Rfk in 1968

if rfk is not killed in 1968 does he beat nixon?. What does an Rfk presidnacy look like how does it change history no water gate vietnam etc. who would his veep be?
 
RFK, as much as i'd love to think it, wasn't a shoe in in 1968, the Dems were split 3 ways between RFK, HHH, and Gene, the bosses liked HHH the most, also Labor liked him, RFK had Blacks and Hispanics and Catholics, he was taking the Kids and anti-war people from Gene, but not fast enough, maybe just maybe if Gene backed him on the floor (though the two of them HATED eachother) or if JPK called Mayor Daley and got Daley or one of the other bosses around to backing RFK, this all could lead to chaos, just what LBJ wants, in OTL he spent the 68 DNC waiting for a shot to walk in and take the nomination on the floor the moment wasn't ever right so HHH walked away with the nomination
 
It's not likely RFK get the Dem nomination even if the Illinois delegates under Mayor Daley supported him and he had the support of Walter Reuther and the UAW. VP Humphrey's delegate lead(he won mostly from non-primary states) would so great that he would not be able to overtake it.
 
Alternatively Kennedy could become the VP candidate for Humphery and then have Humphery be killed in an assassination.
no, RFK knows it's political Suicide to be a failed VP, he (like Hillary this last election) won't take VP, he may make HHH take George McGovern as VP and give him AG or Sec. State should he win
 
I remember reading an AH story that said that if RFK lived Humphrey would have given his Salt Lake City speech in June and gotten enouh McCarthy support to win the nomination. He would have had to pick the Catholic Anti War Kennedy as his running mate and the united party wins in November.IF so, I would say that do to the bad economy hee loses win he runs for President in 1976. With the worse economy and the IRan hostage situation in 1980, he can win. He enjoys great popularity as a two term President in the prosperous 80s. People sat Robert Kennedy made me proud to be an American again
 
no, RFK knows it's political Suicide to be a failed VP, he (like Hillary this last election) won't take VP, he may make HHH take George McGovern as VP and give him AG or Sec. State should he win
Why would RFK make Humphery take McGovern as VP. That would result in him losing the election.
 
Why would RFK make Humphery take McGovern as VP. That would result in him losing the election.
in 68 McGovern isn't well known, so most people (out side the anti-war camp) don't know who he is and do know what he thinks, McGovern is known and liked by Anti-war forces both in RFK's camp and most importantly McCarthy's camp, he's left wing anti-war to balance out HHH (Perceived) right-wing pro-warness. McGovern was made into a Crazy Liberal by Nixon in 72, Nixon could do it again but it's dumb to spend all your time on the running mate of the person you are running against
 
IMO the most likely scenario is RFK will gain momentum after his victory in California and Allard Lowenstein will join his campaign. Prior to the NY primary Gene McCarthy will be offered the job Secretary of State by RFK if he dropped out of the race to whiche he indignantly replies, "Go tell him to shove it!" With momentum going his way RFK wins the remaining contests of the primary season and gains the support of Walter Reuter of the UAW. Gene McCarthy suspends his campaign on July 8th but refuses to endorse either candidate so as to hae some bargaining chips coming into the Convention in Chicago as well as fight for the anti-war plank. Meanwhile Hubert Humphrey continues pick up delegates from non-primary states and lead in the delegate count over RFK. Nearly 6 weeks after his victory in the California primary it still appears to be an uphill challenge for RFK to close the delegate gap with Humphrey in spite of 'chasing him all over the country.'
 
