Been waiting for this. As usual wonderfully written and researched. Thanks to you, Vidal, I'm currently reading Kai Bird's book and enjoying it immensely. So cheers mate!
 
Just one thing: I thinks there are a couple of typos in this paragraph :
Down the street walked an unsuspecting couple. The man failed to see Caulfield, sitting with his legs crossed on the ground, and tripped over him. He dropped his coffee, spilling it all over Champan and his copy of Salinger. Immediately, Chapman let out an aggravated yell and jumped to his feet, screaming at the man before chasing after him.
 
Does the electoral map look something like this? It still surprises me that OTL Carter performed well above his national totals in the South despite Reagan and the whole states rights/Moral Majority shebang, does prove that old habits die hard.

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Also 34-year-old AG Clinton sure is something, I hope he keeps his bits clean.
 
Wow. That was great! Treading truly new ground now. Can't wait to see how you handle it!

I think there's a date typo here:
If the Carter presidency is a tale of two speeches, it is this: The Crisis of Confidence speech, which set Carter on the course to win reelection, diagnosed the problem. His 1985 Inaugural address would try and provide the antidote.

Should be 1981 no? Unless you're sneakily foreshadowing the repeal of the 22nd Amendment ;)
 

Vidal

Donor
Does the electoral map look something like this? It still surprises me that OTL Carter performed well above his national totals in the South despite Reagan and the whole states rights/Moral Majority shebang, does prove that old habits die hard.

View attachment 787431

Also 34-year-old AG Clinton sure is something, I hope he keeps his bits clean.

I have a Wikibox. I think it's worth noting that a lot of the issue is less Evangelical turnout than OTL. In some of these states, Carter's vote total isn't changing al lthat much, but Reagan is losing them by a hair.
 
First of all, what a lovely update @Vidal, always amazes me how much more the circumstances around Carter differ more than the man himself, and it shows. It's very interesting to think of Jimmy's second term, considering that he'll probably piss off everyone and anyone, rightly or wrongly, always doing what he'll think is right instead of what's more likely to get votes.

...Carter bout to rip the labor movement a new one, ain't he? Oh well, at least it's not the twin catastrophes of Volcker and Reagan. They may no know it, but labor shall be better off in the future.

Carter Unleashed: justice for the incarcerated, serving up labor to the inflation gods, continuing to piss the everloving fuck off the Religious Right. 2 out of 3 ain't quite bad, innit?

First highlight; absolutely love what you're gonna do with Slick Willy himself. Of course, he still wasn't as shady this early in his career, so his desire to do some good and stay in the limelight may be a plus instead of a minus as Attorney General. At least Hillary shall be behind him and Carter will be nagging him constantly to stop him from doing stupid shit. Or not, and he flames out after whatever scandal he brings upon himself, or after clashing with Carter and trying to upstage the President. We shall see.

I'd love an updated Cabinet list, the nuts and dolts are great. Viva Brown, not a hawk nor a dove but a pragmatist, who shall continue to serve as SecDef. Warren Christopher shall at least tamp down the excesses of Zbig while keeping more internal harmony in the administration (bless Vance's heart, he was the odd man out). And Zbiggy Stardust himself, devilish chum he is, continuing to try to shank the USSR and free his homeland as early as possible, for better or worse (imo mostly for worse, but none can deny his drive was earnest and he was a more flexible thinker than say Kissinger's pure opportunism).

Will also love to see how Mondale gets on under a Carter with a free hand (his patience shall be tested severely), and how he will have to square the circle and bring back labor on his side for 1984 (tbf, not like there are gonna better options for them since Ted K is retired from presidential politics). But that's more musing for the unknown future of TTL.

Find the scenes with Reagan and the Moral Majority so absolutely cathartic. So assured of their victory and then it's so fucking funny how they turn the circular firing squad on each other. Poor Jack Kemp though...
It'll probably be interesting how internal GOP politics shape out. The Texans shall be on the outs after damaging Reagan so harshly, and Connally especially will probably be a spent force. Bush can still get back in the game, but he'll probably fade out and be the foreign policy whiz he always was shaped to be. New political stars will rise, some others shall fall, and the internal struggle for ideological supremacy shall carry on.

