Mrs. Clinton Goes to Washington

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by NickCT, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    MRS. CLINTON GOES TO WASHINGTON
    T H E | S T O R Y | O F | H I L L A R Y ' S | 2 0 0 4 | C A M P A I G N


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    She sat in her office in Washington. The day was February 1, 2003 and Hillary Rodham Clinton was completely unsatisfied with the Democrats running to replace George W. Bush. For the last several months she’d been consulting with her husband and several Democratic Party insiders about the possibility of a formal candidacy for the Presidency. Some said that she would be attacked for her inexperience, but Clinton reminded them that in her time as Senator she’d made great strides in the areas of bipartisanship and as First Lady she led a charge no one else would: Universal Health Care. Clinton called Patti Doyle, her longtime campaign manager, and asked if she would run the campaign. Doyle agreed and Clinton’s next call, Terry McAuliffe, was more than enthusiastic about the prospect of another Clinton for President Campaign. The decision was made on February 1st that Hillary Rodham Clinton was running for President. Five days later on the steps of the New York State House, Hillary Clinton declared she was a candidate for President of the United States. The events set in motion by her announcement were never anticipated by anyone.

    With Mark Penn as the Chief Strategist, Patti Doyle working as the campaign manager, and several others in Clinton’s inner-circle hard at work the campaign was off to a great start. Early polls showed them in third, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt. Hillary’s early strategy was simple, camp out in Iowa and gain enough support there to move on to key states. For much of February, March, and April Clinton’s campaign was focused on Iowa, Iowa, and more Iowa. The strategy enabled her to build up a comfortable lead in the state. While doing this the campaign had focused on using the internet to their advantage. Their website was well-equipped and Hillary’s GOTV routine was very effective. As she moved on to New Hampshire, Clinton fought hard to make up for lost ground in the state. As late-April approached Clinton was leading in fundraising and endorsements with several high-profile politicians (past and present) lined up behind Hillary. From Geraldine Ferraro to Dianne Feinstein, prominent female leaders were very supportive of Clinton and her efforts. As Clinton began to rise in the polls John Kerry’s campaign fell as they appealed to similar demographics. Clinton’s popularity with blue collar voters and rank-and-file Democrats surged her to first place nationally by early-May. Though her lead was small there was no one who could deny that she was the candidate to beat. However the Clinton staff began to worry. The campaign didn’t have something they could really hammer home with the voters. Sure, you had Bill and Hillary running around and campaigning, but Dean was easily identifiable as the Anti-War candidate. Kerry was a war hero. Edwards was the “pretty boy”, but for Clinton there wasn’t an image to hammer in to the minds of voters.

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    At a campaign strategy meeting in May the inner-circle locked themselves in a room and debate the future of the campaign, especially the message they wanted to put out. Doyle and Penn were united on the issue of Health Care. Though it was a failure the fact that Hillary had put herself on the line to advocate it may have been something she could use to her advantage, the problem was condensing that message. When the suggestion of “fighting the fight” came up it was quickly shot-down because of the similarity to Kerry’s war hero message. The team debated and after a few hours they decided the message: “Because you matter and she cares!” The slogan was short and showed that Clinton was prepared to keep her promises made to the General Electorate; something both Kerry and Dean had hit Clinton for already in this stage of the campaign. The next topic for debate was whether or not to go negative, but Penn replied, “You obliterate them at the end of the race; right now no one could care less about the race.”

    With Clinton’s campaign in full force they continued to gain ground, expanding their lead on the rest of the Democratic field. Throughout much of May Clinton was forced to brush-off her previous comments about serving at least a full term in the U.S. Senate. Her response was weak, but the more she said it the more she worked. The response, “I did not realize our country would turn in to such a staggering downturn in such a short amount of time”, was the beginning signs of mudslinging in the campaign. For the most part the Democrats hadn’t seemed that critical of Bush, largely because he was not an unpopular candidate, but Clinton’s entry changed much of that. She was willing to go toe-to-toe with Bush and invited him to defend his own ideas. Clinton did something very smart: she treated her campaign as though she was already the nominee and moved forward to attacks on Republicans. The Bush Campaign was definitely fearful of Clinton. They hoped that Kerry would be the nominee as they viewed him as weak and too “average” and “uninspiring” to win in the general electorate. By the end of May 2003 Clinton was at 35% in the polls while her nearest opponent, Dean, was polling at 19%. With June approaching the candidates shifted focus to winning the “MoveOn.org Primary” though it promised no delegates, the vote held immense symbolic value. Clinton used her website, reaching millions of hits a day, to remind supporters and volunteers to get out and vote in the online primary. Her GOTV strategy paid off and she beat Howard Dean by 400 votes. In third place was Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. In the first primary debate, held that month, Clinton was attacked for her promise in the Senate but her response proved effective and she hit Lieberman as being too moderate to represent the Democratic Primary. Eventually Clinton’s debate performance, though it wasn’t stellar, is credited with halting Lieberman’s momentum in the race and he quickly fell off the map, allowing Kerry to reemerge as a serious candidate for the nomination.

    Clinton’s rising prominence within the Democratic campaign forced Bush’s reelection campaign to make a hard decision. Earlier that month Dick Cheney had offered to step aside as the running mate in 2004 and Bush had declined, but now everyone, including Cheney, told Bush to abandon him in order to find a more attractive running mate – someone who could take the election’s focus off of Hillary and back onto the Republican Party. Bush finally accepted Cheney’s retirement and the campaign silently began work on selecting a new nominee to fill the spot. Bill Frist was an early favorite among both Bush and Campaign Staffers, but they agreed to continue looking. The campaign also began rallying around Rudy Giuliani, known as America’s Mayor for his effective leadership post-9/11. Bush worried the pick would appear too political and quickly vetoed any hopes of a Bush/Giuliani ticket. Soon a short list of nearly 10 names was formed and the campaign began to vet all of them. They decided that in January 200 4 Cheney would announce his retirement and the next running mate would be revealed. The hope was that Clinton would win Iowa and New Hampshire in January and a new running mate on the Republican side would prevent the media from focusing on the historic wins on the Democratic side.

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    With the Republicans deciding on a new ticket, the Democrats continued to push through during most of June with the candidates holding a combined total of 304 town halls, speeches, and interviews. The month was one of the busiest for campaigning as it was the first month where more than 35% of the party said they were paying attention to the primaries. Candidates hoped to posture themselves as the front runner and to put a dent in Clinton’s armor and stardom. Her campaign continued in full force with Clinton in a primetime or morning interview almost every day of the month. Furthermore their website proved to be a huge advantage. Historians today agree that Clinton’s effective use of a campaign website was really the beginning of the link between internet and campaigning. Every Friday Clinton would sit on her living room couch and brief volunteers about the progress her campaign had made over the week. The strategy worked and kept volunteers and supporters engaged in the primary process, it was becoming clear that Hillary Rodham Clinton was unbeatable in her quest for the 2004 Democratic Nomination.
     
  2. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    hcallega will be helping me with ideas and such but ultimately final decisions will be mine and the written work will be my own. I do want to thank him for the help he's already given me in addition to the additional help he'll give me down the line.
     
  3. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Chapter Two

    July started off with a bang as Dick Gephardt ended his campaign after months of declining funds. He’d blown his money early to keep his lead on Senator Clinton and the decision left him with millions of dollars of campaign debt. In the meantime Hillary and Dean had been able to continue their fundraising numbers to pay for the ads they were running in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. The three states proved to be crucial and neither of them was willing to lose the battle. By rule of thumb if you win two of the first three states or three of the first four states you’re all set for the nomination. Penn and Doyle focused on continuing Clinton’s leads in Iowa and New Hampshire, though it became clear Dean was quickly making ground in Iowa while Kerry was chipping away at their margin in New Hampshire. The campaign continued to grow their ad buy while focusing on getting the support of Senator Biden who had briefly considered joining the race himself. Eventually, on July 19th, Biden endorsed Clinton’s campaign. It was the biggest endorsement any of the campaigns had received up to that point, but it would be quickly overshadowed by the Republican contest.

