Rally for the Farmers! Willie Nelson and the late 20th century populist movement

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Baconheimer, Oct 25, 2018.

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  1. Oppo Christian socialist

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  2. Baconheimer Berserker of Chaos

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  3. markus meecham Marxism-Leninism-Bricksquad thought Banned

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  4. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Just please keep in mind that we're trying to achieve multiple goals in economics, such as healthy range GDP growth, relatively low unemployment, modest inflation, etc.

    And then, just look up some news items for the period and see what you think. And actually, running ever so slightly ahead of your readers may very much be the sweet spot! ;)
     
  5. historybuff Well-Known Member

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    This has my attention. Any idea yet on how far you wanna take it?
     
  6. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Rally for the Farmers will initially not emphasize that to help farmers we're going to either have to raise taxes, or cut the budget somewhere else, or borrow and hope to grow the economy but you can't be overly aggressive and do too much of that.

    But then . . . as we think about this, maybe take a deep breath and lead with this, be very honest with the voters.
     
  7. Baconheimer Berserker of Chaos

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    Yeah, I'm sure they'll mention that at some point. Maybe not under Nelson, though.

    I have most of updates up until 1993/4 written out, a fairly good idea of what's happening until 2000, and a few vague ideas of whats next.
     
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  8. Threadmarks: On the Road Again: 1987-1988

    Baconheimer Berserker of Chaos

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    “We will be running candidates at all levels during next year’s general election. Depending on the results of certain primary races, we may endorse candidates of other parties, including for the Presidency.”
    - Russ Verney, Rally for the Farmers Party Chairman, December 1st 1987

    “Democratic frontrunner Reverend Jesse Jackson was hit yesterday by allegations that he fathered a child with a white Detroit woman, Mary Anderson. While these claims are as of yet unsubstantiated, the Jackson campaign has taken a significant hit.”
    - John Chancellor, NBC News, December 5th 1987

    “This is nothing but a hit job intended to prey on racial prejudices. I have had no extramarital relationships with anyone of any race.”
    - Reverend Jesse Jackson, December 8th 1987

    Bush - 32%
    Buchanan - 28%
    Dominici - 11%
    Dole - 9%
    Kemp - 9%
    Du Pont - 2%
    Undecided/Other - 15%
    - Bush Campaign Internal Polling for the Michigan Primary, December 20th 1987

    "Lee, it looks bad right now. We're neck and neck with Pat in Michigan and he's ahead all over the place. We've got to do something about it or we won't be here to fight him in two months."
    - The White House, December 23rd 1987

    ‘Pat Buchanan has stated that his three heroes are Joe McCarthy, Douglas MacArthur, and Francisco Franco. Do you really want a man that idolizes a fascist dictator as President?’
    - Pro-Bush campaign ad aired nationally, January 3rd 1988

    ‘Jackson Campaign in Freefall - Claims of Affair Still Unsubstantiated’
    - New York Times, January 10th 1988

    Bush - 48%
    Buchanan - 29%
    Dominici - 8%
    Kemp - 7%
    Du Pont - 4%
    Dole - 2%
    - Results of the Michigan Primary, January 14th 1988

    “We may have lost in Michigan, but there are still 49 other states in the union. I will continue the fight against Sovietism, Atheism, and Abortionism there!”
    - Pat Buchanan, January 15th 1988

    ‘Dole Wins Kansas - Bush Makes Strong Showing’
    - New York Times, February 8th 1988

    ‘Hart Sweeps Iowa Caucus - Biden Suspends Campaign’
    - Chicago Tribune, February 9th 1988

    ‘Hart Takes New Hampshire’
    - Washington Post, February 17th 1988

    “Gary Hart won in New Hampshire with a hefty lead of 45%. When you consider that he went up against six other candidates and got such a large percentage of the vote, you have to ask: is Gary Hart inevitable?”
    - Eleanor Clift on the McLaughlin Group, February 20th 1988

    “Jesse Jackson’s poor performance in the February 23rd primaries was the nail in the coffin for his 1988 campaign. Despite support from elder statesmen in the Twin Cities area that would normally have carried the state, Jackson failed to take even third place in the Minnesota primary. If Jesse Jackson couldn’t win over traditionally Democratic white liberals, there was no chance of him taking the nomination. It was little surprise to party insiders when the Reverend Jackson announced that he would suspend his campaign the next day.”
    - From Sweat and Tears: the Jesse Jackson Story, published 2007

