and Senator Glenn, who by turns amused, angered, and despised each other. Political campaigns are not for the faint of heart, and as Senator Glenn soon learned, Governor Bentsen had learned from the best how to get down in the mud and play political hardball. Bentsen accused Glenn of being “wishy washy” due to his changing record on labor issues and abortion, and “downright tedious to listen to; a lousy campaigner”. The Ohio Senator, incensed by Bentsen’s comments, gave it back as good as he got. He lambasted Bentsen as a “do nothing Governor”, with “less to say and even less he plans to do if elected.” These attacks did little to persuade undecided or on-the-fence voters, however. If anything, they drove voters away from the Bentsen and Glenn campaigns. With the economy as bad as it was, the people didn’t want to hear whiny politicians toss the buck back and forth and call each other names. They wanted someone who would tackle the country’s problems head on, like an adult. It would be even better if they could do it with a smile on their face. No one better embodied the mantle of the happy warrior than Mo Udall. With regard to his own campaign, the Arizonan refused to air a single attack ad or make a negative statement against his opponents. When asked by a reporter why he had adopted this positive strategy, Udall wisely pointed to the old Navajo adage: “He who slings mud loses ground.” In the weeks leading up to the Iowa caucus, it seemed that Udall’s instincts had been proven right, as he breezed to a comfortable victory in what was supposed to be a highly competitive first state.


Iowa Caucus Results (% of the Vote for Each Candidate)

Rep. Mo Udall - 45.2%

Gov. Lloyd Bentsen - 23.5%

Sen. John Glenn - 11.8%

Other/Uncommitted - 19%


Udall’s overwhelming victory in Iowa came as a shock to both the Bentsen and Glenn campaigns, who expected to do much better in the state, and believed that Udall’s highly progressive views and rhetoric would put him at a disadvantage in such a typically conservative, agricultural state. Once again, Bentsen and Glenn’s campaigns had fallen victim to playing shallow identity politics. Udall understood that if you could go to everyday Americans and reach them where they lived, you could convince them to give you their vote by appealing to their hearts and their minds. The American people didn’t want to be talked down to; they wanted someone who would activate their logos and pathos, and the Arizona Congressman fit the bill. Citing poor performances in Iowa and subsequently in Mississippi and Oklahoma where he hoped his campaign would be strong but was soundly defeated by Governor Bentsen, Senator and former Vice President Terry Sanford (D - NC), his team on the verge of bankruptcy, suspended his campaign and offered his endorsement to Udall. This gave the Arizonan some much needed credibility in the Southeast, where he hoped to at least give Bentsen cause to defend his homefront from Northern, liberal invasion. Sanford’s backing also served to solidify the party’s progressive wing behind Mo. This distinction was finalized when after being edged out by the underdog Udall in the Massachusetts and Vermont primaries in February and early March, Senator Edmund Muskie (D - ME), who had only barely managed to win the race in New Hampshire, too decided it was time to call it quits and back the “Conscience of the House”. Muskie learned the same unfortunate lesson that Hubert Humphrey had back in 1972, sometimes a second place finish in the election prior does not immediately make you a front-runner the next time around. Sometimes history just passes you by. Politics is very much a game of “the moment”. With his ear to the ground on American life, Mo Udall was on a roll. Appearing at campaign stops in his trademark cowboy boots, turquoise jewelry made for him by some of his Native American constituents back in Arizona, denim jeans, and colorful western shirts with rolled up sleeves, the Congressman slowly, but surely, began to corner the New Frontier vote and gave liberals reason to hope again. That isn’t to say that the race became a cakewalk for him, though. Anything but.