An excellent chapter, and a fitting end to the first moderately successful term of good ol' Jimmeh. Absolutely amazing, your writing is truly a golden standard for AH. Your work is deeply appreciated, my friend. Onwards and upwards.

With much esteem, @KingTico.
 
And so, at long last, here we are. The end of certainty.

Nancy didn’t blame Hinckley. She blamed Jack Kemp. She blamed John Sears, who exited the campaign in a fitful rage that had shaken them after a New Hampshire win, and she blamed George Bush and John Connally who didn’t know when to quit. As far as she was concerned, voters were idiots if they chose Jimmy Carter over her husband. If they didn’t want him, fine — they’d be perfectly happy to go back home.
Yeah well fuck you too Nancy.

God watching the slow unfurling of the electoral map and seeing Carter keep hold of some of his Southern coalition is great to witness.
When Reagan won Texas about twelve minutes later, cheers echoed through the halls. No Democrat had ever been elected President of the United States without winning Texas since it became a state in 1845. “We’ve got him!” Bill Casey exclaimed
I started giggling a little at that, couldn't help myself. The wait for California is so tense, and just watching it all slowly tick, tick, tick made me tense even though I knew that the race had to be called for Carter eventually. The fact that it took so long feels significant, as does the quick realization of what state it is that was going to clinch it for Carter. Illinois! Bloody Illinois! I cheered as it was called for him. What a bloody odd coalition of states each candidate has (In the best possible way, really great stuff here).

And the telephone call! "A prick right up until the end--" Oh COME ON RONNIE. I'm really glad that the telephone call was so acrimonious for some peculiar reason, just because Reagan doesn't strike me as being nominally gracious in this campaign. And the symmetry of becoming another Goldwater really works very well indeed!

I cheered at the news of Holtzman's victory, sorry Jacob I'm sure you did your best.

The gradual elimination of Carter's cabinet was done really well, seems a generally kind way to do it and not as a result of a particular failure, rather an attempt at understanding what problems need to be tackled and how. Attorney General makes sense, Andrus sticking around means interesting things for the future of the governorship of Idaho. Marshall and Vance make sense and I'm glad to see Krebs and Christopher make it into prominent positions (The former a lot earlier than OTL which is especially interesting). Anne Wexler moving up the ladder makes it very interesting, certainly a very competent woman in her field.

Honestly, the Playboy interview is so tame by today's standards that it's actually a little fascinating seeing it be taken seriously. And Pat Robertson's little interlude is certainly interesting.
Jerry Falwell was right all along. Except — and this was the reason for the meeting — when it came to Ronald Reagan.
Ha! Fucking called it! Robertson hitching his wagon to Connally despite his....legally questionable reputation is really interesting, I'd say he was the biggest sucker of the race but that honour might go to Falwell. Honestly reading their breakdown of what the hell happened was sinfully fun. Definitely interesting to see Clinton lose but I suspect Democrat backlash there makes some level of sense. Ugh, knowing sod's law Falwell will get his 1984 run and it'll be nastier than ever. A full-tilt attack on homosexuality is coming and it's going to be smack bang in the rise of the AIDS crisis, easy meat for a frightened and angry population even if Carter does a better job (Though considering OTL, it would hard to do a worse one).

Holy shit! Lennon lives!

I think that Landrieu is an excellent choice for DNC, particularly given the tone that Carter has been striking on the trail. A secondary New South wave seems necessary if not critical for ensuring continued Democrat support in those areas. Clinton heading to the Attorney General's office is BIG. It's rare that I've ever just inhaled sharply, and of course the question is, what happens when Clinton does what Clinton does best?

I love the relationship between Jimmy and Rosalyn, beautifully done. Have to admit getting a good laugh at Lott's presence, yet another sucker who misread the moment and couldn't hide his own feelings.

