The Big Switch- No Nixon in 1952 Senator Richard Nixon (R-CA) in tears after the 1952 Republican national Convention. On his left is Senator William Knowland (R-CA), nominee for Vice President THE BIG SWITCH Background/Point Of Departure: The California Delegation to the 1952 Republican National Convention was pledged to support favorite son Earl Warren, in the hopes that Robert A. Taft and Dwight D. Eisenhower would deadlock the convention, thereby opening the way for Warren as a compromise candidate. After the convention, some Warren supporters felt that Nixon had betrayed Earl Warren and had been working for Eisenhower's nomination all along. It was these disgruntled Warren supporters who leaked the stories about "the Fund" to the press. The Fund, as it was called, was an expense account of sorts, financed by private contributions. In the words of his campaign Treasurer Dana Smith, the money in the Fund was used for "Transportation and hotel expenses to cover trips to California more frequently than his mileage allowance permits. Payment of airmail and long-distance phone charges above his allowance ... Preparation of material ... to send out to the people ... who have supported him ... Defraying expenses of his Christmas cards to the people who worked in his campaign or contributed financially ... paying for getting out material for radio broadcasts and television programs. ... and various other similar items." The Fund itself was not illegal at the time. However, freshman Senator Richard Nixon had made it a point of criticising his colleague's finances and of attacking corruption wherever it might be seen. Earlier in the year, he had called for the resignation of the Republican National Committee Chairman Guy Gabrielson for his own implication in a loan scandal. In our timeline, Richard Nixon came to the Fund crisis after he was well into Eisenhower's presidential campaign. Even so, Ike's campaign team began contacting potential replacements almost immediately. However, after Nixon gave the infamous Checkers speech, the issue of The Fund seemed to fade into the background and Nixon remained as the vice-presidential nominee. Left to Right: Senator Harry Darby (R-KS), Representative Clarence Brown (R-OH), RNC Chairman Guy Gabrielson (R-NJ) and Representative B. Carroll Reese (R-TN) In this timeline, things go rather differently. A Warren supporter becomes disgruntled with Nixon's behavior and suspect loyalty during the dealings of the Convention. Perhaps he hears Nixon's name being floated for Vice President, perhaps he finds out that Ike's team contacted the Senator- who knows? This disgruntled Warren supporter takes the Fund information to a man who will use it- Guy Gabrielson, the very man whom Nixon had attacked over a loan scandal. Gabrielson had come to the Convention an outspoken Taft man and he would leave the Convention an outspoken Taft man. In our timeline, he continued to hold a grudge against Nixon, even criticising Nixon's Checkers speech while he remained on the RNC. He was critical of Nixon's place on the ticket until the election. In this timeline, he jumps upon the opportunity to embarrass the junior Senator from California. He spreads the information on The Fund to power brokers in the Party, to Eisenhower's advisers and even to the press. There is, of course, embellishment in each retelling and, by the end of the day, talk on the floor is about Nixon's "billionaire club". The press hound Nixon over the scandal, which leads to a breakdown after one particularly abrasive reporter (pictured above) On July 8, 1952 Senator William Knowland receives two phone calls. One from Robert Taft, asking if he would be interested in the Vice Presidency. Another from Ike, asking the same thing. The votes for Presidential nominee fall the same as in our timeline. Dwight D. Eisenhower wins the nomination. The vote for Vice Presidential nominee is, as in our timeline, unanimous; albeit for the Senator from Formosa, not for Tricky Dick.