New Deal Coalition Retained III: A New World

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I say it's time for a joint Portuguese-French Operation to restore colonial ownership liberate brazil.

Russia is a fucking mess by the way :p
1996 Election

“Our poor nation. So close to Ted Bundy, and so far from God...”

-William Proxmire-

The general election of 1996 was looking to be one of the most heated in history, with not three, but four parties in the running. Bundy was taking an early lead later on, with a united party behind him, and charismatic appeal behind him. His celebrity wife proved to be a hit at rallies, though later on in the campaign she withdrew to their home because of her pregnancy with their daughter Jennifer. His populist and isolationist message appealed to many who felt Iacocca had focused too much on the foreign policy and too little on domestic policy. Yeakel apparently agreed, as she also wanted America to tone down its presence in Europe now that there was no major threat to American hegemony or world peace. This hurt her crossover appeal with some dissatisfied internationalist Republicans. Marvin Richardson went even further. He said that he couldn’t care less about anything that happened worldwide even if Europe got enveloped in another major war. His VP, Randy Weaver went on to say that America need to prosecute America’s drug crisis. As America’s credit score dropped again to BB+, to a level around a well-run authoritarian Banana Republic, leading to a hike in interest rates, an official policy to the platform advocated for “shock therapy” for the government, cutting every non-essential program and agency to reach a balanced budget in the future, seemed more appealing to an America that still believed in the power of government. America wouldn’t see the last of their ideas. The Natural Law Party seemed to serve mostly to serve as a spoiler to the Progressives and the Republicans, however, serving to help the Democrats.


Bundy on the Attack

The Democrats received another blessing in the form of Bundy himself in a way. Bundy was incredibly aggressive and divisive, not at all a fit for America at the time. While the economy was in the toilet, Americans generally felt culturally united, sports being a notable exception of course. People watched the same TV shows, went to church in numbers unseen since the 1950’s, and listened to the happy-go-lucky rock n’ roll archetypical of the 90s. Even Donny Cobain, the most famous singer in the Christian Grunge genre (popular with Republicans), voted for Yeakel. His campaign manager didn’t help him either. Alex Jones, formerly an aide for the Rumsfeld administration, recommended a unique campaigning style, with a strong basis on negative campaigns and hit pieces, smearing his opponents with often baseless accusations. The American people were not in the mood for it. In hindsight, Bundy failed to use Marvin Richardson as a foil to make himself seem more moderate, and instead “hugged” him and Weaver too much. Tuttle outdid Bundy with the idea of an international Free Trade Agreement banning all industrial tariffs, which received support from Frey and Churchill. This forced Bundy to promote his more local trade agreements that centered around agriculture (intending to win back the Mountain West) but also alienating socially conservative southern voters and “Helmsocrats” that disliked foreign competition. Meanwhile, Bundy attacked Yeakel and her supporter’s social liberalism, promising moves against the spread of pornography (which was seen as the next major issue after drugs) which alienated Rockefeller Republicans. (Needless to say, the American people had no idea about Bundy’s...proclivities.) There was also the issue of Bundy’s numerous gaffes, the “bitch” debacle never completely leaving him behind. While he had the support of many women Republicans like Susan Agnew, his strategy with that demographic was to stem the bleeding if anything. His support among African Americans remained unwavering, especially as their campaign, if elected, would be the first in American history to have a black man on the ticket. He never made any gaffes that could be construed as racist despite his other issues. What seemed to be the final nail in the coffin in the campaign came when in a secret recording of a meeting between Governor Rockefeller and some Republican donors, it was revealed that he did not like Bundy at all. “Bundy, well I mean I think he’s a bit of a creep right? He’s obviously a misogynist and…Jesus Christ something about him gives me the chills, like I don’t even know what though. But remember that he’s a Republican my friends, let’s just try to ignore his…character, for our interests. He’s one of us after all.

Bundy had been hurt by the spoiler that was the Natural Law Party, which took votes from many white Republicans, he even seemingly had the same foreign policy as him except slightly more extreme. The Progressives also lost many votes as a result of policy overlap, and Tuttle proved not to be general election material. He did bring a sense of old fashioned campaigning to the field, campaigning off of his porch, and gaining support through word-of-mouth. Tuttle kept the moral high ground for most of the election, which won him admiration. He took full advantage of his 15 seconds of fame, and his slogan was “Vote for Tuttle. Because why not?” Bundy had been disproportionately affected by Richardson according to most polls, however, Tuttle did lose out as well. All in all, Bundy’s campaign was stemming the blood flow. The final blow was expected sometime soon, with Bundy making one final gaffe which would destroy his chances for the presidency. It never came however, and Bundy’s campaign found itself resurrected by the unlikeliest of events.


Marvin Richardson, Friend of the Farmer, and the "Canary in the Coal Mine" for the "Neo-Agrarian" Movement *discussed later*


The Coyote Symbol of the NLP, meant to symbolize the Party being "the voice in the political wilderness" and the Party's connection to Farmers and the Old West

An October Surprise came in the form of Marco.