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    On July 24th the Associated Press picked up on a leak that Vice President Cheney was leaving the Republican Ticket, the Bush Campaign vehemently denied any notion of the matter and said that if Cheney wanted to leave it would be “his decision.” Though Bush had feared the story would force his hand he was able to maintain control over the media coverage. That is until Second Lady Lynne Cheney, who wasn’t completely in-the-loop assured NBC’s Matt Lauer that her “husband was in it for the long run.” The story made many in the Bush Campaign nervous as it may appear hypocritical when Cheney left the ticket in January of 2004. It did not, however, end the vetting process with President Bush and Senator Frist meeting for a series of talks about the possibility of a Bush/Frist ticket. Also on the short list were Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Adviser, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, U.S. Senator John McCain, Ohio Governor Bob Taft, and U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. The short list was extensive and covered a wide variety of potential nominees. Frist and Rice were front runners for the positions but Dole and McCain were also serious considerations. The decision would be made in December 2003 after interviews with all potential candidates had been concluded. Surprisingly the Cheney story went away by early-August and the Bush White House continued their mission of finding a new Vice President.

    For the Democrats August was a month that took way too long. The candidates met for two debates during the month. The first of which was declared a victory for Senator Clinton, but the second was seen as a draw between Kerry and Dean, igniting a fire beneath Kerry’s campaign. The debate put Kerry back in the national spotlight and enabled him to continue his campaign which some assumed would die well before the Iowa Caucuses. As far as Lieberman’s campaign went, the campaign was all but officially dead. Fundraising had halted and so had any hopes of Lieberman resurging in the polls. Still, he hoped Gore would come out of the woodwork and endorse his campaign, but finally Gore told him, in-person, “Joe, I can’t support you.” On August 22nd Joe Lieberman terminated his presidential campaigns and with him died any hope of a Pro-Iraq candidacy by the Democrats. Still, most in the Democratic field had actually voted for the Iraq War and that was something Governor Dean was very fond of pointing out. In nearly every campaign event during August Dean would begin with, “My name is Howard Dean and I’m one of the few Democratic Candidates who did not support the Iraq War!” Dean’s message resonated with far-left voters and helped him minimalize Clinton’s lead over him throughout the month of August with Clinton’s campaign taken a big hit. Their lead had stood at about 15% in May, but had quickly dwindled to 7% by the time the nation welcomed in September. The fight for the Democratic Nomination was getting uglier and uglier as the candidates became increasingly negative throughout most of August. For the little-known candidates the month was just another month on the campaign trail but for the bigger candidates it marked a grueling 30 days of sweat and hard work – and in the end it would only pay off for one candidate. As Mark Penn would later write in his memoirs, “August was a bitch.”

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    September was no real different than any average month in a campaign. No significant events occurred, no candidates withdrew, and the candidates continued to work at gaining momentum as the Iowa and New Hampshire contests drew near. It was, however, the first month that Hillary Clinton lost her lead in Iowa with Howard Dean passing her by 1% in most polls, Hillary’s internals showed a 0.3% difference and Dean’s internals actually showed Hillary with a 0.5% lead. The truth was: the state was too damn close to call. Dean stepped up the number of events in Iowa and packed the month of September with speech after speech, but when Dick Gephardt endorsed Clinton after dropping out roughly a month before, Clinton was able to attract even more of the rank-and-file Iowa voters. She met with them in coffee shops and read to kids at schools. Her message was simple: fix education, fix the economy, fix social security, and fix health care. It was one fight for nearly every year of her Administration but as she talked with voters she was quick to explain she couldn’t get it all done. “I’m going to do my best, but the partisanship will likely get in the way. If I get your help in getting me there I do promise to fight as hard as I can for you,” she would tell countless voters. Dean took less of a one-on-one approach, delivering numerous speeches and hosting town hall events in every single Iowa County – all 99 of them. It was something that his advisers told him not to. As his campaign manager explained, “You win Iowa by showing you care. These people are greedy bastards who demand they meet with a candidate; if you want to win you have to do that.” Dean would simply refer to the recent spike in polls as if to say, “What was that?” Ultimately the lesser-candidates focused on New Hampshire, such as Senator Kerry who worked hard to win the state. General Clark thought about the road ahead visiting other early states like Arizona and South Carolina. With John Edwards’s campaign starting to lose money and support he searched for something to revitalize a once promising campaign.

    By the time October had finally arrived the candidates were worn-out. They were now an entire month closer to the Iowa and New Hampshire contests and things appeared to be winding-down while the first serious ad buys began. Clinton spent almost $5 million in October with Dean closely behind, spending about $4.5 million. Other candidates couldn’t compete; Kerry spent the third most with $1.2 million. The fundraising giants, Clinton and Dean, were unmatchable and it showed. In October more than half of the Democrats were either pro-Clinton or pro-Dean. The rest fell for Kerry, Edwards, Clark, or some other longshot candidate. With the campaign almost a year away from the General Election every Democrat turned up the rhetoric against President Bush calling him “doomed from day one” and promising to offer a vastly different approach to government. As Hillary Clinton said during one of the debates in October, “This election is a referendum on President Bush. If you think four years of failed promises are good, then by all means vote Republicans, but if you think we can too far during Bill Clinton’s Presidency to let it go to waste, than I am your candidate for President!” Bush was relatively quiet in the face of attacks. Though he did respond occasionally he mostly felt that he should wait until the General Election in order to present himself as more Presidential. At the end of the day all he had to do was remind voters he was the President and the Democrats were just applying for his job.
     
  4. Alternatehistoryguy47 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    I have a suggestion for if Bush is going to replace Cheney. In his book, Decision Points, Bush himself states that he was very impressed with John Danforth, and came VERY close to asking him to take the job, but he went with Cheney instead. Perhaps Bush should give Johnny a call.
     
  5. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Damn, I thought the only one he mentioned in his book was Frist! Danforth will be added in next update, thanks for bringing this to my attention!!
     
  6. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Chapter Three

    With the General Election campaign now a year away, President Bush began having second thoughts about a potential running mate. He’d met with Frist, Rice, and Dole and none of them were sparking his interest. He decided to send the staff back to the drawing board to find a new pick, someone who would inspire him and make him satisfied with replacing Dick Cheney. They came back with two names: Lynne Cheney and John Danforth. Bush liked the thought of Lynne, but it just wouldn’t work after picking her husband earlier. He began considering John Danforth, however, and his attitude changed. Danforth was someone Bush had seriously considered in 2000, but the more he thought it over Danforth may not be the best fit for 2004. Bush needed someone inspiring, someone who would take attention off of Hillary’s inevitable, yet historic, nomination. It became clear that no one in the current crop would work. If he picked a woman it would be seen just as what it was: political. He needed a young, vibrant leader who could inspire a large audience of conservatives. Bush found himself turning to Jon Kyl, a Republican Senator from Arizona who would work well with the conservative wing of the party. It seemed to Bush that Kyl was a logical choice: young, conservative, and appealing. As Bush began to side with Kyl he found some on the campaign staff agreeing. Others however thought he was picking the wrong Arizona Senator. When it became Bush was stuck between McCain and Kyl the staff decided to bring both of them in, separately, for a casual conversation with Bush. Kyl would shore up the conservative vote, but McCain would be able to pick up former Hillary supporters if she lost to Dean in the primaries. It became clear that the President was indecisive and for once he had no strong opinion on the issue. The decision was, clearly, stuck between McCain and Kyl. One of the Arizona Senators would be the next Vice President of the United States – should Bush be successful in his reelection campaign. Either way Bush was preparing to pass the torch to one of the Republicans and it was increasingly obvious that one of them would become the 2008 Presumptive Nominee for President, win or lose for Bush.

