DBWI: Mario Cuomo Doesn't Run in 1992

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Amadeus, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    After intense deliberation in Albany, New York Governor Mario Cuomo made a surprise late entry into the 1992 Presidential race on December 20, 1991. Cuomo won the Democratic nomination following a heated primary battle, and ultimately defeated President George H.W. Bush by a margin of 52% to 47%. Cuomo had been aided by the early 1990s recession, Bush's broken pledge not to raise taxes, and Ross Perot's permanent exit from the presidential race in July 1992. But Cuomo almost didn't run that year. What if Cuomo had decided to sit out 1992? Who would the Democrats have nominated for President instead, and would they have beaten Bush? Might Perot have re-entered the race if the Democrats hadn't nominated an anti-NAFTA candidate like Cuomo? How would the 1990s unfold without a Cuomo Presidency?
     
  2. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    The nominee might have been Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton, and he might have actually lost due to those sexual assault allegations coming to light during the primaries. You would probably see Bush’s popularity spike in part due to the dot com boom of the 90’s.
     
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  3. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    After looking at Clinton, it doesn't seem he would've been a very strong candidate. He had the charisma, but he could never manage to shed that toxic "Slick Willie" image and his personal problems ultimately torpedoed his primary candidacy. He actually came in a distant third in New Hampshire. And although he experienced a brief resurgence by narrowly winning South Carolina, Clinton bombed on Super Tuesday and withdrew from the race. If he performed that badly in the OTL primaries, I don't think he would perform well against Bush. Losing yet another election they expected to win, and sixteen years out of power since 1981, would be pretty devastating for the Democrats. If Bush pulls off an upset in 1992, I think the Dems would finally make a comeback in 1996 like UK Labour did in 1997 after 18 years of Tory rule. The US economy would've improved by then as it did under Cuomo, but I doubt the inept Quayle would be able to overcome widespread party fatigue. Who would run in 1996 if Bush wins in 1992?
     
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  4. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    If not Dan Quayle? I actually heard somewhere that besides him, the front runner would have been George Deukmejian, former Governor of California and, at the time, California’s Senior United States Senator. He managed to beat back Representative Barbara Boxer in the Senate election in 1992 despite the fact that Cuomo carried the state with 53% of the vote. They say it had to do with his popularity in the governorship.

    They say he was gearing up for a run in 1996, but backed out because the chances of beating Cuomo were slim to none. He did not want to be the sacrificial lamb that Dirk Kempthorne (Senator from Idaho) became in 1996, despite the fact that Kempthorne ran a pretty straightforward, positive, and surprisingly clean campaign, Cuomo cruises to reelection. Deukmejian didn’t want to be that person.

    However, if Bush won in 1992, I feel that Deukmejian could’ve capitalized on Bush’s popularity better than Quayle ever could have.
     
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  5. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. Quayle is the sitting VP: backed by Bush and leading members of his party. Quayle could have lost in 1996, but Deukmejian would've had to run against Quayle and therefore the Bush administration as well in order to win the nomination.

    I'm curious about 2000. In OTL, Vice-President Gore defeated George W. Bush - HW's oldest son - 50% to 47%. If Bush had won in 1992 and a Democrat succeeded him in 1996, said Democrat would probably be re-elected in 2000. This would butterfly away Gore's one term Presidency. What would America look like without Gore's 2001 cap and trade bill? Would the Iraq War still have happened under President McCain?
     
  6. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    There’s also a reason Quayle didn’t run in 1996. He wasn’t really all that popular, despite Bush leaving office with fairly good approval ratings. He was seen as someone who was simply along for the ride.

    As for Gore, the cap and trade bill proved to be a disaster with many of the more moderate Democrats in their party. I’m talking about the working class Americans in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Colorado where this bill affected a lot of jobs. Many Democratic Senators and congressmen from these states were not happy. It’s a reason Democrats lost so heavily in both 2004 and 2006 in the midterms.

    The Iraq War also did no one any favors. It was supported at the time, but as time dragged on, it became more and more apprentice that Gore put us in a hole he couldn’t climb out of. McCain was elected to clean up the mess. We narrowly avoided a massive recession in 2010 due to the costs of the war.
     
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  7. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Just to clarify, it was McCain who ordered the invasion - but it was Gore who put us on the warpath in the first place. After the October 2001 anthrax attacks he ordered weapons inspections in Iraq to find WMDs, blaming Hussein for the attacks. In 2003 the UN discovered Hussein was merely bluffing about WMDs, but this wasn't enough to satisfy McCain and other neocons who believed Hussein was secretly behind the attacks. After he won in '04 McCain discovered shaky intelligence that pointed to Hussein's guilt, and the invasion commenced in spring 2006. Unfortunately it turned out the intelligence was false, and Iraq wasn't very stable after the liberation. It could have been worse though, thankfully McCain decided not to disband the Iraqi army - doing otherwise could have lead to the rise of ISIS in the region, an outcome that was narrowly avoided. Iraq regained stability by 2014 and now the country is finally doing better.
     
  8. VA1967 Well-Known Member

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    What would the 1996 Democratic field look like if Bush won? Personally, I think Ann Richards would have been a strong candidate.
     
  9. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Populist, Southern, and charismatic, Richards could've crushed Quayle. Even Dole and Deukmejian would be given a run for their money.
     
  10. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    I'd say the cap and trade bill was an example of doing the right thing despite it being unpopular. And remember, the act did pass with bipartisan support. Gore was proven right by history and has served as an admirable ex-President, dedicating his time to environmental activism.
     
