Should Mitt Romney

  • Run for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002

  • Move back to Utah in 2002

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Sunrise Over Medina
An Alternate 2000s and Beyond Timeline

This will be a timeline with a Point of Divergence at a full state recount taking place in Florida with strict standards on what are considered to actually be votes for Al Gore and George W. Bush, which has Al Gore winning Florida by three votes. This timeline will only be sporadically updated like my other ones due to my lack of free time but I hope to complete it within the next few months. Due to the smaller scope than my other timelines, I will make sure to tell the story in a lot more detail and with a lot of interest tidbits where appropriate. I’m going to try a few different things with this timeline, namely having the viewers vote on whether or not certain legislation passes and who wins certain down ticket, and maybe someday presidential elections. I will also try to cover events in more exact time frames than I have on previous timelines, considering how weeks and months make a lot bigger of a difference for events in the modern world. I hope everybody enjoys and if you have any comments or questions, please let me know!

Chapter Index:

The Gore Administration:

The Iraq Civil War:
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President-Elect Al Gore
December 12th 2000 - January 20th 2001

Tucker Carlson: No. No, I do not think that President-Elect Gore will have all that historic of a presidency. Not to disrespect our President-Elect, but I think he’s not that different from President Clinton and he’s not that different from George W. Bush.

Bill Press: I--I gotta disagree with you there Tucker. President-Elect Gore has made it clear that he will not be a third Clinton term--

Tucker Carlson: How’s he going to do that? He was the Vice President in the Clinton Administration.

Bill Press: He proved time and time again on the campaign trail that his ideals and his policies were a clean break from those of President Clinton. Have you taken the time to read the Democratic Party Platform?

Tucker Carlson: Yes, I have.

Bill Press: Then you know Al Gore’s strong stance on climate change and what he plans to do about it?

Tucker Carlson: Yes, but I want to know how he plans to do it...

Except from the transcript of the popular CNN Program: “The Spin Room” with Tucker Carlson and Bill Press.


President Albert Arnold Gore Jr. taking the Oath of Office on January 20th, 2001

Upon being sworn into office, President Al Gore had a number of problems facing him and his administration. It had been a tough election, for Gore and for the country as a whole. After the election had been called for Republican Nominee George W. Bush, the son of former President George H. W. Bush, Al Gore had contested the results and called for a recount of Florida. Spurred on by his supporters, Al Gore refused to concede the election until the results were counted and on December 12th, over one month later, the recounts were complete and showed that Al Gore had won by just three votes.

The shock of the unprecedented results could not be understated. George W. Bush conceded in a heartbroken speech given in Washington D.C. Al Gore had won the presidency in the most brutal election result fight in this nation’s history. That was only his presidency’s first hurdle.

In the Legislative Branch, the 107th United States Congress would be coming in. The Senate was in a dead tie of 50 Republicans and 49 Democrats, with an Independent caucusing as a Democrat. Vice President Joe Lieberman would be the tie breaker that would make the Senate have a slight Democratic Party majority. In the House of Representatives, it was a completely different story. The Republican Party held 221 seats, with one Independent caucusing with the Republican Party while the Democratic Party held 211 seats with one Independent caucus member.

With a tied Senate, a Republican House, and only having won by three votes in a recount, Al Gore was not very popular with Congress. There were doubts that Congress would stand as opposed to Gore as they had to Clinton. There were no predictions of any impeach proceedings in the near future. Instead they seemed content with more moderately opposing the new president on most of his policies except for the big one. Gore was seen as a left-leaning moderate across the board except for his strong environmentalist streak that developed throughout the ‘90s. The leading coalitions in the House would staunchly oppose most of Al Gore’s environmentalist rhetoric, with some opposition from Democrats in both the House and Senate.

The general public was far more forgiving to Al Gore than the legislative branch. Upon being sworn in, he had an approval rating of 50.8%, well above the lows he faced during the recount. When he was found to have actually won Florida and thus the presidency, most people who had opposed the recounts were found to have completely changed their perspective on it.

Throughout the month between the completion of the recount and the Presidential Inauguration, the Gore Camp would reveal their Cabinet picks one by one. Many theorized that the names were spread out like this to keep the news of Gore building a bipartisan Cabinet of qualified individuals in circulation to help his damaged approval ratings. Whatever the reason, the first few announcements were those who had served in Bill Clinton’s cabinet who were staying on. Namely Secretary of Energy, Bill Richardson, Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, Rodney E. Slater as Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Andrew Cuomo.

Ted Kulongoski was named to be Secretary of the Interior, Jim Slattery became the Secretary of Agriculture, George J. Mitchel as Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Donald Payne as Secretary of Education, Secretary of Health and Human Services was given to former Undersecretary of Commerce, Robert L. Mallett, Donna Brazile became Secretary of Commerce, and Howard Dean became Secretary of Labor. Dean initially turned the offer down, as he believed he could do more good as Governor of Vermont, but he was eventually convinced to take up the federal office. The last two positions named, both in the first week of January were Eric Holder as Attorney General and Richard Holbrooke as Secretary of State.