    ‘Bush Wins Maine! Buchanan Behind in Polls’
    - Boston Globe, February 29th 1988

    'It's Bush! - Buchanan Drops Out, Endorses the Vice President'
    - Washington Post, March 9th 1988

    'Hart Sweeps Super Tuesday - Bentsen, Moynihan Withdraw'
    - New York Times, March 9th 1988

    "The Democrats look like they're going to nominate Gary Hart. Gary won't be too good a friend to the farmers of the United States, and, frankly, I'm not especially interested in supporting him for President. The Republican options at the moment aren't worth a dime. Seeing all this, I can't help but ask, who will stand up for the heartland? I figure I'll take the job."
    - Willie Nelson announces his run for the Presidency, March 21st 1988

    ‘Soviets Begin Withdrawal From Afghanistan’
    - Washington Post, May 1st 1988

    'Nelson Announces Running-Mate - Jennifer Alden Wesner, Former Penn. Mayor - Once Posed Topless for Magazine'
    - New York Times, July 12th 1988

    "...In retrospect, Jenn Wesner wasn't exactly the best choice in 1988. But at the time, it wasn't an especially hard decision. We had dozens of minor singers clamoring for a chance at the spot, but Willie wasn't too fond of picking one of them. Sure, we had elected representatives across the country, but none of them were especially willing to jeopardize their positions for a doomed national race. The fact she [Jennifer Wenser] wanted the spot was near-miraculous. She took the job very seriously and was a tireless campaigner. Unfortunately, she had a bit of an independent streak, and every time she spoke it seemed like Willie had to apologize for something. I recall there was this one time back in, Fargo I think it was..."
    - 1988 Nelson Campaign Manager Angus King in a 2009 interview with CBS News

    'Democrats nominate Mass. Gov Michael Dukakis for VP'
    - Los Angeles Times, July 21st 1988

    “I ah like Willie Nelson. We don’t agree on everything, but I truly believe that he will fight for the American people as hard as he can.”
    - Former Democratic Presidential Aspirant Rev. Jesse Jackson, July 29th 1988

    "I accept this party’s nomination for Vice President of the United States of America!"
    - Representative Jack Kemp at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 18th 1988

    “Believe it or not, I think Willie Nelson is the best option for America right now. George Bush is a warmonger - never forget that his father aided the rise of the Nazis in Germany - and Gary Hart is a blowhard that will do whatever his donor overlords say. Willie Nelson may have the wrong ideas on some things, but he is his own man and we can’t forget that.”
    - Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) stumping for Willie Nelson in Pittsburg, TX, September 1st 1988

    Bush - 39%
    Hart - 36%
    Nelson - 16%
    Undecided - 9%
    - Gallup Polling, September 7th 1988

    “Mr. Nelson, how do you respond to allegations that you frequently smoked marijuana while a guest of Former President Jimmy Carter while at the White House?

    Look, I may have smoked a few joints in my time. A lot of America has. Marijuana does not make you a bad person, and you ain’t a bad person if you smoke a bit. Marijuana has a number of number of medicinal benefits that I’m sure you’d be able to see if it was legalized.

    Are you suggesting that you would legalize marijuana if elected President?

    Well, I’d try. I imagine it’d be hard to get Congress on board with it, but I see no reason why something that don’t hurt anyone should be banned.”
    - An exchange between Moderator Robert MacNeil and Willie Nelson at the first Presidential Debate, University of South Carolina, September 18th 1988

    ‘EXCLUSIVE: REAGAN ADMINISTRATION SOLD ARMS TO IRAN’
    - New York Times, September 23rd 1988

    ‘I Knew Nothing - Bush Speaks on Iran Arms Scandal’
    - Washington Post, September 26th 1988

    “This deal was made by rogue elements within the White House. I was completely unaware of this and, if it is necessary I will take action against those responsible.”
    -Vice President George Bush in a campaign speech in Columbus, Ohio, October 1st 1988

    “That son of a bitch thinks he can throw me under the bus!? He’ll pay for this, you know.