IMO the most likely scenario is RFK will gain momentum after his victory in California and Allard Lowenstein will join his campaign. Prior to the NY primary Gene McCarthy will be offered the job Secretary of State by RFK if he dropped out of the race to whiche he indignantly replies, "Go tell him to shove it!" With momentum going his way RFK wins the remaining contests of the primary season and gains the support of Walter Reuter of the UAW. Gene McCarthy suspends his campaign on July 8th but refuses to endorse either candidate so as to hae some bargaining chips coming into the Convention in Chicago as well as fight for the anti-war plank. Meanwhile Hubert Humphrey continues pick up delegates from non-primary states and lead in the delegate count over RFK. Nearly 6 weeks after his victory in the California primary it still appears to be an uphill challenge for RFK to close the delegate gap with Humphrey in spite of 'chasing him all over the country.'
Continuation: RFK was well aware of the fact that anti-war activists such as Students For a Democratic Society, National Mobilization Committee to End the War and the Yippies were planning on going to Chicago at the Convention to either crash the Convention or have their own counter or parrell convention. With that in mind RFK met up with several of the several of the activists, most notably Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis and Bernadine Dohrn - Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin would have none of it. The rececption he got from most of them was rather cool, he still had much to prove in order to earn their trust. He was able to get some assurances from that they will "cool it" and not go out of their way to provoke trouble in exchange that RFK will fight hard to get the anti-war plank passed at the Convention. He also tried to get similar assurances from Mayor Daley and the Chicago PD. Well clashes still broke out between the protesters and police at the Convention, who initially caused it still remains unclear to this very day. Though it wasn't as bad as it was in OTL it still wasn't pretty and still left sort of a black to Mayor Daley and the Democratic Party as a whole. The other notable difference from OTL is the there was the trial of the Chicago 6 instead of the Chicago 8. To be continued.
 
Continuation: During late July and early August RFK tours the European countries of France, Belgium,West Germany,East Germany and Czchoslovakia. He had already planned this trip prior to his attempt on his life in June. In Paris he met up with some of the protest leaders of the May Revolt, Prague he met with President Alexander Dubcek and young activist and playwright Vaclav Havel, and in West Berlin he spoke at Brandenburg Gate and electrified the audience and reminded them of his brother 5 years earlier. He looked presidential and captured international headlines aand though it may appear that he stolen VP Humphrey's thunder he was, never-the-less, out of the country and off the campaign trail for 11 days. This was not lost on Humphrey and he took full advantage of this by working behind the scenes by gaining more delegates and maintaing his lead over RFK. Another factor working against RFK was his nemesis President Johnson, and he was determined to do "his damnest"to see that RFK does not get the nomination. By about a week prior to the opening of the Democratic Convention it was becoming apparent that Humphrey was going to secure the necessary # of delegates(1312) to secure the nomination,with that in mind Humphrey visited RFK at his place in Hickory Hill on August 22 offered the VP spot to him.(In OTL Humphrey met and spoke to his brother Ted on August 22nd to offer him the VP spot) RFK respectfuly declined and said he was going to fight for the anti-war plank and the nomination at Chicago. However he privately didn't rule out the possibility of accepting VP position if he lost the nominaion to Humphrey. When word quickly got back to President LBJ of this he was not please of this idea and let VP Humphrey know of it. Humphrey quickly came back with the rejoinder that he was simply RFK the right of first refusal, something that his older brother JFK had given to a Texas senator 8 years earlier to which the president replied, "Touche`"
RFK publicly reiterated what he said to Roger Mudd back on June 4th on the eve of his California primary victory, that he was not interested in VP offer and was going to fight for the nomination. He finished his statement by directly addressing his supporters what had said at his California victory moments before his assasination attempt back in June, "Now it's on to Chicago and lets win there!"
 