    The Democrats remained in chaos though some would argue a certain degree of organization was arising. Carol Moseley Braun ended her campaign and endorsed Dean in early-November and the field was again narrowed. Clinton and Dean were clearly the two front runners for the Democratic Nomination and odds were one of them would become the nominee when it was all said and done. Unfortunately for the party not only was that month’s away but it also appeared that the two were not willing to go down without a fight. As Clinton explained to her campaign staff, “If I lose, I lose – I don’t mind. I will not be a quitter, though. I will not give up.” November marked the first negative television ads of the season with both candidates unleashing waves of negative media. This was well-received by the Kerry campaign who presented themselves as the mature and focused candidate. As Kerry pointed out at a rally in New Hampshire, “I’m focused on defeating George Bush; they’re content with defeating each other and calling it a day.” With Kerry using the message of positivity his campaign started to display signs of life once again. In the only debate during November Kerry once again poked fun at Clinton and Dean for butting heads and Kerry’s campaign took off. His message of “staying positive” worked as first time donors flooded to help his campaign while past donors returned. During a “Help Me be Postive” moneybomb, Kerry raised an unprecedented $7,650,455.95 in only 72 hours. The donations were pouring in and Clinton and Dean focused their attention on Kerry and worked to put an end to the rising start within the party. Clinton brought several military members who served with Kerry out to attack the Senator while Dean dug up “foot-in-mouth” moments by Kerry. With accusations starting to drown his campaign Kerry and his staff agreed on a till-you-drop press conference. The press conference laid to rest any accusations against the Senator and Kerry’s numbers continued to stay on the rise. Polls released near the end of November showed Dean with 30%, Clinton with 29%, and Kerry with 24%. The race had tightened considerably and only 3% were undecided. Dean held a small lead in Iowa while Kerry and Clinton were tied in New Hampshire; the election was up for grabs.

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    Unfortunately for Kerry December proved that the November rise was a one-moth thing with his numbers gradually declining as voters continued to be less and less inspired by the thought of Kerry as President. Clinton and Dean brought crowds to their feet with Hillary delivering passionate speeches and Dean’s complete display of frustration when talking about the Bush Administration, Kerry’s monotone remarks did nothing for crowds and in December SNL Skits were focused on making fun of Kerry for his spray-tan and generally unattractive appearance. The Cold Open one Saturday was a parody of Kerry’s first television ad – which ended up being an infomercial for a Massachusetts tanning company. Furthermore Kerry’s wealth created a general separation between him and the average, middle-class voter. His national numbers fell back to 18% by the end of the month and Hillary gained a lead in both the national and New Hampshire polls. Furthermore Dean’s 3.5% lead in Iowa had shrunk to 1.7% with Hillary right behind. Kerry and Edwards were in a close battle for third place but neither candidate had a real shot at taking second place, let alone first. Edwards had longed hoped for a victory in Iowa as an underdog but the divide between him and the Dean/Clinton race was a gap too large to bridge. Dean and Clinton were bombarding all of the early states with television ads and mailers while Edwards was clinging on to some hope of using the one-on-one relationships to propel him to victory. For the most part the strategy wasn’t working, but it could win him a third place finish. A third place finish in Iowa and a second place finish in South Carolina could keep Edwards relevant enough to last another day. As for Kerry he needed to finish second in New Hampshire and win several of the other early states in order to keep his name in the campaign. The odds were stacked against him. As the country prepared to ring in a new year each Democrat hoped to win big in Iowa and New Hampshire during the first month of the year.

    The days leading up to the President’s big announcement were tense. The press knew that the Campaign stop in Tallahassee, Florida was something more than just a speech and it was clear something had been brewing since the moment Dick Cheney held an interview on Meet the Press where he appeared shy when questions of the 2004 Campaign Strategy came up. On Monday, January 12, 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney approached the podium in the James Brady Press Room. “Um, I’ll make this quick. For the last three years it’s been an honor to serve this nation as Vice President. Though my heart’s held up I think it’s safe to say that’s nothing short of a miracle. It’s been a great and humbling experience to advise President Bush on urgent matters but I believe the time has come to move on and so I will not seek reelection with the President come November. This was a personal decision and not a political won, I assure you. I submitted my resignation several months back, actually. So, um, if there are any questions…” The cameras buzzed and reporters now knew that tomorrow’s stop in Tallahassee was likely the event Bush had selected to announce his replacement. At the event in Tallahassee Bush took the stage. Delivering a thorough speech with a short but excellent introduction to his next running mate, Bush was on the top of his game. He got natural about half-way through the speech and started to really enjoy the entire buzz scurrying around the room. Finally he closed his speech, “Please give it up for your next Vice President: John Sidney McCain of the great state of Arizona!” The crowd went wild and McCain’s speech about his service in Vietnam and time as a maverick in the senate enabled McCain to come across as a very strong candidate. Though 67 years old McCain was on his A-game and impressed those in the stadium as well as those watching at home. Furthermore the press loved the pick. McCain was respected on more liberal news media outlets and admired by Fox News. With all sides eating up the pick, and the fact Cheney wouldn’t be back, McCain received an early arrival onto the national stage.

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    Unfortunately for the Democrats the nomination of McCain stole attention away from their all-important first contests. Dean and Hillary made attempts at locking-up Iowa while Kerry concentrated on New Hampshire. Hillary was the only candidate with a legitimate shot at winning both states. She fought hard and her work was evident. National polls showed a close race but in state-by-state polling Hillary could do very well if she won Iowa or New Hampshire – a win in both could end any chance for her opponents. Iowa was a few days away when the entire primary process was flipped. Al Gore announced his endorsement for Governor Dean. Dean surged in the polls and Hillary fought hard to bring her campaign back, announcing endorsements from Tom Harkin and other prominent Iowa officials. When polls opened on Monday evening Hillary and Dean were exactly tied, in the four most prominent polling agencies. It was going to be a showdown for the last vote. Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, and many other prominent Hillary supporters were at caucuses across the state to drum-up support for Hillary. Dean relied heavily on passionate supporters to make his case. No one thought an upset was possible by Kerry or Edwards. In fact Kerry had given up on the state and fought to win New Hampshire. Polls closed only a few short hours after they opened and the process of counting ballots began. The first counties to report were useless as they came in heavy for Edwards, by the time more crucial counties came in it was still too close to call. News networks were working on raw results and experts fought to analyze every last vote that was reported. By 12:00 am on the East Coast a winner could not be determined and with only a few counties left Hillary held the lead with 1,121 votes. Ten minutes later the race tightened further with Hillary’s lead shrinking to 899 votes. By the time the next country reported at 12:37 am Hillary Clinton was winning with 450 votes, exactly. Two more counties were left and entrance polling indicated it could go either way. When the first of the two reported Hillary’s lead shot up to 711 votes and all of the networks reported a Clinton victory. The second county also came in for Clinton and the final count had Hillary winning by 714 votes. The New York Senator had won the State of Iowa. The newspapers in the morning headlined with the win and Hillary was back on top.