    Don’t be too hasty, Ollie. Who knows what might happen if you go against Bush right now.

    The fucker is going to pay for this.”
    -USMC Colonel Oliver North to Secretary of State and Former National Security Advisor Bud McFarlane, October 2nd 1988

    “Can we trust George Bush? I say no. Look, George Bush practically has run the White House for the last few years. Does anyone honestly believe he didn’t know about selling arms to one of our greatest enemies? I cry foul, George Bush must have known.”
    - Democratic Presidential Nominee Gary Hart in Kansas City, Missouri, October 3rd 1988

    ‘Kemp and Dukakis Battle to Draw - Wesner Appears Indecisive, Confused’
    - The New York Times on the Vice Presidential Debate, October 6th 1988

    “I’ll say again that I have no knowledge of any arms deals with Iran - I was as shocked as anyone to hear these allegations.”
    - Vice President George Bush during the Second Presidential Debate at Sam Houston State University, October 13th 1988

    “This just goes to show the two-facedness of our politicians today. We need somebody honest in the White House, someone that won’t sell guns to people that he criticizes at home. Willie Nelson is that man. He’ll do what he says.”
    - Jennifer Wesner in Marshall, Texas October 14th 1988

    ‘Hart Ahead in Polls’
    - Orlando Sentinel, October 14th 1988

    “The race really tired me out. I wasn’t expecting it to be easy, but it was a lot harder than I’d thought. In the early stages, I was actually hoping to make a run for the Senate or House later on, but after all that...well, I just wanted some peace and quiet.”
    -Jennifer Wesner in an interview with NBC, 2010

    Democratic: 57 (+6) [Robb wins VA, Melcher holds MT, Al Swift takes WA]
    Republican: 43 (-6) [Pete Dawkins wins NJ]
    - United States Senate Election Results, November 8th 1988

    Democratic: 259 (+3)
    Republican: 175 (-3)
    Rally for the Farmers: 2 (+1) [Tim Penny, Collin Peterson wins election]
    - United States House of Representatives Results, November 8th 1988

    “We did it!”
    - President-Elect Gary Hart’s Victory Speech in Denver, Colorado November 8th 1988

    gonzo1988president.png

    ‘Hart Beats Bush - Democrats Make Gains Downballot - Nelson Gets 8% of the Vote’
    - The New York Times, November 9th 1988

    “The 1988 election was a watershed moment for the party. We had our hopes pinned on Willie, and really needed him to perform well. Before 1988 we didn’t have ballot access in every state. Our candidates ran on names like “Pro-Nelson”, “Willie Nelson Party”, and just “independent”. In some places, we had to resort to endorsing Democrats or running as members of minor parties, like Peace and Freedom. It was a real mess, and we avoided a lot more headaches by registering in every state as a serious party. We really were lucky that Willie reached the criteria to have the Rally accredited everywhere. A few million votes here and there, and we could have been a footnote.”
    - Rally for the Farmers Party Chairman Russ Verney, 2010

    ‘Bush: “I Was Set Up”’
    - Washington Post, November 11th, 1988

    “If Gary Hart wants to talk to me, I’ll go and meet him. But - I doubt he wants to see me.”
    - Willie Nelson, November 14th 1988

    “Do you really expect me to meet to with him? He’s a crazy fool. I’m sure he has lots to say, but I’m not sure how much of it I want to hear.”
    - President-Elect Gary Hart in a leaked conversation with Campaign Manager William Dixon, December 5th 1988

    ‘I Ain’t No Fool - Willie Nelson - Calls Hart “Confused”’
    - New York Times, December 7th 1988

    Again, thanks to @Gonzo for the infobox.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  9. historybuff Well-Known Member

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    Nice What the hell on Paul's claim about Prescott Bush.
     
  10. Baconheimer Berserker of Chaos

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    ITTL Paul is going a bit off the deep end. Rather than become a libertarian like he did 1988 OTL, he has fallen into the Nelson camp despite his earlier policies being contradictory.

    This was also an attempt to show that the Rally for the Farmers has attracted some rather seedy members that are willing to peddle conspiracy theories.
     
  11. historybuff Well-Known Member

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    Alex Jones will join them for sure, probably. Hope Nelson denounces theories like that.
     