Continuation: During late July and early August RFK tours the European countries of France, Belgium,West Germany,East Germany and Czchoslovakia. He had already planned this trip prior to his attempt on his life in June. In Paris he met up with some of the protest leaders of the May Revolt, Prague he met with President Alexander Dubcek and young activist and playwright Vaclav Havel, and in West Berlin he spoke at Brandenburg Gate and electrified the audience and reminded them of his brother 5 years earlier. He looked presidential and captured international headlines aand though it may appear that he stolen VP Humphrey's thunder he was, never-the-less, out of the country and off the campaign trail for 11 days. This was not lost on Humphrey and he took full advantage of this by working behind the scenes by gaining more delegates and maintaing his lead over RFK. Another factor working against RFK was his nemesis President Johnson, and he was determined to do "his damnest"to see that RFK does not get the nomination. By about a week prior to the opening of the Democratic Convention it was becoming apparent that Humphrey was going to secure the necessary # of delegates(1312) to secure the nomination,with that in mind Humphrey visited RFK at his place in Hickory Hill on August 22 offered the VP spot to him.(In OTL Humphrey met and spoke to his brother Ted on August 22nd to offer him the VP spot) RFK respectfuly declined and said he was going to fight for the anti-war plank and the nomination at Chicago. However he privately didn't rule out the possibility of accepting VP position if he lost the nominaion to Humphrey. When word quickly got back to President LBJ of this he was not please of this idea and let VP Humphrey know of it. Humphrey quickly came back with the rejoinder that he was simply RFK the right of first refusal, something that his older brother JFK had given to a Texas senator 8 years earlier to which the president replied, "Touche`"
RFK publicly reiterated what he said to Roger Mudd back on June 4th on the eve of his California primary victory, that he was not interested in VP offer and was going to fight for the nomination. He finished his statement by directly addressing his supporters what had said at his California victory moments before his assasination attempt back in June, "Now it's on to Chicago and lets win there!"
Continuation:
Meanwhile at the Republican National Convnetion in Miami Beach (August 5-8) Nixon came up 25 votes short of securing the nomination on the 1st ballot at 642 votes with Ronald Reagan coming in at second with 265 votes and Nelson Rockefeller at a close third with 247 votes. Nixon finally secured the nomination at the 2nd ballot with 701 votes, and at the final switch Nixon got 1212 votes, Reagan 77, Rockefeller 43 and George Romney 1 vote. Against the advice of many of the power brokers at the Convention Nixon chose Maryland governor Spiro Agnew as VP pick over Nelson Rockefeller and NYC Mayor John Lindsay. Perhaps at this point Nixon had sensed that VP Hubert Humphrey was likely to get the Democratic nomination rather than RFK, and also, Nixon had initilally asked House Minority Leader Gerald Ford for the spot but Ford declined.
 
RFK started too late in 1968...

Difficult to see how Robert Kennedy wins the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination. Freedman's "A Disturbance of Fate" is more fiction/fantasy than a realistic explanation of how RFK overcomes the long odds to win the nomination. "RFK wins" timelines, and even some historical accounts of RFK's 1968 campaign, tend to ignore (or at least downplay) the fact that the delegate counts in June of 1968 all still favored Humphrey to win the nomination.

Robert Kennedy started his campaign late in mid-March of 1968, after the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary. Gene McCarthy was willing to defer to RFK in the autumn of 1967, but would not step aside for Kennedy after entering the race himself and tasting success by bloodying LBJ in New Hampshire, then defeating LBJ outright in Wisconsin. Even if RFK had avoided assassination or serious injury in early June of 1968, McCarthy would have most likely remained in the race all the way to the Chicago convention.

VP Humphrey had the President, the party machinery, the unions, the South, and plenty of anti-Kennedy money behind his candidacy. Humphrey's advantages in the non-primary states were considerable enough to quickly make him the delegate frontrunner, while Kennedy and McCarthy hammered away at each other in the primaries. Prior to the 1970s, there were simply not enough delegates awarded to the winning candidate(s) in the 15 or so primary election contests to enable even a wildly successful candidate to win the nomination without also doing well in the non-primary state conventions and caucuses. McCarthy did not try very hard in the non-primary states, while Kennedy (who made serious efforts) was not making much progress at cutting into Humphrey's lead.

In Chicago, the anti-war/anti-LBJ delegates would have been split between Kennedy and McCarthy. Both RFK and McCarthy preferred Humphrey as their second choice over one another. In any event, Humphrey had enough delegates to win on the first ballot. In his autobiography published in 1976, Humphrey doubted that RFK could have prevented his nomination. As in Professor Polsby's "What If?", Humphrey might have offered RFK the vice-presidency, but it is unlikely that RFK would have accepted unless the language of the party's Vietnam plank was altered to his liking.

If Humphrey still lost to Nixon that November, then RFK would have picked up the pieces of a shattered Democratic Party. He would likely have won re-election in New York to the U.S. Senate and possibly sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972--running against Muskie, Scoop Jackson, and George Wallace (McGovern would likely have stepped aside for RFK). The danger of assassination was still ever-present in 1972, as evidenced by the crippling of George Wallace in an assasination attempt that Spring. Barring assassination or a crippling assassination attempt, RFK was likely to win the 1972 nomination and face incumbent Republican Richard Nixon in the fall election.
 