    Dean’s campaign was devastated by the loss, but quickly decided to work on a second place win in New Hampshire. Kerry had pulled ahead of Clinton however and with Clinton winning in Iowa it was going to be difficult for Dean to make up the distance. On January 23rd John Edwards announced he was leaving the campaign and endorsing Hillary Clinton – the primary in New Hampshire just got even more interesting. The candidates would be forced to battle Hillary’s rising momentum. Dean fell further behind and quickly decided to give up on winning New Hampshire. He focused on several of the states that would have their contests on February 3rd. On January 27th exit polls showed another close contest for the Democrats. Clinton and Kerry were neck-and-neck but Kerry had a small lead in most polls, including the exit numbers. By 10:00 it was clear that the exit polling was nearly spot-on and the networks called New Hampshire for Senator Kerry, it was an upsetting blow for Clinton. However with the endorsement of Edwards she planned to capitalize on leads in the February 3rd states. In the meantime the attention had shifted to Kerry and that was something Clinton couldn’t let happen. She unleashed new television ads across the February 3rd States in hopes of stopping Clark, Dean, and Kerry in their tracks. Kerry had been saving up money from his positive money bomb and used it to put out a series of newspaper and radio ads across the other early states. Clark was clinging on to the fantasy of winning in South Carolina and hoped that would put his campaign into the public eye. Clinton had an impressive hold in South Carolina with Kerry in second and Clark in third, Al Sharpton was in fourth and had the potential to move up and gain a few delegates to the convention, though it was unlikely. As far as the other states went it was Dean or Clinton with Kerry consistently pulling close thirds. Things were heating up in several of the states and no one was ready to call the remainder of the early contests –after all: anything was possible.

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  7. historybuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    By all means continue.
     
  8. Turquoise Blue Floraison Tibby!

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Location:
    Europe
    *eating popcorn* This is interesting, please continue.
     
  9. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    AUS
    You sure love these political tls.
    And they are some of the best i have seen yet.

    MOAR!
     
  10. MrwBrightside Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Great timeline, looking good!
     
  11. Alternatehistoryguy47 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oh, this should be good. McCain still hates Bush for what he did to him in South Carolina back in 2000. There's a chance that he could exact revenge on Bush by sabotoging the campaign.

    And wait, if Bush was looking for a young, vibrant leader who could inspire conservatives, then why not pick Mitt Romney? He was still Governor of Michigan, and he was just beginning to rise to national prominence.
     
  12. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Romney didn't fit with the theme of Bush's reelection campaign (in real-life and ITTL, which was shoring up national security voters). Otherwise, I agree he would've been considered.

    And as for McCain, I think the reason McCain would've said yes was a willingness to put the country first, trust me the fact he hates Bush is going to become clear, but the do come to respect each other over the course of the TL
     
  13. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Chapter Four

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    With New Hampshire and Iowa in the past voters in seven states went to the polls to elect their nominee. As the polls began to close news networks made their predictions: Hillary was the clear victor in South Carolina and Dean was the projected winner of Delaware. Soon more and more states began to close and Oklahoma was called for Wesley Clark. Missouri was a close fight between Hillary and Clark with Dean expected to come in third place. Soon North Dakota was called for Dean and New Mexico quickly followed with a Clinton victory. Arizona also came in for Clinton and Missouri remained the only state undecided. Finally, after hours of exhaustive coverage the State of Missouri was also called for Senator Clinton. With Kerry failing to win a single state his campaign was greatly weakened. He looked for signs of hope in four days when Michigan, Washington, and Louisiana would go to the polls. Kerry focused on Washington where Hillary and Dean were tied at 34% while both Hillary and Dean went to Michigan, allowing Clark to have Louisiana to himself. On February 7th results started coming in. Louisiana was called for Clark with Dean finishing second. Washington was called for Kerry with Dean in second. It was down to Michigan, a swing state in the General Election and the possessor of a staggering amount of delegates. At 10:55 pm the state was called for Hillary Rodham Clinton – Hillary had cemented herself as the one to beat within the primary campaign. The next day Maine went for Senator Kerry. The primary season had officially entered a running pace with the Tennessee and Virginia primaries arriving on February 10th. In both Tennessee and Virginia Clark and Clinton were tied while Dean remained in third. On the morning of February 10th Al Sharpton announced his exit from the campaign. By the time all of the votes were counted Clark was the winner in Tennessee while Clinton had succeeded in taking Virginia and the attention was immediately shifted to Nevada and Wisconsin. Clark was in close thirds in both states while Clinton and Dean were tied. Dean skipped Nevada and focused on Wisconsin, Clinton decided to focus on taking Nevada and using the growing momentum to give her Wisconsin. The strategy worked with Clinton taking Nevada and Clark upsetting Dean for second place on February 14th. Three days later Wisconsin went for Clinton by a razor-thin margin.

    In Hawaii Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean were tied for first while Idaho was just barely in the Clinton column. On February 24th Dennis Kucinich rocketed on to the national stage by winning the Hawaii Caucuses by a mere 11 votes. In Idaho and Utah Hillary Clinton defeated “Uncomitted” by about 3,000 votes. Attention shifted to March 2nd when some of the biggest states would cast their votes. Clinton was the heavy favorite and enough wins on the Tuesday could enable her to push Kerry and Clark out of the race, making it a two-man fight to the convention between her and Dean. When the polls closed and the votes were cast the news networks started to make their calls: Dean won Connecticut with Kerry in a close second, Hillary had taken Georgia with Clark in second, Dean had taken Maryland, Hillary had easily won Ohio and Rhode Island with Dean taking his home state of Vermont. Kerry took his home state of Massachusetts, but by an embarrassingly close margin with Hillary in second. Minnesota went for Clinton with Dean in second and all eyes shifted to California. Polls showed it rocking back-and-forth for weeks, but exit polling indicated a sizeable Clinton victory. The results were somewhat different with Hillary defeating Dean by about 75,000 votes. Kerry withdrew the next morning, but Clark valued to charge ahead. On March 9th, only a week later, Hillary took Florida by a comfortable margin. Louisiana again went for Clark in their primary, Mississippi also went to Clark, North Carolina went decidedly for Hillary, and Texas (both primary and caucus) went for Hillary by a semi-comfortable margin. It appeared that Hillary was simply unstoppable. Nevertheless, both Dean and Clark promised to fight another day. However the odds were stacked against them. Her impressive victories had poured nearly $40,000,000 into Hillary’s campaign throughout February and March while Dean fell far, far behind. On March 13th Kansas went for Clark while Hillary and Dean fought over Illinois. The state was projected to be close and the results proved no different, but Hillary took the state with about 2,500 votes to spare. On March 20th Dean took Alaska with Kucinich coming in second.

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    With about 20 days of pure campaigning candidate used the time to regain focus. Clinton spent money and time in Indiana and Pennsylvania while Dean focused purely on Pennsylvania, but polls showed the momentum on Hillary’s side had proved too much. On April 8th Dean and his campaign staff were talking over the future of the campaign and mapping out a map to victory. It was becoming increasingly difficult to do until a staffer interrupted the meetings, she burst into the room screaming, “Turn on CNN!” As Dean’s campaign manager grabbed the remote and clicked-on the TV CNN had the headline: Kerry Endorses Clinton at Pennsylvania rally. It was over. With Kerry’s endorsement there was no logical way for Dean to get to the nomination. The look on everyone’s faces was grim and finally Dean broke the silence, “Call the press conference tomorrow.” As his press secretary nodded Dean got up and left. As for General Clark’s campaign things were very different. They intended to remain in the race until the convention. They had legitimate chances in every remaining state with the exception of Pennsylvania. However when Dean withdrew and endorsed Clinton on April 9th everything changed as Hillary had gathered enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Clark’s expression was blank, was it worth staying in and taking the remaining contests or did it make more sense to bow out now and hope for a spot on the ticket? Clark dropped out on April 11th and Hillary Clinton assumed the role of presumptive Democratic Nominee for 2004. The Bush Camp was not all that surprised, but they planned to go negative early. As Karl Rove put it in his April 15th meeting with the President, “We gotta show this bitch who the boss is.” Immediately the Bush/McCain team began the tedious work of fighting Hillary Rodham Clinton, unfortunately most had been exposed about her. Furthermore McCain, who had Bush’s ear, strongly urged the President to run a positive campaign focused on his record of achievements instead of appearing petty by destroying the first woman nominated by a major party for President. The more McCain talked, the more Bush listened and soon the campaign looked to be going in a positive direction.