For every victory Udall picked up in the Northeast and Midwest, Governor Bentsen made up lost ground in the South, picked up an unexpectedly large win in Washington State thanks to the endorsement of Senator Scoop Jackson, and solidified his own position as the “anti-Udall” candidate. The Governor went hard after Udall for his incredibly liberal record in Congress and asked voters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line if they “were ready to accept progressive domination of our beloved party” or “hand the present administration a second term.” The Congressman wisely did not shy away from his liberal record, nor did he try to fight fire with fire and besmirch Bentsen’s good name. Udall correctly predicted that out of vindictiveness and not entirely dreadful poll numbers nationwide Senator Glenn would remain in the race, primarily drawing votes away from the more moderate Bentsen, and costing him much needed wins in Indiana (May 4th) and Ohio (June 8th). Udall, with liberals and an increasing number of moderates falling into his column, meanwhile cruised to massive wins of his own in New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois - three states with some of the highest delegate counts in the country. Representative Shirley Chisholm (D - NY) with her grassroots campaign and “New Left” platform remained Udall’s only true competition on the left, but she tragically found herself boxed out of most major races, winning only the primary held for Washington, D.C. on May 4th and the 13 delegates it entailed. Though she would stubbornly remain in the race as well until the convention in her hometown of New York City on July 12th, Chisholm’s lack of major funding and support would unfortunately preclude her from mounting a meaningful attempt at the nomination. Throughout the Spring and early summer, Udall and Bentsen, and occasionally Glenn, fought tooth and nail for every vote in every race, with the Texan eventually sweeping the South and easily securing Alaska, while Udall’s popular democracy won out over the prairie and plains states, bolstered by the endorsements of an ailing Hubert Humphrey (D - MN) and former Senator George McGovern (D - SD). By the end of May, it was becoming abundantly clear that unless someone could stop Udall from winning the California Primary on June 8th, he would have enough pledged delegates to capture the nomination before the Convention. Southern, Moderate, and Conservative Democrats were in an uproar. California’s Democratic Party was currently in the hands of Governor Jim Roosevelt, who was all too eager to throw his weight behind the Progressive Udall and barnstormed for him as vigorously as his aging, gaut-stricken body would allow. Sam Yorty, a populist Johnson man and former Mayor of Los Angeles did what he could to tout Bentsen from San Diego to Oakland, but he found little success. California Democrats remembered Yorty’s controversial record on Civil Rights and economic issues, and most ultimately rejected his pleas. It seemed like Mo Udall was unstoppable, and then he made a last minute campaign stop to San Francisco...

...



California State Assemblyman Harvey Milk (D) was well known throughout the country for being the first openly Gay man elected to political office. To his constituents in San Francisco, this distinction was essentially an afterthought. What mattered more to them was Milk’s status as more than a mere politician; he struck the people of his city as a bonafide visionary, someone who could see a better world inside of his head and had the practical, coalition building skills to make it a reality. Also famous for his flamboyant speeches and savvy media skills, Milk was seen by many pundits and newspapermen as a shoo-in for election to the U.S. House seat he sought, and thus used his unique status as the country’s first openly Gay public official to take on his party and the country at large to address the social issues which Milk saw as critical to the country’s future. He wrote editorials for local papers and gave interviews with television stations, spreading far and wide his belief that the “government should stay out of people’s bedrooms” and that “Marijuana ought to be legalized”. Though he ran far to the left of many in his party, Milk’s liberal attitude struck a chord with many California Democrats disillusioned after a lackluster Humphrey candidacy in 1968 and downright disappointing (to them) performance by LBJ in 1972. Unsurprisingly, by the time the ‘76 primaries rolled around, Udall and Chisholm were the out and out favorites to win the state’s contest and her massive lode: 300 delegates to the National Convention. Though his campaign staff was reasonably sure such a large state would never go to Chisholm’s tertiary campaign, Udall did not believe in taking anything for granted. He wanted to go out to San Francisco himself, to meet with “The Mayor of Castro Street” and make himself available to the most progressive voters in the country, to make his case that he would represent them as much as he would the farmers of the Great Plains, the miners of Appalachia, and the assembly line workers of the Steel Belt. His campaign manager, Timothy Kraft, arranged a meeting with Milk at a quaint cafe near the Haight-Ashbury, the perfect spot to capture the hearts and minds of the lingering legacy of the counterculture.


Because would-be voters were welcome to come and ask the Congressman and Assemblyman questions or give suggestions, the event was open to the public and was advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle, where it was seen and made note of by one Sara Jane Moore. Now a committed acolyte of the Weather Underground, Moore had spent the entire primary season watching Udall crisscross the country and make people laugh with his corny humor and western accent. She had even gone to one of Governor Roosevelt’s rallies in support of the Arizona Congressman, and had felt sick to her stomach as she watched FDR’s eldest son put on his great, big phony smile and sell lies about how he and Udall cared really cared about the people of the Golden State. Moore had been let down too many times by men who told her they cared. It was time, she believed, for her to take her revenge on them.




