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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    I think McKay did a good job of portraying McCain's war heroism and accomplishments as President, while also showing how the Iraq War killed McCain's presidency. It made me think: if not for the war, McCain would been re-elected and he would be remembered as one of the top 15 American Presidents. "Maverick" reminded me a lot of Oliver Stone's "Nixon" or John Schlesinger's "Path to War" starring Michael Gambon as LBJ. There's a lot of Oscar buzz around Sheen. What do you think is chances are of winning Best Actor?

    OOC: Speaking of Martin Sheen, would "The West Wing" be as popular in this ATL?
     
  2. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    One of my favorite historical dramas of recent years was the 2011 HBO special "Fear No Evil," which focused on the three one term Presidents of the 2000's - Gore, McCain, and Obama - and their handling of the Iraq conflict. Ed Harris and Jamie Foxx were great as McCain and Obama respectively, but IMO the highlight of that movie was Alec Baldwin as Gore. Don't take it from me: Baldwin won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie for his work.

    So we've had Pacino as Cuomo, Baldwin as Gore, Harris and Sheen as McCain, and Foxx as Obama. Who could play Reagan, Bush, and Romney? Bryan Cranston definitely looks the part of Bush, though he'd need to do some voice work in order to convincingly play the role.
     
  3. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    Reagan: Tim Matheson
    Bush: John Hillner
    Romney: Christian Bale

    All of these actors show they have the skills to play the Presidents. In particular, John Hillner and Tim Matheson look a bit like their counterparts.

    Yeah, his showing of McCain’s record of war heroism was dutifully admired, but I did notice a bit of how he portrayed McCain as a gung-ho Warhawk who only wanted to go to war. I thought it was still an admirable movie despite its flaws.

    I think Martin Sheen might win Best Actor. They say his role was the best.

    OOC: The West Wing, I feel in this universe, should be about a moderate Republican President instead of a Democratic one, and it would portray how he faces problems not just from the Democratic opposition, but from the more conservative part of his own party. The West Wing became an escape for people who felt Al Gore should have won in OTL, especially as the years went by and the Iraq War got worse. But since he does win OTL, maybe a moderate Republican President would be a better portrayal by Martin Sheen.
     
  4. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    I think Sheen should win, he's easily one of my favorite actors. Besides his stand out role in "The West Wing", he did a great job as the Chief of Staff in "The American President," which starred Andy Garcia as America's first Hispanic President. That movie clearly paralleled the Cuomo Presidency and the backlash Cuomo faced as America's first Italian-American President.

    I love Bale, buy IMO Jon Hamm is a better choice to play Romney.

    OOC: WW began airing before the 2000 election, so Bartlett is probably still a Democrat in this ATL. I actually think the show was more of a liberal critique of Clinton than of Bush. Instead of a scandalous leader who surrenders to the conservatives and triangulates to get elected, Bartlet is an unabashed but principled and pragmatic liberal. In many ways he is actually similar to Cuomo: an articulate, intellectual Catholic from a Northeastern state. So in this ATL, the show might focus less on the President and more on his staff as originally intended if Sheen's character is seen as a carbon copy of Cuomo.
     
  5. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    OOC: Huh, never thought of it that way.

    Shit. I forgot about Jon Hamm.
     
  6. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    @TheAllTimeGreatest Since you're an Italian-American and a Catholic, I'm sure you remember the prejudice that Cuomo faced as an Italian-American back in 1992. Right before the New Hampshire primary Clinton was caught on tape with his mistress Gennifer Flowers calling Cuomo a mafioso, and in the general election Republican operatives (without Bush's approval) spread rumors about Cuomo's supposed mob ties. The intent was to smear Cuomo as they had done with Dukakis in 1988. But unlike Dukakis Cuomo hit back against the rumors, calling them "an attack on my family and an attack on all Italian-Americans." In the end, Clinton got walloped by Cuomo in New Hampshire and the Republican smears badly backfired: many Italian-Americans who normally voted Republican crossed party lines to support Cuomo. Even after his election, Cuomo still faced bigotry from right wing disc jockeys who alleged that Cuomo used his mob ties to steal the 1992 election. In 1994 Rush Limbaugh memorably exclaimed that, "he shouldn't be re-elected, he should be impeached!" Cuomo once again condemned these attacks in his 1995 State of the Union, which received a standing ovation from members of both parties. Even Antonin Scalia, who strongly disagreed with Cuomo on policy, praised Cuomo's defense of the Italian-American community. When asked by reporters to elaborate, Scalia responded, "I just wish those words had been said by a Republican!"
     
  7. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    How can you not forget those attacks? It just reminded me of a lot of the anti-Italian and anti-Catholic bigotry in the United States. The attacks on Cuomo were disgusting, insulting, and downright awful. Rush Limbaugh just helped to exacerbate those claims when he called for his impeachment. Downright cruel and wrong! I’m one of those Republicans who voted for Cuomo in 1992 and 1996. I just couldn’t stand the lies and conspiracy theories that were being peddled by both parties. It almost made me leave the Republican Party as a whole.
     
  8. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Wow. I wouldn't blame the entire GOP, but I think the attacks on Cuomo were a product of the far right politics that have unfortunately been a part of the Republican Party since 1964. When Trump and others were questioning Obama's citizenship, it definitely felt like a repeat of Limbaugh's false allegations. But at least Cuomo's bravery in the face of prejudice helped inspire many more Italian-Americans to run for office in both parties.
     
  9. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    The whole Trump thing is starting to feel familiar. I just pray it doesn’t come to fruition.