    With the nomination officially hers, Clinton began to look for a Vice Presidential candidate to run alongside her. Several candidates impressed Clinton right away: Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania, Joe Biden, Senator from Delaware, Russ Feingold, Senator from Wisconsin, and John Kerry, Clinton’s former opponent. Clinton was open for attack on the Iraq War issue and she decided to seriously consider Feingold as a possibility as he would help Hillary take the anti-Iraq issue. However Clinton also began to consider Bob Graham, a former Governor and U.S. Senator from Florida. Graham’s time as Governor was impressive, he was from as swing state, and he, too, had voted against going to War with Iraq in 2002. It seemed that Clinton had her hands full in looking for a nominee. National polls showed Clinton and Bush tied at 45% nationally with both candidates looking to distance themselves while attracting moderates to the campaign. Winning the independent vote, as always, would be the key to winning the Presidential Election in 2004 and the number one issue on voters’ minds was the Iraq War. If Clinton could pick a Senator who voted against the War from the start she could be successful in having enough support for the operation on the top of her ticket to win moderates as well as have an anti-War candidate on the bottom to shore up the Democratic base. With Graham and Feingold front runners for the Vice Presidential Nomination Clinton began to work on building organization in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. One of those three states would decide the election. Clinton couldn’t afford to let ole’ Jeb Bush help-out his brother and she prepared to rival Bush in the state. Al Gore and Clinton had an official event together in Miami where Gore urged Democrats not to be discouraged by the 2000 results, instead he told them to, “…rise up and show the Bush Family they don’t own this state!” With Gore hitting Florida hard for Clinton she also had Governor Dean campaigning very hard in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan in addition to swing states he’d won during the primaries. With her surrogates crisscrossing the nation, Clinton was ready for some campaigning of her own. She joined Bill and together they hit North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Florida with the East Coast starting to turn more-and-more blue. Furthermore, with McCain on the ticket, polls showed New Hampshire, Maine, and even Connecticut trending more and more red. To solve the issue Clinton bombarded all three states with records attacking Bush’s record on the economy, blaming him for the 2002 Recession. Clinton was not prepared to forfeit the election this early in the stage.

    [​IMG]

    By mid-May Clinton had pulled ahead of Bush, leading by1-2.5% in the polls. Unfortunately the Electoral Map told a different story. Clinton was losing Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, New Mexico, and Iowa. She needed to take all of those states except Florida if she wanted a legitimate chance at becoming the first female president. With polls showing nearly 53% of Bush supporters approving of his foreign policy and roughly 50% of Independents agreeing it was time to show the problems with the Bush record on foreign policy. May, June, and July were spent attacking Bush’s record on foreign issues and hammering home the message that Bush had “destroyed America’s reputation on the international stage.” With voters starting to listen to the message and the facts behind it Bush started to sweat. He called Hillary a flip-flopper on the War on Iraq and in June when he said Hillary was “too weak on national defense” Bush suffered with most interpreting the remark as sexist. Though Bush had meant for the line to come across as what was wrong with Clinton’s indecision, the liberal media had a field day. Even Fox News called the President out, while Hillary and team remained silent. Finally, several days after the story had broken, Bush apologized to Hillary and the two met at the White House for an informal chat in the Oval Office. No press, no photographers, no press releases. Once again Bush apologized in private and Clinton accepted. Though what else was discussed was never admitted by Bush or Clinton – or any one in their inner-circles, for that matter – one can only imagine the lively debate about the road that stretched ahead for the two candidates. In the days that followed Bush’s remarks Clinton had pulled ahead in nearly every swing state, including Florida, and had increased the national lead to roughly 4%. With the race heating-up things were getting very intense.

    In July Hillary met with Governors Bill Richardson and Ed Rendell as part of the Vice Presidential vetting process. Richardson or Rendell would move on to the Final Two while the other member of the Final Two would be out of Graham and Feingold. Hillary initially rejected Richardson, but her husband had been adamant about putting Bill onto the ticket. Richardson had served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of Energy under Bill Clinton, had served many years in the U.S. House, and was presently at the beginning of his term as Governor of New Mexico. Eventually Clinton chose Richardson to move on, she felt his experience and steadfast loyalty was worthy of being rewarded. A couple of days later she met with Senator Graham. Graham talked in a monotone, but his knowledge over the events of 9/11 could be beneficial if the focus turned to National Security. Feingold was a steadfast liberal and would ensure liberal support for Clinton in the general election. Ultimately Clinton decided to give them bot a very serious look. With her list down to three names Clinton looked for advice from her inner-circle. On July 24th, two days before the Democratic Convention kicked off in Boston, Clinton named Bill Richardson as her Vice Presidential pick. The choice was used as a ploy to further attract minorities to her cause, but was also aimed at adding regional balance to the ticket. With Richardson on the ticket the Democrats planned to throw a big show in Boston.
     
  14. historybuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    So, now that that's stttled, let the battle begin.
     
  15. Emperor of Scandinavia Emperor of Scandinavia

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Once again, another great story.

    Keep up the great work The Conservative Fellah.

    I am of the opinion that had Hillary ran in 2004, she would have won, but unfortunately she chose not to.

    I am keeping up hope for HILLARY 2016!!!!

    I disagree that the media would laud Bush's replacement of Cheney with McCain.

    With McCain as the VP pick, Bush would get about a week of good press. However it would be soon be said that Cheney was forced from the ticket because President Bush was desperate, and that he scrounged around for a last ditch replacemnt.

    The media had a love affair with "The Maverick" in 1999 when he ran against Bush. Had he won the nomination, the media would have turned on him because he was a republican.

    Finally, here's a cartoon of Cheney that makes me laugh.

    Darth Cheney.jpg

    Wishing you well, his majesty,
    The Scandinavian Emperor

    Darth Cheney.jpg
     
  16. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Chapter Five

    The Democratic National Convention, 2004

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    Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic nomination for President.

    Democrats from across the country descended on Boston, Massachusetts to officially elect Hillary Clinton as the 2004 Presidential Nominee. With more women delegates in attendance than ever before President Clinton’s message was to be heard by an impressive audience. The convention opened and night one was full of high-profile speakers. The first was Jimmy Carter, the former President, who talked to the convention about the need for regaining respect for America across the globe. State Senator Barack Obama of Illinois slammed the Republicans for their position on the Iraq War. As someone who’d endorsed Dean early-on, Obama briefly touched on the subject of unity. While Dennis Kucinich spoke after Obama his address was largely overshadowed by Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold who gave a stirring speech, attacking the Bush foreign policy and blaming him for the “loss of American allies across the globe.” It was becoming clear the message for the first night was anti-Bush Doctrine. Next was Massachusetts Senator John Kerry whose brief remarks called for party unity in order to elect the “best candidate for President – Hillary Clinton.” Kerry spoke as a veteran who couldn’t understand why President Bush was “so willing to send American boys to the front lines”, the Kerry attacks were well-played and his gracious attitude and support for Hillary was genuine, positioning himself for Secretary of State in a Clinton/Richardson Administration. Finally, the biggest speaker of the first night was former opponent to Hillary Howard Dean. “I hoped to be giving my address to this convention in a few nights, but things don’t always happen the way you expect. Regardless, I am proud to be here as an enthusiastic supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton and her promise to put America back on the right track.” He called on all of his former supporters to “get out there and fight for Hillary because it will make this country a better place.” Dean was relentless on his attacks against President Bush and called for Democrats to kick him out of the White House. By the time the first night closed Dean had fired-up the crowd and they were ready – and excited – for night two.