Mo Udall felt like a million bucks as he entered the Bean Bag Cafe and shook hands with Assemblyman Milk, who greeted him with a smile and laughed at their initial exchange. Milk asked Udall if he planned on getting elected President by “just telling jokes”. The Congressman replied by quoting beloved American wit Will Rogers: “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and then report the facts.” Less than half a year ago, the polls, the Democratic establishment, even his own elder brother, Stew, were telling Udall that he didn’t stand “a snowball’s chance in Hell” of winning his party’s nomination for President. Now, he was less than 100 delegates away from locking out any chance of defeat at Madison Square Garden. “Victory,” he told his wife Pat, with whom the Congressman had gone through many tough times and came out stronger for it on the other side, “is so close I can taste it.” Still, there was something amiss in the air that made the normally calm, easy going candidate nervous. Despite the thousands of miles he’d logged and millions of people he’d met and spoken with, the personal money he’d put on the line just to get his campaign running in the first place, the attacks he and his family had endured, the strain it had put on his marriage and family, the Congressman still felt blessed, even lucky, that the party was really starting to rally to the idea of him at the top of their Presidential slate. With only two weeks left before the people of the Golden State headed to the polls, he tried to focus on staying on message, and maintaining his sunny, positive attitude whenever he made a pit stop somewhere. The Bean Bag Cafe was no exception. Shooting the breeze, telling jokes, sharing anecdotes, and spinning yarns like only he could, Assemblyman Milk and his ex-hippie constituents were blown away by the energetic dynamo of a candidate before them. Sure he wasn’t devilishly handsome like JFK, he wasn’t confined to a wheelchair like FDR, but he was once an awkward, shy, lanky kid from a tiny town in Arizona, who’d served his country despite a disability in wartime, and always done right by his conscience and his people during his time in Congress. There was no such thing as a perfect candidate, but to this liberal audience, Mo Udall was pretty darn close.


The event was just drawing to a close, with Udall launching into another of his favorite political witticisms, this one about a Senator who died and went to Heaven on the same day as the Pope, when a woman walked into the Cafe. Sara Jane Moore, tired of this faker and his stupid phony voice, made her way through the crowd until she was only about forty feet away from the Congressman and Assemblyman Milk. Without warning, she held out her arm, pointed a .38 Revolver at the two of them, and opened fire before anyone could tell what was happening. Udall and Milk both hit the ground with grunts and thuds, while someone in the crowd shrieked and someone else went to bring Moore to the floor and get the gun out of her hands. Moore fired again and again, shooting until all six of her chambers were empty, before letting two San Francisco Policemen in the crowd overcome her and take her into custody. As they slapped the cuffs on her, she cried out “Long live the revolution!” and was led out of the Cafe, surrounded by a stunned, devastated audience.


For a painfully long moment, a dreadful silence filled the cafe. Everyone feared the worst.