With his Presidential Cabinet consisting of five holdovers from the Clinton Administration and a number of people who had been serving within the Cabinet as assistants and undersecretaries previously, President-Elect Al Gore gave off much more of an image of being a continuation of Bill Clinton’s presidency than Democratic Nominee Al Gore ever did. At this time, many saw Al Gore’s presidency as just Bill Clinton’s third term, but that image would not last very long.
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Oooh! This looks promising. I wonder what your twist on the Gore presidency will be, and the title is intriguing. Watching this.
The First Hundred Days
January 20th - April 29th 2001

When Al Gore had finally assumed the office of President of the United States, he thought that the close election results would be what would overshadow the beginning of his First Hundred Days. Instead, he found himself being overshadowed by his predecessor. News media was focusing on Bill Clinton’s controversial last day in office pardoning of financier Marc Rich, who was indicted for tax evasion and found to have made trade deals with the Islamic Republic of Iran during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. President Gore brushed aside the lack of the media’s focus on him and decided that the best way to get his numbers up is to work tirelessly on running the country.


President Al Gore and Former President Bill Clinton on the White House lawn

Although Gore had been a witness of the most powerful office in the world for most of the past decade, but being in the hot seat was a much different experience. The modern world is a very busy, complex place and it seemed as though a crisis was always either happening or about to. There was a political crisis in the Philippines, an earthquake in El Salvador, an even worse earthquake in India two weeks later, and, reportedly, a group of protesters burned themselves alive in China. All of these things and more required Gore’s attention to some degree, but none caught the eye of the media. Since his inauguration, Gore did not make a headline until the end of the month.

The Congressional Budget Office, headed by a Republican named Dan Crippen, forecasted that, judging by the nation’s current financial state, the United States would have a budget surplus of 5.6 billion dollars for the next decade. This news was huge and shot up Al Gore’s approval ratings. One of the cornerstones of his campaign and the Democratic Party’s platform for that election was creating a budget surplus to reduce, and eventually rid the federal government of its debt. Gore saw an approval rating bump of ~6%, which put him 10% below Bill Clinton’s pre-Marc Rich Controversy approval rating.

Gore’s administration faced few obstacles until mid-February of 2001. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had been a thorn in the United States’s side since the Gulf War. Saddam saw himself as a figure standing against America's global dominance, boasting about his programs developing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). This lead to constant US lobbying at the United Nations for UN inspectors to go into Iraq and observe their facilities. Iraq’s level of cooperation seemed almost completely random, ranging from helpful to downright hostile. The Clinton Administration had advocated for a regime change in Iraq, but did little outside of using diplomatic pressure and bombing campaigns against its facilities and Gore's early campaign continued those policies. Gore's first military a action was a bombing campaign that began on February 16th. As leaked documents years later would show, only three days later Al Gore and Director of the Central Intelligence, George Tenet, would begin to develop a plan for a regime change in Iraq.

This planning was the focus throughout March of that year for the Gore Administration as Iraq’s belligerence became more and more of a priority. Towards the end of the month, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act came to a vote. Co-sponsored by Senator John McCain (R) and Senator Russ Feingold (D), the bill banned the raising of money not subjected to any federal limits by political parties and banned the unofficial campaigning of corporate and nonprofit organizations. The bill’s only serious opposition came from Minority Whip, Senator Mitch McConnell. It had been openly supported by members of both political parties as well as by the Gore Administration.

The last month of Gore’s First Hundred Days would present the first true crisis of his administration. On April 1st of 2001, a mid-air collision took place between a US surveillance aircraft and Chinese interceptor. The crash was a near head-on collision. The pilot of the interceptor, named Cdr. Wei Wang, and the pilot of the surveillance aircraft, Lt. Shane Osborn, both died during the incident. The plane crashed on Hainan Island, killing two more members of the original crew of twenty-four men and women. The survivors were discovered and detained by the Chinese military. Gore’s administration new this was their first real test. They began negotiations on the release of the twenty-one living crew members of the aircraft. China, having to seem somewhat belligerent in the light of one of their pilots having been killed, was resistant at first. Other countries in East Asia, most notably Japan and the Philippines declared neutrality in the dispute but called on both sides to come together and work something out peacefully. Secretary of State, Richard Holbrooke met with leading Chinese diplomats and was able to get them to agree to release the crew members and allow American engineers to disassemble and remove their damaged aircraft in exchange for payment for the cost of feeding and house the crew members and issuing a public apology for the event. Upon the completion of these terms, China unexpectedly also released an apology and refused payment for the transportation of the remains of the three dead crew members. The crew had spent eight days in Chinese captivity, enough time to produce buzz back in the United States without something else major having popped up in the news cycle. The general public was very satisfied with the Gore Administration’s handling of the situation and Al Gore saw a strong bump in his approval rating. With the First Hundred Days being seen as generally positive, even with its lack of developments or much in the way of shaking up the established order, President Gore settled in for what seemed to be a relatively calm time in the fast-moving modern world.
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Deleted member 96839