    When the second night began Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, addressed the convention. Her speech was short and went straight to the point: “We can’t just elect Hillary Clinton as the next President; we have to elect Democratic Majorities to the House and to the Senate or Republicans will simply block the good work the President tries to accomplish. I will work hard across the country to spread our message, to elect Democrats in all 435 congressional districts – I ask for you to join me in making that possible!” Pelosi’s address met expectations and was followed by Tom Daschle who submitted a similar message to the delegates. Next up was the Senior Senator of Massachusetts, Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy. His speech began by welcoming the Democrats to his “home town”. Kennedy highlighted Hillary’s successes on Health Care. Congratulating her on “picking up a fight she was told would fail and though she did not succeed I commend her for tackling a problem everyone claimed was untouchable.” Kennedy went further, attacking the Bush Administration for going against the U.N. resolution against the Iraq War and promised that Hillary Clinton would “go forth from January 20th, 2005, to respect other nations, not belittle them.” Finally Kennedy closed his address by promising that Hillary would make America “more prosperous, fairer, and a stronger America.” Just before delivering his famous final line Kennedy said, “The Democratic Party has forever been the party of compassion and that is what we must continue and it will continue under President Hillary Rodham Clinton!” With Kennedy’s speech reaching its end it was time for the Keynote Speaker to approach the podium. Senator John Edwards of North Carolina was prepared for a speech that would last for in the minds of Americans for years. Edwards began by praising Hillary Clinton and her ideas. Edwards spoke of “Two Americas” One America for the rich and the elite who’d already lived the American dream. The second, he said, was one that millions of Americans lived, one where they were still waiting for the dream to kick-in. “George Bush has seen this issue and he has not responded, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party will forever be committed to bridging the divide between those two Americas.” He spoke of fixing the two health care systems, the two school systems, the two tax systems. Edwards promised that the Democratic Party would forever be committed to making America fairer and more prosperous.

    On the third day of the convention delegates gathered eager to hear from Bill Richardson, but first it was Al Gore’s chance to address the convention. In a speech built on the successes of the Clinton Administration Gore joked, “Sometimes Hillary had more influence on her husband than I did!” Praising Hillary’s time as a Senator for her bipartisanship, Gore finally turned to Bill Richardson. Praising Richardson for his leadership as Secretary of Energy and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Gore reminded Americans that Richardson was serious about “respecting other nations.” When Gore concluded his address by saying, “They stole the election from us four years ago – don’t let them do it again!” the delegates were roaring with approval and it was time for New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to speak to the convention. With expectations running high it was up to the New Mexico Governor to deliver. Though the speech started-off slow it did have several high points. His biggest round of applause came when Richardson said, “Tonight Americans are out of work. They’re worrying about the future. There are moms and dads fearing for the safety of their son or their daughter who is overseas fighting in the War in Iraq. Those Americans don’t want to hear the partisan problems; they want to hear the American solutions! So rather than promising the same stereotypical programs and policies, Hillary and I will spend the rest of this campaign striking up conversation with America. If you want to talk about jobs, we’ll talk about jobs. If you want to talk about the war, we’ll talk about the wars. If you want to talk about health care, we’ll talk about healthcare. We’re in this race for you – not for us!” Though Richardon’s address was largely seen as average Democrats loved it and they had no doubt in their mind Hillary had made the right choice when she selected her running mate. As delegates left on the third night they looked forward to the final day when Geraldine Ferraro, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton would all speak to the delegates and outline a vision for America.

    With the delegates arriving at the Fleet Center for their final day, anticipation was running high. In a few hours they would hear from Hillary Rodham Clinton who they honestly believed would be the first female President of the United States. Whether she shattered that glass ceiling remained to be seen, but one thing was for sure: there was barely anything left for the next woman. By becoming the first female Presidential nominee of a major party, Clinton had locked-up the female vote. Nearly 90% of women promised to vote for the Senator and roughly 75% said they would “definitely” vote in the election. Furthermore young voters, college students, who rarely voted were also promising to vote. With 60% saying they were “definitely” or “likely” going to vote on November 2nd. The first major speech of the night was delivered by the first woman to be nominated for Vice President by a major party: Geraldine Ferraro. Exactly twenty years ago Gerry Ferraro had won the Democratic Vice-Presidential Nomination. Her inspirational address slammed the Reagan Administration for four years of failure. Unfortunately for the Democratic Ticket Mondale and Ferraro lost not only the women vote but the entire election, winning only one state and the District of Columbia. Ferraro began with some humor, “Twenty years ago I was ready and willing to be the first woman Vice President – and I think Fritz and I had a chance, but then they gave him the microphone and if I have one word of advice for Hillary Clinton: don’t promise to raise taxes!” the auditorium burst into laughter and applause. “Now Fritz and I didn’t do too great in 1984, as all of you know. He claims he won Minnesota for us because it’s his home state. And I still say I won it for us because Minnesota ends in a vowel!” Her humor lightened the mood, but soon Ferraro’s remarks turned serious. “When I accepted your nomination for Vice President in 1984 I talked about the need for equal pay, the need to end nuclear threats, the need to protect our environment, and the need to pay men and women equally for equal work. Even though I lost in 1984 I assumed those issues would be addressed and eventually fixed, unfortunately I was wrong. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate serious about a brighter future for America and that is why we must elect her on November the 2nd!” Ferraro’s speech brightened the mood of the convention and was deemed by TV pundits as a “great way to finally leave the spotlight.” Soon all eyes turned to William Jefferson President. The 42nd President took the stage to booming applause. He began a lengthy introduction of Hillary Clinton. He talked through their history together and touched on Hillary’s hands-on attitude in the White House years. Then he spoke of her time in the United States Senate.

    His speech delivered no memorable line though he did attack the Republican Administration, “You know, I had to clean-up the mess left by George Bush in 1993 and it took me eight years. Leave it to his son to turn it all around in only four!” After only 15 minutes Clinton forfeited his stage to his wife. Hillary walked out in a light yellow pants suit and greeted her husband. They embraced, said a few words behind the backdrop of a roaring Convention Hall, and then Hillary took to the podium. Her speech lasted only 35 minutes, but the relatively short address was full of inspirational remarks and real ideas. “I’m going to be fairly brief tonight,” she started, “because rather than fill this speech with fake promises such as ‘Our mission is accomplished’ I decided to weed out all of the clichés and stick to the plans I hope to initiate as your President.” Hillary’s speech talked about the United States in 2009 – after four years of her first term. She talked about the safer world because of an end to nuclear ambitions. She talked about a more respected United States. She touched on a better public school system and a fairer tax system. She promised the United States: “I won’t succeed in everything – I can face defeat on an issue. But I am not a quitter and I won’t quit if you elect me as your President!” And towards the end Hillary talked about the history her nomination possessed, bringing hundreds of women in the audience to their feet as she mentioned the “soon-to-be shattered glass ceiling”. As the camera displayed cheering women delegates, seeing tears were not uncommon. She proved that the clichés about women being “weak” and “unable to lead” were exactly that: clichés and not truths. As experts remarked on TV that night, “She unified the Democratic Party and proved President Bush may have an uphill battle if he wants to win in November.” By the time Hillary had ended her speech she had been joined by her family, Bill Richardson, and Richardon’s family. Together they stood and waved to the delegates as confetti fell and the balloons dropped. At the end of the convention, when the hall was emptied and janitors cleaned-up the balloons, confetti, and signs, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats would walk away with one of the largest post-convention bumps any ticket had had in a long time. Meanwhile President Bush and John McCain sat together shaking their heads because all eyes were on them and the pressure was on.

    More Photos from the 2004 Democratic National Convention:
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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  17. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    GOP Convention may be later today (6/9/2012) but will likely be tomorrow (Sunday, 6/10/2012)
     
  18. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    The Republican National Convention, 2004

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    George W. Bush and his wife Laura wave to delegates after he accepted the Republican nomination for President.

