DBWI: Nixon Makes a Comeback

Although he's little more than a historical footnote today, at one point Richard Nixon was one of the dominant politicians of his era. He nearly won the Presidency in 1960, and in 1962 we was poised to win the governorship of California but he lost in an upset to Pat Brown. During a now infamous press conference Nixon announced his retirement from politics at the age of 49. He never ran for political office again.

But what if Nixon had come out of retirement and attempted a comeback? Could he have been elected Governor of California, or even President?
 
Nixon's political career was dead in the water after 1962, if he would've ran for president afterwards he would've just lost again, becoming another Adlai Stevenson, doubt he could've beat LBJ in 64 or RFK in 68
 
Nixon's political career was dead in the water after 1962, if he would've ran for president afterwards he would've just lost again, becoming another Adlai Stevenson, doubt he could've beat LBJ in 64 or RFK in 68
I don't know...1968 was pretty close. I think he could've done better than Reagan, who should've had that election in the bag.
 
LBJ was criticized for brokering the Oct. ‘68 Peace Treaty in Vietnam as late-in-the-game, and as having, in part, a very political goal. In response, Lyndon basically said, Hey, I’m going to be president until I’m not.

ATL: Nixon thinks of LBJ as cheating in regards to the presidential election, and therefore he thinks it’s okay to cheat in return. And Nixon is quietly successful at sabotaging the Treaty?
 
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I don't see anyone breaking the Vice President Curse. The generally accepted rule is that if you become vice President your only chance of becoming President is if the sitting president dies. So unless Eisenhower's heart attacks kill him Nixon is not getting into the highest office.
 
Nixon's political career was dead in the water after 1962, if he would've ran for president afterwards he would've just lost again, becoming another Adlai Stevenson, doubt he could've beat LBJ in 64 or RFK in 68
Not to mention Nixon heavily relied on smearing his opponents as communists, which, while helpful in a congressional election, would be absolutely useless in the aftermath of the 1968 peace treaty.

That said, while Nixon was no Kennedy, I don't think he would be totally free of deceit and scandal.

I don't know...1968 was pretty close. I think he could've done better than Reagan, who should've had that election in the bag.
Personally, I think it's a good thing that Reagan lost. He was a ultraconservative radical, if the memoirs of Haldeman are any indication, an unapologetic racist.
 
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Agreed, Nixon couldn't have beaten RFK. That being said... there was an assassination plot against Kennedy in 1968. Forget the exact details, but apparently some guy was going to shoot him after the California primary as punishment for his pro-Israel stances (but ultimately wasn't able to get close to Bobby). So Nixon could've won, but not against RFK, imo. If Bobby is downed, then it likely goes to Hubert Humphrey, which presents its own problems given the aforementioned VP rule. Plus, the Johnson ties would've hurt, seeing as Humphrey can't go against LBJ the way Bobby did on Vietnam. If you want a Republican win in 1968, you need the nominee to NOT be a Kennedy. Plain and simple.
 
Agreed, Nixon couldn't have beaten RFK. That being said... there was an assassination plot against Kennedy in 1968. Forget the exact details, but apparently some guy was going to shoot him after the California primary as punishment for his pro-Israel stances (but ultimately wasn't able to get close to Bobby). So Nixon could've won, but not against RFK, imo. If Bobby is downed, then it likely goes to Hubert Humphrey, which presents its own problems given the aforementioned VP rule. Plus, the Johnson ties would've hurt, seeing as Humphrey can't go against LBJ the way Bobby did on Vietnam. If you want a Republican win in 1968, you need the nominee to NOT be a Kennedy. Plain and simple.
Maybe if LBJ stays in the race, Nixon smells blood in the water and he thinks 1968 is the right time for a comeback? Do you think that Nixon could've beaten LBJ in '68?
 
Yeah, makes RFK vs. Agnew pale in comparison.
Hey, to be totally fair, Bobby kept it upbeat. It was mostly Democratic surrogates going nasty, tbh - especially ol' Scoop, that nasty sonofabitch of a VP. I don't tend to be a fan of George Bush, but I'm kind of glad that he won instead of Jackson in '76.
 
Hey, to be totally fair, Bobby kept it upbeat. It was mostly Democratic surrogates going nasty, tbh - especially ol' Scoop, that nasty sonofabitch of a VP. I don't tend to be a fan of George Bush, but I'm kind of glad that he won instead of Jackson in '76.
Well, after 16 years in office the Dems didn't have much of a chance in 1976 anyway. Nominating Jackson only made that worse.
 
And that's not mentioning Bobby's various scandals!
Oh come on, the wiretapping-as-AG thing was so overblown. Plus, didn’t they catch Ed Gurney, the damn ringleader of that whole mess, taking bribe money anyways?
Either way, it was pretty much Bobby Kennedy that kept the Dems in power for eight more years. It may be partisan nowadays, but he was still definitely one of our best presidents.
 
I think Nixon likely was an ill-fit for elected office in general. He was not a people person and even the people who liked him found him off-putting at the best of times. That said it's not like he totally disappeared from politics. He was a state prosecutor of California under Regan and before his death was the ambassador to Italy. Nixon might have been able to get a governorship off the ground or he could have gone back to the Senate if he was so inclined but there's a reason he didn't try. The man wasn't cut out for the spotlight, and deeply resented the press and in many ways the people. Once his anti-Communist bonafides stopped being relevant he didn't really have much to run on.
 
I think Nixon likely was an ill-fit for elected office in general. He was not a people person and even the people who liked him found him off-putting at the best of times. That said it's not like he totally disappeared from politics. He was a state prosecutor of California under Regan and before his death was the ambassador to Italy. Nixon might have been able to get a governorship off the ground or he could have gone back to the Senate if he was so inclined but there's a reason he didn't try. The man wasn't cut out for the spotlight, and deeply resented the press and in many ways the people. Once his anti-Communist bonafides stopped being relevant he didn't really have much to run on.
From what I know, that state prosecutor's job was a reward for Nixon's support for Reagan in 1968. IMO, Reagan made a mistake in running in 1968. He'd been governor for not even two years - he didn't have enough political experience to win at the national level. Further, the time wasn't right for his conservative policies. Maybe if he'd waited until 1976, a Republican year, then he could've won.
 
From what I know, that state prosecutor's job was a reward for Nixon's support for Reagan in 1968. IMO, Reagan made a mistake in running in 1968. He'd been governor for not even two years - he didn't have enough political experience to win at the national level. Further, the time wasn't right for his conservative policies. Maybe if he'd waited until 1976, a Republican year, then he could've won.
The issue with that is that the man would have been 65 or older at that point. While not technically the oldest president he'd be pretty close and it wouldn't be hard to paint him as too old to handle the office.
 
The issue with that is that the man would have been 65 or older at that point. While not technically the oldest president he'd be pretty close and it wouldn't be hard to paint him as too old to handle the office.
Plus, look at 1962. He was unstable as hell, if he was going to react that way to a gubernatorial loss. I can’t imagine him in the big chair.
 
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