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  12. Baconheimer Berserker of Chaos

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    Well in 1988 Alex Jones is just a middle schooler, so he's not active politically. The RftF will, however, become more moderate in future updates.
     
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  13. historybuff Well-Known Member

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    Great that it'll be more moderate later on.
     
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  14. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

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    This is a clever idea, eager to see where it winds up.
     
  15. TRH Tyrannosaurus Rex Handler

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    Very interesting premise. If the old Populist party is any example, we should expect the major parties to try and co-opt Nelson’s platform. Of course, the GOP is sufficiently captured by business by now that I don’t expect them to change much. The Democrats under Hart also are in a bad position.

    Hart was a determinist, he thought the movement and the wave was what mattered. But Nelson’s wave, impressive as it is, still seems much smaller than the forces unleashed by Reagan. He’d only foresake neoliberalism if he thought something else would replace it. He may make some tactical concessions, though, and I’m not sure he’d last two terms regardless. His personal life makes him poorly suited for prime time, the way I see it.
     
  16. Gonzo Ogden Shmennedy IV For President 2020

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    Nice to see the infoboxes make an addition to this fascinating TL here. Honestly it'll be interesting to see where Rally makes its first breakthrough politically in federal or state-wide politics outside of the House.
     
  17. Francisco Cojuanco To hell with Angelides and Pete Wilson

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    The thing about the Democrats starting in the 80s, especially if Hart is their standard bearer, is that they think at this time that the postwar economy is guarranteed to be self-perpetuating, and a growing wing wants to focus on social issues.

    I wonder whether the Farmers' Party will reach out to organized labor, especially in sectors that have a heavy rural/small-town presence, like textile workers or coal miners.
     
  18. Baconheimer Berserker of Chaos

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    Thanks! It'll get a little bit weirder as things go on.

    Yeah, that's the issue here. Neoliberals are entrenched after Hart, and the whole mess of 1984 has made the Democrats wary of more old left politics. Willie Nelson and company are just exploiting that gap.

    Thanks!

    Basically, the Democrats are thinking the Farmers are just a minor disturbance and when the economy inevitably looks up, they'll come back to the fold.

    And I was trying to imply with the Tim Penny and Collin Peterson defections that RftF is making headway among union workers in the upper midwest. They can't compete with Hart in 1988, as there is hope among many traditionally Democratic voters that he can turn things around, but this can change.
     
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  19. Threadmarks: Note: Change to Senate numbers

    Baconheimer Berserker of Chaos

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    I've decided to create a list of Senators for my ease. Because of that, I'm revising some numbers I've already thrown out.

    Start of 100th Congress (January 1987)
    Democrats: 54 (+7)
    Republicans: 46 (-7)


    Start of 101st Congress (January 1989)
    Democrats: 59 (+6)
    Republicans: 41 (-6)


    This should help me keep track of Rally Senators and generally be more helpful. If you have questions, please ask!
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  20. Threadmarks: A Man from the West: 1989-1990

    Baconheimer Berserker of Chaos

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    “It’s time for a change! We’re going to get an America that works for all of us.”
    - President Gary Hart gives his inaugural address, January 20th 1989

    President: Gary Hart (D-CO)
    Vice President: Michael Dukakis (D-MA)

    Secretary of State: Lee Hamilton (D-IN)
    Secretary of the Treasury: Robert Rubin (D-NY)
    Secretary of Defense: W. Graham Claytor (D-VA)
    Attorney-General: Amalya Kearse (D-NJ)
    Secretary of the Interior: Bill Clinton (D-AR)
    Secretary of Agriculture: Bruce Babbitt (D-AZ)
    Secretary of Commerce: Al From (D-IN)
    Secretary of Labor: Neil Goldschmidt (D-OR)
    Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Gerald “Jerry” Austin (D-OH)
    Secretary of Transportation: Roy West (D-VA)

    Chief of Staff: Oliver “Pudge” Henkel

    “What’s the future of the Rally Party?