Thankfully, Moore had only bought the gun a day before, and wasn’t a very good shot. Suddenly, the silence was broken by the sound of hearty, pained laughter. Struggling to his feet, Congressman Udall leaned against a table and managed to pull Assemblyman Milk and himself up. Milk appeared shaken but uninjured, while it was clear from the red pool on the floor that the Congressman had been hit. There was blood trickling down the sleeve of his right arm from a wound near his shoulder, but he nonetheless stood and refused the immediate help of his wife and sons, who rushed to his side. “Well,” he took a deep breath and steadied himself before the awestruck, mesmerized audience. “That was rather rude of her, I think.” The relieved crowd burst into simultaneous tears, laughter, and a roar of approval, while the Police called for an ambulance to come and pick up the Congressman and someone in the crowd who had been caught in the stomach by Moore’s mad shooting near the end. The Congressman was even able to finish his joke. Though Udall was not mortally wounded, he was certainly the worse for wear, and lost a large amount of blood while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. When it finally did and he was told at the hospital that he would be immediately rushed into surgery, Udall was said to smile through the pain and tell his operating surgeon: “Doctor, with all due respect, I hope I can go in for surgery and ask for your vote at the same time. My wife and campaign manager are running me ragged with this darn schedule.” The surgeon laughed and replied, “Congressman, after the day you’ve had, I think you’ve earned yourself a whole lot of votes.” The Doctor’s words would prove prophetic. Mo Udall performed very well in surgery, suffering only a fractured humerus and was released from the hospital two days after he was admitted. Hoping to downplay the seriousness of the attempt on his life, Udall joked with reporters after the fact that “reports of my demise have, unfortunately for Governor Bentsen and the President, been woefully overstated”. He also visited the hospital room of the young man who had accidentally been shot in the crowd, an openly Gay Cambodian War veteran named Elliott Evans. Udall refused to have news cameras or press present, as he didn’t want to cheapen the gesture, but he wanted to thank Evans for his service overseas and to ask if there was anything he could do for him, seeing as they were now “brothers in arms” together. Evans asked Udall to keep the Gay community and their struggle in mind when he made it to the White House. He later credited the Congressman’s upbeat demeanor, support, and impeccable sense of humor with helping him recover faster than he or his Doctors thought possible. “Maybe humor really is the best medicine”. Evans reflected in an interview with CBS News’ Walter Cronkite. As Udall’s surgeon predicted, the attempt on his life and his ability to confidently shake it off with a smile and a laugh sold him to all but the most devout naysayers in his party. He won the California Primary on June 8th in a landslide, securing the majority of pledged delegates and his party’s nomination for President. Udall, and liberals across the country were thrilled, jubilant, ecstatic. Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D - NY) was said to have worn a grin "a mile wide" as he watched the returns from the final primary come in on the television in his office in Washington. Though he had been personally sidelined due to scandal and his elder brother’s unsteady health, most likely prevented from ever fulfilling his brother’s dream for him to one day occupy the Oval Office himself, the first Irish Puritan had nonetheless helped inspire the liberal insurgency against a populist, Johnson-leaning establishment which made Udall’s nomination possible. The politics of bitterness, of meanness that Johnson and his proteges represented to RFK were defeated by a wave of popular support from a country still believing in the New Frontier, in a bold, newer world just at the edge of their fingertips; a world which was now within their grasp once more. With the Lincoln-esque Mo Udall as their nominee in this, the nation’s bicentennial year, Kennedy believed that the Democrats stood a strong chance of painting themselves as “the party of the American Dream” and taking back the White House after eight years in the wilderness, mostly spent fighting amongst themselves. He’d done all he could to help the man he hoped would be the nation’s next President, now he had to shift his focus to keeping he and Teddy in office, as they both faced serious challenges from well funded Republican opponents in supply-side Congressman and former football star Jack Kemp and former Massachusetts Governor Francis Sargent.




The Democratic National Committee, having accepted (and to some degree celebrated) Udall’s dark horse, underdog victory and nomination, next shifted their focus to preventing a repeat of the petty fiasco that the national convention of 1972 had been. Though Governor Bentsen could no longer deny Udall the nomination as LBJ did to Senator Muskie four years prior, he still had enough delegates to be entitled to time on the floor to speak. Given all of the nasty things that were said by the Texan about his opponents on the trail, the DNC wanted to ensure that his speech would only be made in the name of advancing party unity, if the Governor announced that he had things he wished to say. Hoping to nip the issue in the bud before it even broke out, Congressman Udall, who was still recovering from his injury with his arm in a cast, gathered his family, staff, and advisers around him and put to them the arduous task of developing a shortlist of running mates in advance of the convention. It was Udall’s chief aim in the weeks leading up to the Convention in New York to bind up any ill will left behind from the long, arduous primary battle, and do his best to put together a ticket that was as likely as possible to take the White House back from President Bush and the Republicans in November. After several days of discussion, debate, and long, late night calls to every outside adviser from Richard J. Daley, to Congressional candidate Bayard Rustin, to former President Kennedy, Udall finally had his list of contenders.


First on the list was Walter “Fritz” Mondale, the three term Governor of Minnesota and one of Udall’s primary opponents. Mondale had entered the race with a promising record of moderate to liberal governance in a Midwestern swing state, but his lack of specific ideas for policy and relatively bland, uncharismatic campaign left a lot to be desired by voters. He won the Minnesota primary as a “favorite son” candidate, but offered little in the way of an olive branch to the Southern, Populist wing of the Party if he was selected. For this reason, Mondale was passed over by the nominee. The same line of reasoning was used to eliminate Mayor Daley’s pick- Two term Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson III, whose father had run the Democrats’ Quixotic attempts to taken down General Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956. Though Daley thought that doubling down on Udall’s labor support could only help him in the Steel Belt, Udall argued that Stevenson was too liberal to placate moderate and conservative Democrats. Stevenson’s father was a man Congressman Udall greatly admired, even one of his early political heroes, but he did not think the time was yet right to put the man’s son on the national ticket. Frank Church and Edmund Muskie, two more liberal heroes of the American centre-left were turned aside, Church because he voiced his preference to remain in the Senate or serve as Secretary of State, and Muskie because after two failed attempts at clinching his party’s Presidential nomination, Muskie did not feel he had it in him to play second fiddle to another man’s date with destiny. He too would rather stay in the Senate, or serve in the cabinet. (Though Muskie did express his strong approval of Udall, especially on account of his strong environmentalist credentials).




