dcharles

Banned
Maybe cool it with the ableism, he served actively as a senator up to his death following the same procedure OTL and wasn’t “humiliated” for it
No ableism.

The point is, the bag would have to be hidden. The POTUS is much more high profile than Senator. I'm just imagining the almost inevitable public accident and the outcry resulting.

A national conversation about your urine bag is, I think, as close to objective humiliation as it gets.
 
I would add that the TLIAW looks to illuminate the health struggles facing HHH without making it into a farce. Really hoping to capture the struggle HHH faces as he knows he's dying and is afraid that his legacy will go unfulfilled with Carter as his successor.
I honestly feel like Carter is the type of person that would fulfill his legacy as HHH got elected on it. Carter is a honorable man at heart
 
No ableism.

The point is, the bag would have to be hidden. The POTUS is much more high profile than Senator. I'm just imagining the almost inevitable public accident and the outcry resulting.

A national conversation about your urine bag is, I think, as close to objective humiliation as it gets.
I mean, how hard would it be to conceal a urine bag? I'm sure at some point it would come out but I'm sure he could -- and would -- easily conceal it for a while.
 
I mean, how hard would it be to conceal a urine bag? I'm sure at some point it would come out but I'm sure he could -- and would -- easily conceal it for a while.
My grandpa has a urine bag and it's not noticeable if you're not looking for it. Problem is, HHH is president - he's got millions of eyeballs on him whenever he's in public and a few thousand of those are reporters who aren't going to ignore a urine bag if they see one. I'm down for whatever the TL wants to do but the likely answer is that somebody's going to notice at some point. But Humphrey rolling nat-20's till he dies isn't impossible, if improbable.
Then again I supposed HHH is unlikely to keep it where my grandpa does, but other more hidden places... the problem, more than anything else, is if it breaks in public.
 

dcharles

Banned
My grandpa has a urine bag and it's not noticeable if you're not looking for it. Problem is, HHH is president - he's got millions of eyeballs on him whenever he's in public and a few thousand of those are reporters who aren't going to ignore a urine bag if they see one. I'm down for whatever the TL wants to do but the likely answer is that somebody's going to notice at some point. But Humphrey rolling nat-20's till he dies isn't impossible, if improbable.
Then again I supposed HHH is unlikely to keep it where my grandpa does, but other more hidden places... the problem, more than anything else, is if it breaks in public.

Pretty much my thoughts. You know, if some kid--or world leader, for that matter--hugs him the wrong way at a public event and the thing breaks. Poor guy.

Usually, when people have serious health problems, they kind of modify their physical lifestyle to avoid situations that might cause embarrassment. POTUS can't do that to the extent that a lot of people do.
 
December 14, 1976
December 14, 1976

Jimmy Carter could not believe how frail the president-elect looked. It was their first time seeing each other in person since the election, a fact that annoyed Carter and dismayed Hamilton Jordan.

“Mr. President-elect, how are you feeling?” Carter’s voice betrayed his concern — and his shock.

“Jimmy, I’m okay, thank you for asking. Take a seat.” Humphrey offered a feeble smile. His suit coat looked two sizes too big. His pants sagged, as if they were covering a mere skeleton. In reality, that’s about all they were covering.

Humphrey went to start before entering a fit of coughing. Carter rose to fetch him water, pouring it from the pitcher into a glass and handing it to his new boss. Humphrey nodded his thanks and gulped it down.

“Sorry about that, Jimmy, thank you. Thank you. And let me just say — thank you again for your flexibility during the transition. It’s been great to have your counsel, and I appreciate you being willing to do so much over the telephone. I’m still recovering from the operation — well, you understand.” Humphrey waved it off as if that was the end of the discussion. Carter was less sure. A routine operation? He wondered to himself. Humphrey looked as though he was knocking — banging — on death’s door.

Carter looked over at Norman Sherman, but Sherman just kept his eyes on Humphrey.

“Jimmy, it means a lot to me that you were willing to get on the ticket with me this summer. I know that wasn’t easy for you, and it really says a lot about your character that you were so willing to put the interests of the Party first after — well, after how everything went down.”

How everything went down. Humphrey’s euphemism concealed the bitter fight that ensued between the two men as they wrangled for the Democratic nomination. As far as Jimmy Carter was concerned, the nomination had been his — until Florida. Florida, Florida, Florida.

By that point, Carter was the favorite to win. His come-from-nowhere first place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire revealed the success he was having as a candidate. A growing unease about him in Washington circles was growing, though. They wondered who could stop him. When you asked someone in town who they wanted to be the Democratic nominee, they replied It’s as easy as ABC: Anybody But Carter. Most of them harbored a desire that Hubert Humphrey would save them.