The National Weather Service became tracking a tropical low off the coast of Africa, which had a high chance of intensifying into a hurricane. It intensified into a tropical storm a day later, christened its name. The Cape Verde Hurricane moved slowly towards the Caribbean, where it intensified into a Category 2 hurricane and devastated portions of Puerto Rico, causing 200 deaths. After crossing the Loop Current in the Gulf, the hurricane went through rapid deepening, intensifying into a Category 4 Hurricane. It made landfall over Florida, but passed over it quickly, though still causing significant damage to the cities of Spring Hill and Orlando. Marco Rubio, home-grown Floridian, and famous war hero, visited Spring Hill to help with the disaster relief in the aftermath of the unfortunately named hurricane, it is said that what he saw there was what made him decide to go into politics two years later.

Hurricane models projected it would, like the majority of hurricanes, go out to sea and dissipate. But instead it took a different path, as a result of a high pressure system which blocked its path out to sea, forcing it to again turn inwards towards the U.S. Every major model had been inaccurate in this respect...It came at the worst possible moment for Yeakel.

Because Hurricane Marco would hit New York City.


President Iacocca decided to put her in charge of the “Emergence Response Cabinet” which immediately formed to handle the crisis. The now category Two Hurricane had devastated the state, already after hitting Florida, had been the first to hit the mainland U.S. in 12 years, and the first to hit the Northeast since the 1930s. Marco made landfall in Northern New Jersey in October 26th, 1996, bringing the brunt of the storm’s impact on New York City. The storm surge was also worsened by the tides, stronger than usual because of the full moon, bringing a 14 foot storm surge. To make things worse, the city had been dealing with a blackout, a result of a cascading failure from a local shortage upstate. Already there were alleged reports of arsonists creating flames, as fire departments found it harder than usual to respond, and a spike in violent crime as many took out their anger on other people. While it was not impossible to evacuate the city in those conditions, it was definitely harder to get evacuation orders out with less access to radio or television. New York hastily prepared itself to weather the storm, as unclear evacuation orders quickly led traffic to gridlock. Tarps were placed on unfinished building projects, and opening the New Chrysler Building yet again was delayed. Considering the one-in-a-million perfect storm (pun unintended) which led to its catastrophic landfall near New York City, first responders performed admirably in setting up an ad hoc evacuation on short notice, and in minimizing the damage to the city, though the final damage toll of $80 billion dollars and 300 deaths. Around the country, images of the CitiBank building near collapse circulated around the country. The news media displayed apocalyptic and sensationalized coverage of riots and widespread fires, and criminals looting stores completely bare with no one to stop them. News, likely exaggerated, came of one or more serial killers taking advantage of the chaos to kill a string of prostitutes. The event turned into a public relations coup for Bundy, helping his poll numbers across the country, except ironically enough, New York itself, where Mayor Carey was a reassuring voice of calm for many troubled New Yorkers. Yeakel’s personal leadership of the crisis during her presidential campaign was effective in damage control. Yeakel and Carey also maneuvered to eliminate Governor Rockefeller from the media picture, though he had limited effect to the Bundy campaign thanks to the leaked recordings of his true thoughts on him. Bundy even accused the “Emergency Response Cabinet” procedure as a purely political stunt to help Yeakel’s poll numbers. Representing what most African Americans thought of the crisis, famous R&B singer Kanye West said it best when during a concert for relief he claimed “Lee Iacocca doesn’t care about black people.” Immediate impressions were different than the reality on the ground. Crime rates, contrary to reports from the media, did spike, though not to extents as extreme as the media had claimed. But for the rest of the country, this was only proof positive of America’s need for Law and Order. And for Bundy in particular, the October Surprise was nothing short of deux ex machina.


In an election oddity, Yeakel's campaign famously ran out of pins in New York City post-Marco.

While Wallace was a hated figure among minority liberty conservatives, he was remembered for establishing the Democrats as the “Law and Order” party, and now they had broken that promise in the eyes of voters. As campaign manager Alex Jones once said in private to Bundy, “President Wallace is full of shit.” Moreover, many suspected that Wallace, and his progenitors, didn’t actually care about domestic tranquility, but only about keeping minorities down. Bundy played this to a hilt. “Law and Order is either for everyone or it is for no one”, “Only a man who has established trust with every group in America can restore peace, and I am that man.” Meredith added, “The Democrats want law and order but only for whites. Tough luck if you’re an uppity negro!” This put Yeakel in a tough spot because she was not herself a “Law and Order” comunonationalist. That being said, her platform was far from libertarian though. The race was still tight, with Bundy was winning most polls by an average of .5 points. Yeakel was doing well in battleground states, like Nevada, Montana and Texas, and most projections said Bundy would lose the election in the electoral college.