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There is coming to be a dogmatic school of thought that RFK was screwed in 1968 which I don't particularly agree with. Did Humphrey have a lot of backing, sure. Then again, so did Kennedy. Similarly, Humphrey was seen as 4 more years of the polarizing LBJ. Kennedy had an appeal that crossed boundaries and charisma, which Humphrey lacked. He was also the heir to the throne, so to speak. We can't forget that the popularity that resonants with us on RFK resonated with people back then in a similar way. There was a feeling of hope and optimism with RFK.

I'd say that Kennedy would continue to gain momentum following California, knock Gene out of the race, face Humphrey head on and overcome him.
 
I've outlined this twice, but it bears repeating. He started too late, ideally announcing in 1967. After June, he should've gone to DefCon 1, built an organization (contrary to PB, there was no field army on standby) and announced in Nov. Without McCarthy, he might even beat LBJ in NH. With a much more relaxed schedule, he can sweep the primaries, perhaps including Oregon (which he lost 43-37 IOTL) and avoid the motorcade scenes which polarized so many, apart from being a security nightmare. Daley's offer was contingent on CA, and RFK would wipe the floor with Lynch, and win majorities instead of pluralities. By August, Daley can pull out the rug, and give Kennedy the nomination. It is nearly impossible for RFK to win without California, and if so, he wins the general. I've outlined his 1976 Presidency in "RFK Renewed" and "Resurrection City". Basically does an Obama on Vietnam, and a Clintonian domestic program. In 1976, he will be popular enough to avoid too much effort in NY, and will have good committee assignments, and the real Leader of the Opposition to President Nixon. Can easily win the 1976 primaries, with a narrow win against Reagan or Connally, and a decent margin in 1980 for reelection.

Scenario 2: In 1968, Daley privately promised his support to RFK if he won California. With three or four phone calls, Robert Kennedy can be the presumptive nominee within a couple of weeks. He will win the nomination, picking Sanford, and unless he wins some suburbanites, narrowly loses California and the general to Nixon, and gets elected in 1976 for two terms, depending on Watergate and his running mate. By 1980, he can beat the GOP nominee easily, with a margin as big or greater than Obama's IOTL. I've outlined his Presidency twice in RFK Renewed and Resurrection City. Probable successor: George H.W. Bush.
 
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RFK in 1972? No way. That would be a kamikaze mission with 0% chance of winning the 1976 primaries and general election. He would focus on bringing the party under his personal control, almost like Mrs Gandhi in the 1969-71 period. By being a Leader of the Opposition, with important committee assignments after 1970, and working out compromises with the WH, he will get his missing ingredient, suburbanites. He might let Nixon's CHIP pass in 1974, claim some credit, and wait till 20/01/77...
 
RFK loses in 1968, runs in 1972

The assassination of RFK in L.A. in 1968 (like JFK's assassination in Dallas) created some very interesting "What If" scenarios. However, some ardent supporters and admirers of RFK (myself included) tend to ignore the objective realities of U.S. politics and news events occurring at the time of, and shortly after, his untimely death. Because he was killed in the middle of a presidential campaign, RFK is often treated in alternate histories like a blank screen upon which unbelievable or fantastic outcomes are projected. In alternate histories, RFK usually wins (often lopsided) election victories and then creates a golden age.

In truth, RFK was likely to lose the nomination to Humphrey in 1968 because the anti-war/anti-LBJ delegates to the Democratic National Convention were divided between Kennedy and McCarthy. Gene McCarthy wouldn't have stepped aside for Kennedy. A narrow Humphrey loss to Nixon in November 1968 would have set the political stage for another, and more likely successful, RFK run for the Democratic nomination in 1972.

One of the main reasons RFK did not announce in the autumn of 1967 was that the political pros--including brother Teddy, the JFK crowd, and Chicago Mayor Daley--all thought he didn't have a prayer of beating LBJ in 1968, would only divide the Democratic Party, and should wait until 1972. The plan was always for RFK to wait for 1972. He would have been re-elected to the U.S. Senate in 1970 and the Kennedy mystique would still be strong less than 10 years after Dallas.

Only the communists' Tet Offensive in South Vietnam, which commenced at the end of January 1968, and the resulting improvement in Gene McCarthy's prospects for victory over LBJ in New Hampshire (and subsequent primaries) caused RFK to belatedly change his mind and announce his candidacy in mid-March of 1968.

As for 1976, it is difficult to project that far ahead without first considering what RFK would have done in 1972.
 
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