    We’ll see- if the Democrats make the right choices, I’ll vote with them, but if they keep on trying to pass neoliberal policies, I have no interest in associating with them again.”
    - Representative Tim Penny (RftF-MN), February 3rd, 1989

    “I’m not especially pleased with the Hart Administration so far. The President is not as supportive of organized labor as I hoped he would be.”
    - Former Vice President Walter Mondale, March 12th 1989

    “We’ve got candidates lined up to run for Governor in New Jersey and Virginia. The party is attempting to gain ballot access in all 50 states, as it looks like President Hart isn’t going to do all we hoped he might.”
    - Rally for the Farmers Party Chairman Russ Verney, March 21st 1989

    ‘Little Change in Hart Fed Policy - Insiders Say Hart Not Especially Different From Reagan’
    - Wall Street Journal, June 28th 1989

    “I’ve got no plans to pack up my bags anytime soon. I’ll keep this party going until Washington gets it through their head that we’re going to fight until we can get good protection for American farmers.”
    - Willie Nelson in an interview with NBC News, July 8th 1989

    “In Washington, allegations of improper conduct by several members of Congress, including Senators Cranston, McCain, DeConcini, and Glenn and Speaker Wright have come out. Reportedly, they had ties to embattled Savings and Loans Associations, and may have used their government positions to protect their financial interests. House Minority Leader Michel has…”
    - CNN Moneyline Host Lou Dobbs, August 4th 1989

    “I doubt these trusted representatives of the American people had any involvement in these supposed acts of corruption. I suppose there will be an investigation, but I can’t imagine they will find evidence of any wrongdoing.”
    - President Gary Hart, August 9th 1989

    “Look at the corruption within the American government. Can an honest person really hope to prosper when our leaders. I urge all Americans to vote against dishonesty and immorality whenever they can.”
    - Evangelist Pat Robertson speaking on the 700 Club, August 15th 1989

    ‘SPEAKER WRIGHT RESIGNS! - Denies Any Wrongdoing, But Insists on Resignation to Protect the Democratic Party’
    - Washington Post, August 17th 1989

    [​IMG]
    - Results of the August 16th election for Speaker of the House of Representatives

    “I call on the Senate to investigate the alleged wrongdoing by its members. At the same time, to prevent any further improprieties by Savings and Loans organizations, I propose a new bill that will protect American citizens from predatory financial tactics.”
    - Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) speaks on the steps of the Capitol, August 21st 1989 shortly before the resignations of Senators McCain, DeConcini, Cranston, and Glenn *

    “Mister President, what do you have to say regarding your previous remarks on the so-called Senators on Loan given that they have resigned in the last several days?

    I stand by my words. I was then under the impression that they were innocent of all allegations levelled against them. I’d like to remind the American people that these charges have not yet been brought to trial and that guilt has not yet been proven.”
    - An exchange between Ann Compton of CNN and President Gary Hart on August 22nd 1989

    Approve: 43% (-8)
    Disapprove: 48% (+6)
    Don’t Know: 9% (+2)
    - Approval Ratings of President Hart following the infamous East Room Press Conference of August 22nd 1989

    ‘Mr Nelson, there have been claims that your party’s positions are inconsistent, what do you have to say to this?

    Sure, we are a bit inconsistent, but that’s because we don’t try to tell everyone what they can and cannot do. We have some general rules, but each individual candidate can decide exactly what they believe and we let them talk about what interests them.”
    - From an interview with Willie Nelson, September 10th 1989

    ‘Civil Rights Act Passed - Bill Makes it Easier To Prove Workplace Discrimination - Bill Flew Under the Radar’
    - Washington Post, September 12th 1989

    ‘Financial Reform and Consumer Protection Act Passed - Bill Creates Regulatory Board to Watch Over Savings and Loans Associations, Credit Unions’
    - Washington Post, October 3rd, 1989

    ‘Trible wins Governorship - Edwards and Rally Split Vote with Diamonstain’
    - Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 8th 1989 **

    ‘Cardinale Wins - Sciarra Racks Up 10%’
    - Newark Star-Ledger, November 8th 1989 ***

    “As votes are done being counted throughout the country, it seems clear that the Democrats have suffered, probably as a result of the embattled President Hart, who faces a lackluster economy and allegations of corruption. Notably, Willie Nelson’s Rally Party has garnered large margins and won seats in local governments nationwide…”
    - Jessica Savitch , NBC News, November 12th 1989