    With the Democrats leaving high expectations and big shoes to fill the Republicans began their convention in Madison Square Garden being cautiously optimistic. It was time to unveil the new Republican ticket; the one they hoped would be elected in November to lead the nation forward. On the first night of the convention there were many prominent speakers. It began with Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a rising star in the Republican Party, addressing the delegates. As a moderate Republican who had been elected as Governor in a close race, Romney highlighted his record with big business and promoted Bush’s “fiscal conservative record”. Bush, he said, created jobs while Hillary Clinton had no real record on job creation. Many saw Romney’s speech as a chance to prepare him for a presidential bid in 2008. When Romney concluded his address eyes shifted to Rudy Giuliani, the Republican Mayor of New York City. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks many commended Giuliani for his bravery and leadership and he became known as “America’s Mayor.” Giuliani’s speech highlighted national security concerns and talked about the experience George Bush had gained as President. “We can’t afford – in these dangerous times – to elect a President who is untested and untried. George Bush responded here in New York and he will keep us safe for the next four years!” Giuliani exclaimed. Yet again the speech was seen as a chance for the Mayor to position himself for a 2008 Presidential Campaign. Some felt that Giuliani had to boost his national security profile in order to successfully take eyes off of social issues in a potential 2008 match-up with Mitt Romney. The big speech of the night did not come from a potential 2008 candidate; it came from the outgoing Vice President: Dick Cheney. Cheney’s speech was sincere and open. He thanked the Republican Party for giving him an opportunity to represent them and he thanked the United States for giving him the opportunity to lead. He praised George Bush and his record of leadership and experience and contrasted it with Hillary Clinton who was running, he said, on her husband’s name. Cheney accused the Democrats of “playing politics with America’s future.” As his speech started to draw to a close he praised John McCain and said he had 110% confidence in the man. Praising his record of bipartisanship and leadership, Cheney called McCain a “true American hero.” And as Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney waived good bye to the Republican Party for the last time the delegates got ready for the second night of the convention.

    With the passing of a Republican Icon several months before, the Republicans paid tribute to the life and legacy of Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan, addressed the convention. He compared Reagan’s work to that of George Bush and praised the President for “honoring his father.” He concluded his address with a tearful plea, “Please, President Bush,” he began, “win one for the Gipper!” With that Michael left the stage and the Republican delegates burst into thunderous applause. Shortly after Michael left the scene it was Laura Bush’s turn to address the delegates. Talking about her husband’s time as President and cracking a few jokes along the way Laura emphasized her husband’s commitment to the nation and promised he would lead the country into brighter days. Her speech focused on education and promised the delegates that her husband would make sure “no child is left behind every again!” The speech concluded and Elizabeth Dole approached the microphone. Now a Senator from North Carolina, Dole was a conservative hero and someone many had hoped Bush would pick as Vice President. Dole’s speech lashed out at Clinton and accused her of a “clear lack of experience”. Towards the end of her speech Liddy got down-right nasty when she said, “These are serious times and we need serious leaders. Unfortunately Democrats think this election is a joke and Hillary Clinton isn’t a very good punch line!” Though much of the convention laughed or remained silent there were some audible boos and jeers that forced Dole to cut her speech short and leave the stage earlier than expected. Dole’s speech was looked at as an overwhelming disaster and overshadowed the Keynote Speaker, Zell Miller, who took the podium only minutes later. Miller’s speech talked about the leadership Bush had displayed as Commander-in-Chief. A Democrat, Miller said he could not “in good conscience” trust Hillary to lead the armed forces. Some cried sexist, but Hillary released a Press Release saying she had no ill will towards the Senator from Georgia and claimed that while she disagreed with his opinion he was definitely entitled to it. Miller’s speech talked about building a safer America and concluded by saying that George Bush was simply the only candidate ready to keep America safe. Though Miller’s speech was solid it was overlooked by the Liddy Dole disaster directly before.

    Expectations were extraordinarily low for the third night of the convention. The media had devoured Elizabeth Dole for belittling Hillary Clinton and her message. Even several Republicans ran to Clinton’s defense. “It was a low blow,” explained Cindy McCain, “and it isn’t one I would have taken.” The line probably cost Liddy Dole her political future, but it did set the bar low for Arnold Schwarzenegger who approached the Republican Convention at Madison Square Garden to give a few brief remarks. The Governator spoke of the American Dream and how Hillary Clinton would make that dream harder. “She’s going to punish those who work so hard to succeed. She’s going to punish those that live the American Dream and make money and succeed and we cannot afford that!” As he concluded his address Schwarzenegger delivered a memorable remark, “I have a news flash to Hillary: leadership isn’t about following the polling data it’s about working hard and inspiring others to do the same!” With Schwarzenegger exiting to large applause, the stage was set for the arrival of John Sidney McCain who would take the podium to deliver what many hoped to be a stirring address to the party. McCain’s address was not extraordinary, but it was solid. His speech focused on the experience Bush had gained as President and promised delegates that the Republicans were the only ones equipped to take on a changing world. “When it comes to national defense the Republicans are the only party you can trust!” McCain said. The delegates liked his 35-minute address and responded well. McCain had healed a divided convention and it looked to the fourth day and the address of President Bush to seal the deal for a successful convention. Bush’s speech needed to rival Hillary’s and that would be hard to do, but the Republicans hoped to receive a big post-convention bump.

    The fourth day of the Republican National Convention opened and the first major speaker of the evening was George Pataki. Pataki touched on the events of 9/11 and rallied Republicans and conservatives like behind the message of George Bush and the Republican Party: experience. The speech was a mild success and soon the pressure for Bush was on. As the President approached the podium there was wild applause with delegates chanting “Four More Years!” as he waved and laughed. By the time he reached the convention the roar of the delegates was drowning out his attempts at calming them. “Thank You!” Bush repeated over and over. After several minutes of solid applause Bush was allowed to begin. Bush talked about the turbulent 9/11 and his response, leading delegates into chants of “USA! USA! USA!” Bush talked about his many accomplishments in office, such as NCLB and others, and promised to focus on illegal immigration and social security reform in his second term. He talked about restoring America after the .com bus in early-2000. The speech was well-received and brought delegates to their feet. Unfortunately for the Republicans, however, Hillary Clinton’s speech received greater reviews. As a result Bush’s convention bounce was softened, if not, non-existent and as the general election began Bush suffered from a 3-6.5% deficit depending on the poll you looked at. Bush’s reelection attempt was an uphill battle for sure.

    More Photos from the 2004 Republican National Convention:
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  19. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Chapter Seven

    In the weeks leading up to the first debate Hillary fought hard to position her as tough on national security, hoping to spread her message of restoring America’s image. Republicans like Sean Hannity accused Hillary Clinton of wanting to “apologize for America” but Hillary never responded and the charges were tough to stick with the mainstream, though predominately liberal, media decided not to cover the insults instead they aided Hillary by attacking the President’s position on National Security. MSNBC and CNN joined CBS in attacking the President. Bush and McCain attempted to limit the attacks from growing, responding to each and every allegation. The strategy largely backfired by giving credibility to the attacks and Karl Rove finally called off the press conferences. In the meantime McCain hit swing states like New Hampshire, Maine, and Ohio while Bush fought hard to keep advantages in Florida and Wisconsin. Hillary brought out numerous surrogate speakers to tour the nation with her and with Bill. Their ability to pay attention to every state also gave the Democrats a legitimate shot at taking back the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for the first time in ten years. Hillary’s campaign had raised millions of dollars, more than any in history, and they had decided to spread the wealth to Senate and Congressional races that didn’t need their attention. Furthermore an aggressive media campaign in Florida was assisting Betty Castor who passed Mel Martinez for the first time since they began the general election. Bush’s campaign was falling further and further behind with most polls having him down by 4.5-5%. Ralph Nader, it seemed, would not be the spoiler he once was only four years earlier. And speaking of Al Gore, the former Vice President was out and about supporting Senator Clinton. The campaign was getting aggressive but September 30th kept getting closer and closer with both Senator Clinton and President Bush entering intense debate preparations. Expectations were high for the Senator who was the winner going into the debate with 45% saying they felt she would win the debate. Unfortunately for the Senator this meant big expectations.