Obviously it's a lot of work on top of the (excellent) work you're doing already but I'd love to see a breakdown of some of the seat changes in the Senate, maybe even in the House as well, just to get a sense of what Carter is having to work with in his second term. This was incredible and for the first time since the story's beginning we are in unfamiliar country. I can't wait!
 
That rare combo of beautiful writing describing something too good to be true. A world without President Reagan...

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Can't wait to read more down the road, and whatever else you choose to publish here.
 
Reagan wasn’t sure what to make of the whole thing. He felt like he’d finally gotten Carter on the run, but then the assassination attempt had thrown it all out of whack. He couldn’t shake the feeling that God thought he shouldn’t be president. Why else had things fallen so perfectly into place for Jimmy Carter?
Had a good chuckle at this. Why indeed…

Carter's victory was never in doubt but it's nevertheless cathartic to see. I think you did a great job with the election night coverage in particular; you capture all the emotions of the night, and how close the race is, but without dragging it out for the reader. Maybe I just have a bee in my bonnet, but I find that 'in-depth'/'ground-level' TLs (for lack of a better word) often like to stretch election night out (often across multiple episodes), and I find that dull — so I appreciate the brevity here (and that that brevity didn't stop you from still make it a bit of a rollercoaster).

I'm really looking forward to where the TL goes from here. Not to dismiss these nine chapters, but obviously they've all been leading up to this, and now it's all a big question mark as to what happens now. Carter's railing against (non-euphemistic!) "special interests" certainly suggests we're in for a bumpy ride… despite his aides' efforts I don't think he's going to have an easy time with Congress at all. And Clinton as AG is a very big divergence and very interesting development, not least because of the careers path you outlined. Out of curiosity, was Clinton interested in DNC chairman IOTL? Wikipedia has nothing on it and, as I'm sure you can imagine, "Clinton DNC chair" is a difficult Google search these days.

A couple typos I spotted, if that's alright:

The coverage was devoid of much spin from either party, instead for CBS, Walter Cronkite worked methodically through the numbers — reporting on Senate races around the country (Chris Dodd was just elected over conservative James Buckley in Connecticut) and updating viewers on the electoral vote spread for the presidential candidates.
Seems like two sentences got spliced together here.

Hillary couldn’t believe it. Here it was, a path back for him and a path out of Washington for her.
I assume this is supposed to be out of Arkansas.
 

Vidal

Donor
Would like a list of House and Senate races.

Coming this week!

Carter's victory was never in doubt but it's nevertheless cathartic to see. I think you did a great job with the election night coverage in particular; you capture all the emotions of the night, and how close the race is, but without dragging it out for the reader. Maybe I just have a bee in my bonnet, but I find that 'in-depth'/'ground-level' TLs (for lack of a better word) often like to stretch election night out (often across multiple episodes), and I find that dull — so I appreciate the brevity here (and that that brevity didn't stop you from still make it a bit of a rollercoaster).

Thank you!

Out of curiosity, was Clinton interested in DNC chairman IOTL? Wikipedia has nothing on it and, as I'm sure you can imagine, "Clinton DNC chair" is a difficult Google search these days.

Yes! Mentioned in Carter's WH Diary and Clinton's memoirs.

A couple typos I spotted, if that's alright:

thank you :)
 
A fantastic read. The election was never in doubt for Carter but I admit reading it was slightly nail-biting. Ronald Reagan in TTL will be regarded as little more than a footnote, another Barry Goldwater who was too radical for the American people and as a result lost the election.
Bill Clinton being Carter's Attorney General was a surprise and opens up a lot of possibilities going forward.
I also thought you wrote the Moral Majority very well and in a realistic manner. They wouldn't just collapse overnight, no instead they would regroup and plan for 1994.
John Lennon lives! Very happy about that
Carter's inaugural speech was a great read. Very inspiring for sure.
Now that he has won a second term, I'm very excited to see how the culture of TTL 80s will progress. In our time it was all "greed is good, power suits, Star Wars, I want my MTV, Dallas, Dynasty, eccetera". With Carter still President I'm fascinated to see what will change in terms of culture and what may stay the same.
 
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