The last two candidates on Udall’s shortlist were both sure to help unite the party and placate more moderate, socially conservative delegates and voters. The only question which remained was which man could the Congressman trust more to be an “honest partner” in implementing his agenda: one of President Bush’s closest Democratic allies in Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson of Washington; or Udall’s chief opponent for the nomination, Governor Bentsen. Each had their own unique advantages. Jackson was a veteran of the United States Senate, and renowned for his ability to pass even the most rigorous of legislation, especially in the name of his core causes: environmental protection; civil rights; and supporting labor unions. Where Jackson and Congressman Udall chiefly differed however was over foreign policy. The Senator had earned a sour reputation among his party’s liberal wing during the Kennedy Administration for his outspoken criticism of JFK’s “Kennedy Doctrine”, for his complete and unequivocal support of the Cambodian and Rhodesian Wars, and for his continued rejection of detente offered up by both sides of the aisle. With Udall planning on pursuing renewed talks toward arms limitation and political liberalization with China and the Soviet Union if he managed to be elected, he worried that having Jackson as his Vice President might undercut his message of “peace and strength”. Governor Bentsen meanwhile, despite his moderate to conservative image, had more liberal in him than he let on, even if it was more market minded than Udall’s idea of Progressivism. During his time in Austin, Bentsen had preserved thousands of acres of natural land through the creation of new state parks, built new infrastructure and oversaw the Lone Star State’s energy efficient, high speed rail program, and fought for working families and to improve the lives of immigrants and other impoverished people living all over his state. Bentsen’s views on foreign policy were often purposefully vague, leaving Udall to believe that Bentsen would be a partner he could work with to develop and present a united negotiating front. With the days of discussion behind him, and only three days left before the Convention, the Congressman pulled the trigger and met with Governor Bentsen at his family ranch outside of Houston. Though the Governor admitted that he was disappointed that he hadn’t gone “all the way” and captured the Presidential nomination himself, he reckoned that at 54 he was still relatively young as far as politicians went, and if he wanted, he could definitely try again in four or eight years. After taking the night to talk it over with his wife, Beryl Ann, Bentsen called on Udall at his hotel the next morning to give him his answer: “I’m in.” Announcement of the Congressman’s decision sent ripples of excitement through the party. Mo Udall, it seemed, was a uniter; just the sort of candidate the Democrats needed, someone who could bring people together.