    Cuomo truly did inspire many Italian-Americans to run for public office. Hell, one of my brothers ran for office down in Florida thanks to Cuomo for the U.S. House of Representatives when he turned 27. (OOC: Not real, but I’m just rolling with the timeline. XD)
     
  10. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    That's great. I mentioned Clinton earlier, his dismal showing in New Hampshire and Super Tuesday ended his presidential ambitions and he stepped down as Arkansas' Governor in 1995. His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, was elected to the Senate from Arkansas in 1996. She was a rising star in the Democratic party, and many described her as presidential material, but she was one of the causalities of the 2002 disaster and didn't even make it to a second term in the Senate. I wonder what would've become of her career had Bill Clinton been the Democratic nominee in 1992?
     
  11. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Hey @Bomster I know you're a big RFK fan, and I remember that one cultural impact of Cuomo's Presidency was that Bobby Kennedy's reputation enjoyed a renaissance thanks to Cuomo, who often cited RFK as an influence. While Bobby never became President, he is remembered by many today as the bravest, most principled, and ultimately the most heroic Kennedy. Furthermore, among all his brother's Bobby had the greatest impact on modern American progressivism. Without Cuomo, do you think RFK would've received this kind of historical re-evaluation?
     
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  12. Bomster Who is the spiciest memelord?

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    Well, I do think he would still be well-remembered, but without his heavy posthumous influence on President Cuomo’s domestic policy he would probably be less prominent in our culture than his older brother Jack.
     
  13. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    OOC: Here is my Cuomo vs Bush electoral map. Cuomo does worse in the South and West, but ultimately wins the election with 337 votes to Bush's 201.

    1992.png
     
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  14. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    OOC: I'm not sure how familiar you are with the show, but it ended with Bartlett's VP Bob Russell - who is based off Gore - losing the nomination to Matt Santos, whose rise parallels Obama's. In the general election he faces Arnold Vinick, who is meant to represent John McCain. In a world where Gore wins in 2000, I imagine that the show's ending would be changed to have the VP narrowly win in his own right and succeed Bartlett in the White House. Instead of McCain, his Republican opponent would probably be Robert Ritchie - Bartlett's one time rival who was a stand in for George W. Bush. In the show they set up Ritchie's return, but this went nowhere after Sorkin left. So the showrunners probably bring back James Brolin as Ritchie only for his character to lose once again - this time to Bob Russell. This would probably be a better ending than OTL, which I found disappointing as I really wanted Vinick to win.
     
  15. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    OOC: I think a better ending would be to actually have Vinick win and show him pledging bipartisanship. I know Sorkin wanted Ritchie back, but looking at I realistically, why would Republicans nominate someone who already lost in a 400 electoral vote landslide?

    OOC: What does the electoral map look like present day? Is the South still solidly Republican while states like New York, Illinois, California, and New England are solidly Democratic?
     
  16. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    OOC: Good point. It's not like Nixon getting a second chance in 1968 after losing by a whisker in 1960. Also in this ATL McCain would actually be President when the show ends in 2006. So if Bartlett is seen as a stand in for Cuomo, it would make sense for the writers to just skip over Gore's presidency and have Vinick's election parallel 2004.

    OOC: I imagine the Deep South is still solidly Republican, but Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina would be competitive thanks to the Obama coalition. Maybe Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia would be in play for the Dems a bit longer as well. McCain would win New Hampshire in 2004 and Romney would probably win it too in 2012. I imagine that Wisconsin and Pennsylvania would be key swing states; McCain could win them fairly easily in '04.
     
  17. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    OOC: Like, how did Romney beat Obama and Biden in 2012 and 2016?
     
  18. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Like him or not, you have to give Obama credit for making the best of a bad situation. Within a year of taking office, the housing bubble burst and the US entered a painful economic downturn. Obama worked with a Republican Congress to stimulate the economy through tax credits to small businesses, and his Grand Bargain resulted in significant reductions in the deficit and debt. Most importantly Obama bailed out America's key financial firms as well as the automotive industry. However, because Obama's efforts were stymied by conservatives from day one* he was never able to take the drastic actions necessary to bring about a recovery. Also, Obama's tense relationship with the Democratic Party's liberal wing resulted in leading progressives such as Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders supporting former Senator Mike Gravel's 2012 primary challenge against him. While the 82 year old Gravel's primary campaign failed, his third party bid took 4% of the vote and spoiled Obama's re-election. Ultimately, Romney narrowly won the contest with 49.2% of the vote.

    *OOC: In this ATL, Obama never has a Democratic Congress in his first two years.
     
  19. TheAllTimeGreatest Well-Known Member

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    I was so shocked by how his very own party turned on him. Bernie Sanders really rubbed a LOT of people the wrong way when he endorsed Mike Gravel, and didn’t eventually support the President at the DNC. That only resulted in Republican gains in the Senate and House in 2012, especially in places you’d think were safe bets. Remember when Heather Wilson beat Martin Heinrich or when Tommy Thompson beat Tammy Baldwin in 2012? Perhaps if the Democrats were more united, they could’ve won these key races.

    OOC: Those races were fairly close OTL (about a 5-6% difference), but I’m thinking they could’ve flipped had Romney won, and especially with a divided Democratic Party.
     
  20. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Fortunately for the Democrats, Sanders learned his lesson by 2016 and fully supported the Biden/Booker ticket. This wasn't enough to overcome the Republicans, but at least the Democrats managed to hold their own in what was overall a good year for the GOP.