    ‘Mandela Freed From Prison - Major Anti-Apartheid Activist Imprisoned Since 1964’
    - February 12th, 1990

    “The so-called State of Kuwait is a rightful part of Iraq. The ‘Emir’ of Kuwait was only put in charge there through the machinations of Britain.”
    - From an Iraqi propaganda broadcast, March 1990

    ‘Iraq Invades Kuwait’
    - Washington Post, August 18th 1990

    “President Hart has advised me that If Iraq does not withdraw its forces from Kuwait within three weeks, the United States is committed to any actions necessary to protect the sovereignty of the State of Kuwait.”
    - American Ambassador to the United Nations Charles H. Price II, September 1st 1990

    “The deadline we gave Iraq has come and gone. Saddam Hussein has refused to move his troops from rightful Kuwaiti territory. I am forced to commit American forces to action in defense of our loyal ally.”
    - President Hart in a televised address from the Oval Office, late evening September 8th 1990

    ‘Iraqi Forces Forced From Kuwait - Coalition Forces Push Into Iraq’
    -New York Times, September 13th 1990

    “I’m here with the First Brigade of the Third Armored Division, currently some eight miles south of Al Hillah. Since the breakout from the Kurdish border last week, Allied forces have come to be involved in a race towards Baghdad, capital of Iraq. The mood is cautious, yet somewhat celebratory among the men of the Third Armor, as there has been little resistance against the our well-supplied troops in days. Sixty miles away, in Baghdad, there are rumors that Saddam Hussein has fled for the…”
    - Mike Boettcher, reporting for CNN in Iraq, September 27th 1990

    “At the direction of the President of the United States, I have issued orders to create a new organization that will oversee Iraq between its liberation and the time when democratic institutions are suitably established. Harold H. Saunders, former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs will be tasked with the leadership of the Iraq Transitional Authority for Democracy.”
    - Secretary of State Sam Nunn, September 29th 1990

    “The Iraq War was the first major conflict of the Electronic Age. We had a field day with new technology: satellites that could give us live transmission from equipment that just kept getting better - and more compact, too. We could get shots that the people ate right up. Watching American tanks speeding down highways and our boys posing next to captured Iraqi buildings, well, it made viewers think they were in on the action, and that they shared in the victory against Iraq. Of course, those very same techniques came back to bite us in the ass after Baghdad fell and we got Saddam and the war became a whole lot more complex.”
    -An interview with Former CBS News CEO Les Moonves for the 100 Years of CBS documentary series, 2027

    ‘West and East Germany Unify’
    - Washington Post, October 5th 1990

    ‘British and American forces entered Baghdad today. While there was heavy fighting on the outskirts, Allied forces entered the town with minimal resistance, despite small pockets of from the fanatical Republican Guards, who have reportedly taken an oath to die before letting their leader fall into enemy hands. While members of the Revolutionary Command Council and upper level military leaders have been rounded up, there is no sign of Saddam Hussein and his immediate family, who are believed to have fled to the safety of their tribe, which is centered around the northern town of Tikrit. President Hart has…”
    - A BBC radio broadcast, October 8th 1990

    ‘Saddam Hussein Captured’
    - New York Daily Post, October 19th 1990

    ‘Iraq Fully Occupied’
    - Daily Mirror, October 25th 1990

    [​IMG]

    ‘Iraq War a Boon For Democrats - Republicans, Rally Still Expected to Make Gains’
    -The New York Times, October 28th 1990

    Democratic: 53 (-6)
    Republican: 46 (+5)
    Rally for the Farmers: 1 (+1) [Paul Wellstone]
    - United States Senate Election Results, November 8th 1990

    Democratic: 241 (-16)
    Republican: 188 (+12)
    Rally for the Farmers: 6 (+4) [James Boren in OK, Angus King in ME-02]
    - United States House of Representatives Results, November 6th 1990

    * - By 1991 McCain replaced by James Francis McNulty, Deconcini by James Shumway, Glenn by Don Pease, and Cranston by Bob Dornan.
    ** - John S. Edwards, a Virginia State Senate member IOTL
    *** - Michael C. Sciarra, a candidate for the New Jersey governorship in 1989 IOTL
     
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