The 1976 Democratic National Convention met, as planned, in Madison Square Garden, in the Big Apple, New York City, from July 12th - 15th. Herman Badillo, the recently elected Mayor of New York and Representative Barbara Jordan (D - TX) delivered the Convention’s keynote addresses, becoming the first Hispanic American and African American Woman to deliver keynote addresses at a Major Political Party’s convention. Lindy Boggs, who presided over the convention, was also the first woman to preside over a major party’s national convention.These choices, it would later be revealed by the DNC, were made to showcase “America two hundred years after 1776” and highlight the diversity to be found within the Democratic Party. The party’s platform was notable for its strong advocacy of alternative energy as a means of overcoming the energy crisis (with the creation of a federal department to oversee such research and management of the country’s energy resources as well), as well as its forceful endorsement of the Kennedy Doctrine, a call for a program to provide for Universal Health Care (preferably through a Medicare for all system such as the model employed by Canada, which was Mo Udall’s own primary personal goal for his would-be Presidency), and unequivocal continued support for labor unions. The Party took RFK’s idea of “the party of the American Dream” and ran with it, with Governor Jim Roosevelt’s speech on the first night harkening back to the “glory days” of his father’s Presidency and the New Deal. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his wife, Coretta Scott King, and Civil Rights giant and Congressional candidate Bayard Rustin each spoke about Udall’s strong Civil Rights record and the need to push the Federal government to help all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, race, creed, or background achieve equal economic opportunity under the law. “Let the people judge us by the enemies we make!” Rustin declared, evoking FDR. “For we do not fight for the rich and powerful. We fight for the common man!” Governor Bentsen closed out the second to last night of the convention after being introduced by Senate Majority Whip Russell B. Long of neighboring Louisiana, by calling on Moderate Democrats to “continue the work of Lyndon Johnson and his vision for a Great Society. LBJ’s dream is within our grasp, we have only to sell our vision to the American people.” On the final night of the convention, both Senators Kennedy spoke, delivering eloquent endorsement speeches of Representative Udall and Governor Bentsen. Bobby ended his speech by issuing his favorite George Bernard Shaw quote, a rhetorical trick he was often lampooned for in the press, but did it anyway with self-awareness and good humor: “Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.’ Let us, friends and fellow Americans, strive to be part of the latter category.” With that, Bobby stood aside and introduced the party’s nominee, Morris K. Udall of Arizona, who brought the house down with a rousing speech, filled with wit evocative of Will Rogers, “My fellow Americans, we must never let yesterday use up too much of today”, populist appeals to trust-busting and returning power to the people: “Tonight I say watch out, you oil companies and conglomerates who have dominated our lives, fixed our prices, exported our jobs, and corrupted our politics. If the party of Theodore Roosevelt won’t help us break up these monopolies and trusts, then the party of Franklin Roosevelt will!” and Lincolnian ideals about what their country could be. “Let America be what Abraham Lincoln dreamed us to be,” Udall declared. “The last, best hope of the world. Let us resolve ourselves, in our bicentennial year, to a new birth of freedom, and a renewal of our common spirit as we celebrate our uncommon values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Thank you, God Bless You, and God Bless the United States of America!”



1976 Democratic Presidential Ticket: UDALL/BENTSEN


Next Time on Blue Skies in Camelot: President Bush Faces a Rocky Road to the Republican Convention
 
@President_Lincoln When will we be getting a UK politics update? There hasn't been one since 1974.
Very soon, your Majesty. :) I apologize that I have not given the UK much coverage lately, but I am working on some more international updates as we speak to keep things moving along in the UK, Canada, and elsewhere.

I may have some ideas for future doctor who things in this timeline if you would be interested
I would be very interested! :) Please feel free to PM me with any and all ideas. :D

And I just realized something: Ted's up in November...it could be cool to see his ass Kicked out in November, possiblly by Silvio O'Conte or if we want special humiliation a primary from his own party

Also on Bobby Kennedy, not only would he have to box with the New Democrats like Gary and Brown, he'd also have to fight with the Socialists and the Christian Democrats...hed of lost his youth appeal by then and he'd have to find a way to keep his appeal to Blue Collar and minority Dems who would be targeted by both the Christian Dems and the Socialists.
Excellent points here, Mr. President. Ted cannot face Silvo however, as he is already Ted's colleague in the Senate. :) Conte replaced Edward Brooke when the latter became Attorney General in 1973.
 
OH, snap!

This is gonna be a cool election! I doubt that the aging Nixon is dumb enough to compare himself to JFK a la Quayle of OTL, but Bentsen is a seasoned statesman, and a good counter to a dirtbag like Tricky Dick.
 
OH, snap!

This is gonna be a cool election! I doubt that the aging Nixon is dumb enough to compare himself to JFK a la Quayle of OTL, but Bentsen is a seasoned statesman, and a good counter to a dirtbag like Tricky Dick.
Um... forgive me Worf, but where did it say that Bush was gonna replace Reagan with Nixon o_Oo_O
 
Um... forgive me Worf, but where did it say that Bush was gonna replace Reagan with Nixon o_Oo_O
...wtf, I'm an idiot. Sorry, my brain is preoccupied with other stuff to the point that I nearly forgot what timeline this was lol.

Still. Bentsen is a good guy to send up against Ronnie. Charisma only goes so far, and Bentsen can counter with his own charisma, too.
 
“Since launching my campaign, I have had the good fortune of having one of my dear constituents back home explain to me the difference between a cactus and a caucus. On a cactus, I have learned, the pricks are on the outside.” - Mo Udall
XDXDXDXDXDXDXDXD
“Well,” he took a deep breath and steadied himself before the awestruck, mesmerized audience. “That was rather rude of her, I think.”
And in that moment he not only becomes the heir to Lincoln and FDR, but to Teddy Roosevelt too...
"I shall have you know that I've just been shot...." *makes a two hour speech anyway*
 
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