Going into the last stretch of the campaign, Bundy’s numbers were still not ideal, though another shock came when famous comedian Jim Carrey died of a drug overdose, something which shocked the nation. When it turned out to be an apparent suicide, it had caught the nation and his own family off-guard too, as he did not show any suicidal tendencies until then. This was taken as proof that the current policy on drugs set by the "Kennedy-Reagan Consensus" of focusing on treatment was not enough. Stricter measures were needed.

The Progs under-performed in the Prairie states as a result of the Natural Law Party, and close races were beginning to flip towards Bundy in some polls. This combined with apathy thanks to their obstructionist policies seemed to cause large losses there, an area which Tuttle was expected to do well in. Despite poll numbers showing Richardson and Weaver only getting 6% nationwide, that amount hurt Bundy in Nebraska in particular, where polls without Richardson showed Bundy winning a slight plurality in four of its congressional districts. Richardson played up his role in stopping the attempted assassination of Iacocca, claiming that as a true patriot to America, he would represent the interests of “real Americans” best, a policy which won him votes in security-minded voters. [A/N: This was part of the spy arc but it fell behind the main TL for a while so this wasn’t brought up yet.] The state, whose districts had recently been gerrymandered to favor Democrats, split the Republican electorate from owning a single seat in the 1994 midterms, not a good sign for Bundy who feared that the state, which he had a plurality in if counting by popular vote, might be the one thing preventing him from winning the election. He faced a somewhat similar problem in Maine, with the second congressional district of the state. This lead to attention to the issue of gerrymandering, and of the odd shapes that the districts had, in Nebraska in particular it was noted “One of the congressional districts looks like a chicken with a broken neck!”

The race could have gone either way at that point, though Bundy flopped for the majority of the campaign, his narrative dominated the news cycle on the last week of the campaign cycle. Early results were showing that the race would be a tight one to the last minute. They were also showing that Bundy was doing better than polls suggested. This was chalked up to what many would call the “Shy Bundy effect”. Voters did not admit to pollsters that they planned to vote for Bundy and instead named another candidate like Yeakel or Tuttle. One thing was clear however as the hours went by, the nightmare scenario that the race would be thrown to the House became possible, for the first time since the election of George Wallace in 1968. It all lay on the state of Nebraska...

[A/N]: So yeah that’s the general election as of now. How the race goes will be brought up in the downballot race, which will be coming real soon, don’t worry. ETA: Tomorrow. Just for fun I’m gonna do a little thing in the comments where I answer where anyone noteworthy are doing. Doesn’t even have to be political. Mariska Hargitay will be mentioned in a pop culture update some time in the future, for those wondering.
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Well, considering Bundy is the anti-pornography candidate, there's bound to be a lot of criticism over his wife's acting career from the Christian right... Friends was pretty raunchy
Friends is different ITTL: Courtney Cox is rachel and Sarah Jessica Parker is Monica. The whole series is more family friendly.
Sex and the city is nonexistent ITTL because of the much stronger social conservatism of TTL 90's.
Friends is different ITTL: Courtney Cox is rachel and Sarah Jessica Parker is Monica. The whole series is more family friendly.
Sex and the city is nonexistent ITTL because of the much stronger social conservatism of TTL 90's.

America ITTL is a far more culturally conservative place. Is there any indication of the paradigm shifting, or no?
[A/N: Mini-Update: Since SuperFrog needs more time for the downballot stuff. ]

The Finish Line

Luckily for Ted Bundy, the “Marvinmentum” anticipated in the polls in Nebraska turned out to be overblown, After nearly a day of counting and recounting, Bundy had his lucky day when all three battleground congressional districts went to him, giving him exactly 270 votes in the electoral college. He won by a margin of 1,241 votes in the closest district race. The race would not be thrown to the House. Richardson and Weaver both came out at the end of the day satisfied that they won the state of Idaho, in a tight race. (36% Richardson, 34% Tuttle, 16% Bundy, 14% Yeakel). They would eventually hold sway in the new Bundy administration.



[A/N: All Presidents were picked before Part III by The Congressman, but NDCR Part III is more than just elections :). Also, I love how this map looks like its from 1924-28]

"Ted and I, we go way back. Roy Cohn introduced us, and I like him a lot. Smart guy, putting a smart team together - like Mitt, like Clarence, like Dick and Jeff... and I guess you could say me. I don't like to brag. [laughter]. He and I, we're gonna get the economy going again. Bigly. You'll get tired of how good the economy will be."

- Secretary of the Treasury Designate Trump at his confirmation hearings -

"Ted and I, we go way back. Roy Cohn introduced us, and I like him a lot. Smart guy, putting a smart team together - like Mitt, like Clarence, like Dick and Jeff... and I guess you could say me. I don't like to brag. [laughter]. He and I, we're gonna get the economy going again. Bigly. You'll get tired of how good the economy will be."

- Secretary of the Treasury Designate Trump at his confirmation hearings -
As horrifying as President Bundy is...

I think he might end up screwing himself by putting himself in the nation's highest office. As they say, the buck stops in the Oval Office.
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