  11. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    Oh. I always thought it was Gore that was the one who initiated the war. But hey, it’s good to see that Iraq is finally stable now. Even though McCain signed on for a small presence of American troops to help the rebuilding process, it still helped the region to become more stable.

    But didn’t she lose her re-election for Governor in 1994 to George W. Bush? Granted, she was pretty charismatic. I will give her that, and I’m a Republican. She definitely would’ve beaten Dole, who is, as documented in books by people from his staff, a terrible presidential campaigner. Deukmejian might be a different story, but I might be biased because I consider George Deukmejian to be one of my favorite all time politicians. XD

    OOC: Did Richards win in 1994? I’m confused.

    It did? Damn, I gotta start paying more attention! But I will digress, even as a Republican, I do admire how passionate Gore is on issues related to environmentalism.

    OOC: This is your timeline, so I sometimes don’t know what happened. XD
     
  12. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    If not Cuomo, maybe Paul Tsongas might have become President. Before Cuomo jumped in, Tsongas was polling pretty well in New England.

    If Cuomo had stayed out, Tsongas might have actually won more critical early victories.

    I think his big ideas were environmentalism and pro-market policies. I wonder what he would have done before illness took his life, and how the revelations about his disease would've affected the 1996 election?
     
  13. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    OOC: I guess the assumption put forward by another poster was that Richards would've been re-elected had Bush won in 1992, making her a viable Presidential candidate. Had Cuomo won in 1992, I doubt the 1994 elections would've been as successful for the GOP as in OTL but given Dubya's skill as a campaigner and Texas' turn to the right under Reagan I think Junior still has a chance of beating Richards.

    Back to DBWI: Yeah, Richards did very narrowly lose to George W. Bush in 1994. However, had Bush Sr won in 1992 that probably butterflies away Richards' loss - meaning she could run for President in 1996. By the way, I wonder what would happen to Jeb! in this ATL. He probably still loses his 1994 race for the Governorship of Florida under a President Clinton or Tsongas. But had Bush Sr been re-elected, it's possible he sits out 1994 and waits for his dad to leave office before running for Governor in 1998.
     
  14. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    I think it's very possible that if elected in 1992, Tsongas wouldn't run for re-election in 1996. His Vice-President would probably run instead and be elected based off the strong economy. So you'd probably still see twelve years of Democrats from 1993-2005 as in OTL
     
  15. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    I was thinking Gangrene-I mean Gingrich, would push a narrative about Tsongas "covering up" his illness to ensure democratic victory, and that this narrative would be used to bring a Republican to power.
     
  16. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    But everybody knew that Tsongas had been sick, and this kind of attack would probably backfire. Also, are you assuming that Gingrich would become Speaker under Tsongas? In OTL his extremist, Molotov cocktail throwing leadership of the GOP never worked - Republicans remained in the minority throughout Cuomo's tenure and they actually lost seats in 1996. In 1998 Gingrich was replaced by Bob Livingston, who would finally become Speaker in 2003. So I doubt that Gingrich would be that much more successful under a President Tsongas.
     
  17. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Maybe. It might have worked had slick willie gotten into office. His own improprieties could have costed him the election in 1996 at least, opening the door to Gingrich, as Clinton would've been a very easy target.

    OOC: What does DBWI stand for?
     
  18. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    True that. He had too many skeletons in his closet. Too risky for the DNC ago put him up as the nominee.

    Also, did anyone notice that some states went purple at the state level in recent years. I noticed it happening here in Rhode Island. For example, Claudine Schneider was a Republican Senator from 1996-2014, and before that was a Congresswoman for 16 years. Also, we had a Republican Governor in our state for 16 years from 1994-2010 (Ron Machtley, Lincoln Almond), and we have had Donald Carcieri as our Senator since 2000. I don’t know if it has happened anywhere else, but is anyone else noticing their state become more competitive for both parties and not just one party?

    Another example: California. It long had two Republican Senators (George Deukmejian, Michael Huffington) and Republican governors. Right now, it’s Governor-elect is a Republican (Kevin Faulconer), it has a Republican and Democratic Senator (Michael Huffington and Kamala Harris), a Republican Lieutenant Governor (Ashley Swearengin), and a Democratic Attorney General (Kevin de León). It could just be me, but am I the only one noticing a trend.

    OOC: Double Blind What If. Basically, you act as if we are in an alternate timeline based on a certain scenario. In this case, we all act like Mario Cuomo was the one to defeat H.W Bush in 1992 instead of Bill Clinton and what would have happened if Cuomo didn’t win.
     
  19. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty typical for New England. Massachusetts had Republican Governors for twenty years from 1991-2011. Though if not for Mitt Romney's popularity, there's no doubt that Robert Reich would have won in 2002 and Tom Reilly would've easily been elected Governor in 2006. After Romney left office to focus on his successful run for President, Deval Patrick won the Governorship in a landslide victory for the Democrats. Mass might consistently go for Democrats in Presidential elections, but at the state level the GOP is more moderate and can easily compete with the Dems.
     
  20. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I’ve heard that. It’s the same in Rhode Island. In 2010, Frank Caprio was able to win the Governor’s race with a pretty hefty margin (54% to Robert Watson’s 44%), yet Donald Carcieri was able to win re-election to the Senate two years later pretty handily. And just this year, Allan Fung was re-elected Governor by a strong margin over Caprio (after being defeated by Fung in 2014 for re-election himself).