    In a scene reminiscent to his father 20 years ago, Bush seemed condescending and came across portraying himself as better than Hillary, appearing to dismiss Hillary as a joke. With Clinton holding her own on National Security issues, 51% of viewers felt Clinton won the debate, 41% felt Bush won, and 8% were undecided. Bush fell flat on his face in attempts to portray Clinton as unfit to lead in terms of national security, but Clinton responded well when asked if she would be more successful in preventing a 9/11-type terrorist attack: We need a leader who is committed to keeping our nation safe. Yes, I would be better prepared to confront attacks better than President Bush, that’s why I’m running. I’m running because I felt his response to 9/11 was lacking. I would not hesitate, if we were attacked. I would not wait for anything, I would assume the role of Commander-in-Chief and I would convene my national security team, but I would also implement effective plans to keep our airports safe and our nation safe to prevent attacks like 9/11 from happening in the future. Clinton was the winner of the debate and the campaign moved forward.

    OOC: The timeline will undergo a change of format - this drains me too much!
     
  20. NickCT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Chapter Eight

    OCTOBER 5, 2004 - VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE A WIN FOR MCCAIN OVER RICHARDSON; REPUBLICANS HOPE TO REGAIN GROUND THROUGH UNWATCHED DEBATE

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    The debate for Vice President was not heavily viewed and that's a good thing for Hillary Clinton and her campaign who are hoping to put the debate behind them. Moderated by Gwen Ifill of PBS, the Vice Presidential debate lasted 90 minutes and was a roaring success for Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee fro Vice President. McCain brought the President's reelection campaign to the center and proved that the two compliment each other well. McCain talked about the Republican's strong stance on national security while Richardson highlighted the need to restore our world image McCain fought back, arguing that the image would heel itself. "If the Senator thought it was such a bad idea to go against the U.N. resolution she shouldn't have voted for the war but she did. Hypocrisy has no place in this election for president!" The line drew heavy applause, but Richardon's response was definitely lagging. With many "uhms" and a lot of backtracking Richardson fought to regain control of the conversation, "Well - uh - Senator Clinton believed in the mission, but now - uhm - we've seen - What the Senator didn't support was destroying America's world image and going against the United Nations was only a small - uhm - it was only a small part of destroying the image. We've lost allies as well, but - uhm - not just because of this war." Most agree that the answer could've been worse but it certainly wasn't helpful to the campaign which was hoping to capitalize on growing success from Clinton's debate performance on September 30th, but the campaign immediately went into damage control.

    The debate wasn't viewed by most Americans and there's a good chance it won't have a lot of sway on the election, but it was a good argument for McCain to make. Unfortunately for the Bush/McCain campaign the debate may not have that great of an impact, but the Bush campaign will be using several of McCain's stronger answers in television ads to highlight the new ticket, hoping to attract former Bush supporters who were turned-off by Vice President Cheney. Hillary Clinton has not given up and she is also on the stump hoping to regain ground in the swing states of Florida and Michigan while Richardson has returned to the trail in New Mexico and Oregon. The ticket will be going forward and hoping to minimize the impact of the debate. OCTOBER 6TH Recent polling in swing states suggests little difference in the day after the debate:


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    Today Senator Clinton was campaigning hard in Iowa where she was joined by her husband and daughter. Her running mate was giving a stump speech for the campaign on education in his home state of New Mexico. Surrogates such as John Edwards were in Florida while Howard Dean made a stop in Wisconsin where Senator Clinton is growing her lead. The President is in Washington today working on his day-job while Senator McCain is campaigning hard on the issue of social security in Florida. Bush has made it a point to talk about the Bush plan to reform social security in the President's potential second tour. OCTOBER 8TH The President and Senator Clinton squared-off in their second debate of the season. The less formal setting was much more successful for the President and his reelection ambitions. Senator Clinton worked hard to connect with voters but it was President Bush who was able to get on a more personal level with the voters in the town hall style which helped him in the audience in-person, but he rarely looked at the camera which made television viewers think he was more distant. Ultimately the debate was a wash with both candidates doing equally well. The next day was going to be a great day for the Bush Campaign - well an "okay" day for the President.

    OCTOBER 9, 2004 - AFGHANISTAN ELECTIONS SUCCESSFUL, BUT WAS BUSH CHEATING IN DEBATE?!

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    Though the speculation isn't taken all of that serious several large media outlets are reporting about the possibility of cheating in yesterday's Bush/Clinton debate. With Bush's campaign denying the charges as frivolous, several well-followed blogs are carrying the conspiracy theory which is overshadowing the fact that Afghanistan is holding its first democratic election for President. The election is a plus for Bush who is using it to his advantage in a new TV ad which, in short, says "Look what we did". Unfortunately for the President it seems whatever he's able to accomplish is quickly overshadowed by some irrelevant non-story, forcing him to fall behind in key swing states. "Clinton's getting very lucky," NBC's Chuck Todd said. The race is going to be close, but some are arguing that Clinton is pulling ahead in key demographics by pulling first time voters into the mix, a sure plus for the New York Senator. Additionally, RCP claims that the Senate and House are both in play for the Democratic Party, reporting the Democrats could easily take the House with only one or two seats to spare.

    With the Democrats growing their efforts nationwide, Clinton is hoping to further her lead in Florida with nearly all of the campaign surrogates hitting the state hard. OCTOBER 12TH Hillary unleashes a new strategy in attacking the President for his opposition to stem cell research, arguing that "President Bush is preventing great medical breakthroughs!" Additionally both parties had their headquarters in Ohio broken into with key laptops vandalized and stolen. OCTOBER 13TH In the final debate Bush and Clinton sparred over every issue. Once again the Bush Back Bulge came into the national spotlight. However Clinton finally said the line Bush had been waiting for by saying, "Dick Cheney's daughter would say shew was both homosexual, that it wasn't a choice if only the President would talk the issue over with his Vice President." Immediately Lynne and Dick Cheney went on the attack. In an interview the next morning Lynne attacked Hillary, "From one mother to another mother, Hillary, how dare you invoke politics into a personal family matter!" The debate centered around domestic issues and was seen as a draw by most polling agencies.


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    OCTOBER 17TH Karl Rove went on The O'Reilly Factor to defend the Bush Campaign and to ensure voters they were running a clean and honest campaign. Two days before thousands of voter registration cards for potential Democratic Voters were destroyed in Ohio, Nevada, and Oregon. Rove defends the Bush campaign and talks about the remaining weeks ahead for the General Election Campaign. Hillary Clinton campaigned hard in Florida to turn the state around and to gain the 27 electoral votes at stake in the state. Meanwhile Governor Richardson was out and about, campaigning in New Hampshire and Maine to strengthen Democratic leads to ensure no surprises on Election Day. With the campaign winding to a close no one could afford to take any risks. On OCTOBER 19TH early voting began in the key state of Florida. Clinton decided to have Bill stay in the state to keep early voters supporting Senator Clinton. Meanwhile she campaigned in Iowa and Minnesota. Senator McCain spent the day aggressively campaigning in Arizona and New Mexico.

    NOVEMBER 2, 2004 - VOTERS HEAD TO THE POLL IN WHAT IS EXPECTED TO BE A CLOSE AND EXCITING ELECTION NIGHT

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    The Cintons voted early and received most of the morning coverage. Clinton was the only candidate to break the no-Election Day voting tradition with a speech and GOTV drive in Florida. Richardson would stay in New Mexico for GOTV efforts there. Bush and McCain went to the White House for the anticipation of Election Day returns. Here are the early exit polling results:

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    Polls indicated that Ohio and Florida would be the closest states of the 2000 Election season with Hillary pulling ahead in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Iowa was another state expected to be close. It was all coming down to these three states to decide the election.





    it should read 52-48 because Nader is not on the ballot in Ohio. Thanks.