Good update. Gore seems good so far. However is the twist going to be Gore invades Iraq?
To be honest, I can totally see him doing this. Today people mostly see the Iraq War as a disaster started by the war mongering Bush administration (and there is some level of truth to this), but people forget how much most Americans favored going into Iraq at the time, even among Democrats. Saddam had been a thorn in the side of the country for over a decade by that point and there was a growing desire to see him deposed.
To be honest, I can totally see him doing this. Today people mostly see the Iraq War as a disaster started by the war mongering Bush administration (and there is some level of truth to this), but people forget how much most Americans favored going into Iraq at the time, even among Democrats. Saddam had been a thorn in the side of the country for over a decade by that point and there was a growing desire to see him deposed.
Does he go into Afghanistan?
The Long Summer of 2001
April 30th - August 6th 2001

As the Gore Administration settled in, so did its approval ratings. Sitting at a solid 66% by the end of April, nobody expected it to go up or down any time soon. With Democratic control of the Senate and Republican control of the House of Representatives, this Congress was going to be relatively slow acting. This alone would not have been a problem for the Gore Administration, but a new, constant annoyance was emerging. His name was Dennis Hastert and he had been Speaker of the House since January of 1999. Hastert had opposed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, but had kept down most of his rhetoric until after it had passed. He called it, “the worst thing to happen to democracy” and regularly attacked the Gore Administration as “Do-Nothing-Democrats content on living off the stained legacy of President Clinton.” Hastert’s attacks mattered little to Gore himself, it seemed to be a strong contribution to the narrative of the Do-Nothing-Presidency that had been growing since late-Spring of 2001. People weren’t against an uneventful presidency, but they wouldn’t actively support one either.

The reason Gore was doing little in regards to domestic policy was because the stronger parts of his environmentalist plan would be blocked by Hastert’s House of Representatives. Chief among these plans that were put on hold was the vote to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which Carol Browner, Administrator of the EPA since Bill Clinton took office, announced would be, “Suspended temporarily, until such a time when we know that vote will pass.” Without having Congress on his side for his environmentalist goals, Gore and his administration made moderate changes through the EPA itself, but spent most of their time planning.

One of the most important plans to President Gore by late June of 2001 were in regards to Saddam Hussein. UN inspectors had concluded on many occasions that his talk of possessing WMDs was just talk, but his strong rhetoric and anti-American positions kept putting him at odds with the United States, and the Gore Administration in particular. Gore wanted to do something about Hussein and, with CIA intelligence, decided that the best course of action would be an assassination. The following details all came to light during the 2005 CIA Leak. The plan was to assassinate Saddam Hussein and swoop in to guide Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri into power. While they did not want al-Douri in power or believed he would be any more of a friend to the United States, they believed that nobody else would be able to hold Iraq together without the crazed rhetoric.

In mid-June of 2001, the plan was set into action. Three CIA operatives were snuck into Iraq and pre-existing contacts within the country were able to give them a pretty good idea on Saddam Hussein’s schedule and when the best time would be to assassinate him. The operation was flawlessly executed on July 2nd of 2001.

Saddam Hussein stepped out of the car on his way inside of one of his several palaces. It was late in the afternoon and at a significant distance away, a sniper fired four times at Saddam. The first, third, and fourth bullet hit. It was not immediately fatal, but he died of his wounds within the hour. Needing somebody to pin it on, the CIA decided to plant evidence linking the assassination to Kurdish rebels. They left the rifle that did it, cleaned of fingerprints, with a small Kurdish flag tied to the butt of it.


Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq from July 16th of 1979 to July 2nd of 2001

Following this successful operation, the Gore Administration turned back to trying to accomplish some of their domestic policy goals, leaving the cleanup to the Central Intelligence Agency. This is where many experts years later believed the actual problems of replacing Saddam Hussein started. Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, while being the highest ranking member of government and the clear successor to Hussein as Secretary of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party and Chairman of the RCC, this was not so clear in regard to his other government positions. Saddam Hussein was the Secretary of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party since 1964, Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council of Iraq since 1979, Prime Minister of Iraq since 1994, and President of Iraq since 1979. There was a small, vocal group in support of Uday Hussein succeeding as president. Uday had a nasty reputation, even back then, and those who surrounded him wanted to make him a powerless puppet of a president. Others stepped up as well, including several noteworthy generals. It appeared that in a post-Saddam Iraq, all of these positions would not be in the hands of the same person. It did not yet seem like things would descend into violence.

Back in the United States in the late summer of 2001, something that few would see coming was about to happen. One of the United States’s darkest, most tragic moments was in the works and those responsible were in the United States at that time. It would be a day that would live in infamy and would recall memories of shock, fear, and loss for those who experienced it for the rest of their lives.
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Deleted member 96839

Well Saddam's dead without an invasion, hopefully this means we only go into Afghanistan and not Iraq once the towers fall, then maybe we catch bin Laden/Zawahiri/etc sooner., and no ISIS.

Too bad about it still happening though. :frown:
Who's to say the terrorists will try to attack the Twin Towers? It's entirely possible that butterflies cause them to attack different targets, or even different cities, for that matter.
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