Humphrey wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, but he looked at the field of candidates with a general unease, failing to see how any of them could win against Ford. Nonetheless, he did not want to embark on the grueling state-by-state campaign necessary to secure the Democratic nomination in the modern age. It was not for him. Perhaps, too, he was afraid of embarrassing himself. Well, the insiders speculated, then surely he’s not a candidate! But Humphrey refused to rule it out. There was no Shermanesque pledge — only a vague Hamletesque flirtation with the idea of a fourth run for the White House.

With Carter and Scoop Jackson, the Washington Senator running to be the ABC Movement’s man, invoking the issue of race in the Massachusetts primary, Humphrey decided that he had to do something. He wasn’t ready to announce, but he had also learned from McGovern’s ’72 victory that momentum during the primaries could tie a convention’s hands. He phoned his friends in labor, particularly the Machinists, the UAW, and the Communications Workers — they were the big ones he needed to focus on in Florida, and he told them that they had to back Jackson.

They asked if that meant Humphrey was a candidate, but he said no. He told them only that he hadn’t made up his mind but he feared that if Carter won Florida it would give him an air of inevitability. If he wanted to take the nomination, he needed a divided Convention, and that meant that Jimmy Carter had to be stopped. If labor came out for Jackson, just enough that George Wallace won the Florida primary, that could halt Carter’s momentum. Jackson had always had a good relationship with labor, and with the unions getting the message from Humphrey — it was more of a wink and a nod than any kind of promise — they got out the vote for Jackson best they could. It wasn’t enough to move him into second place, but it was enough for Wallace to prevail over Carter — and that raised all kinds of doubts about whether or not Carter could go the distance.

Here was a candidate, they reasoned, who could not even win a Southern state that bordered his own. If Jimmy Carter was the right man to represent the party in November’s election, surely he’d need to offer them a path to victory in the South. His critics argued that Carter’s victories in Iowa and New Hampshire had been flukes — not a sign of real political strength. They pointed to Florida as an example. Carter had practically lived in Iowa and New Hampshire, they argued. Of course he won them. But when the playing field was even, Carter didn’t have the votes. Suddenly, Wallace’s campaign had a real infusion of momentum. He barely lost North Carolina to Carter, and the two Southerners broke even when it came to pledged delegates out of the state. Carter lost big in Wisconsin; Mo Udall took that one. And so it went all the way to Madison Square Garden — where, for the first time since 1952, the Democrats did not have a nominee on the first ballot.

The sights and sounds of Madison Square Garden for those four days in July were like dopamine for a political junkie. Carter was some 60-70 delegates shy of clinching victory on the first ballot, and most prognosticators had assumed that they were simply making a stand. By the second or third ballot, delegates would come around and back him. They thought wrong — because they hadn’t anticipated what would happen next.

Walter Mondale, Minnesota’s senator, a friend of labor, a representative of the Party’s New Deal wing took to the podium. “Mr. Chairman,” Mondale said, “I rise to submit to this convention a different name for the presidency. He is not new to us, though. We’ve known him for decades. Twenty-eight years ago, he stood at this very podium, and he appealed to the better angels of our nature. He asked us to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.” The Convention broke into an 11-minute sustained demonstration. “Humphrey!” They chanted. Noisemakers. Airhorns. Some in the gallery hastily unfurled a larger-than-life banner with Humphrey’s face on.

When Mondale was finally allowed to continue, he didn’t get very far. “We are the Democratic Party!” He reminded the delegates. “We stand for preserving Social Security and Medicare — not bankrupting them.” Cheers. “We stand for peace — not an uncontrolled arms race.” Cheers. “We stand for full employment of every single American — And. No. Less!” They broke into chants once more. HUM-PHREY! They demanded. HUM-PHREY!

The former Vice President did not win on the second ballot, but he came close to doing so as Scoop Jackson and Mo Udall watched their delegates run en masse to the beloved elder statesman of the New Deal wing. On the third ballot, Humphrey overtook Carter but remained just shy of the nomination. (Jerry Brown continued his quixotic candidacy.)

That was when Humphrey phoned Jimmy Carter and offered him the vice presidency if he would end his bid and endorse him on the floor. Carter was apoplectic, but, as usual, his wife Rosalynn mellowed him, encouraging him to take the offer and go out with dignity. And that was how the Democrats nominated Humphrey/Carter in ’76 — the ticket that Ford had predicted. And feared.

Carter did not forgive the Washington insiders, nor did he forget them. As far as he was concerned, they had not only usurped him, they had usurped the will of the voters. Nonetheless, he bore a grin and put his arm around Humphrey. How everything went down.

Sitting across from Humphrey now, Carter just smiled politely. He wanted the president-elect to make his point.

“Well, as you know, I just haven’t quite made up my mind about Secretary of State,” Humphrey said, leaning back in is chair. He fixed his tie and glanced around the room. He was thinking about how to ask.

“You know, Jimmy, I was vice president, and it’s — well, it’s an interesting job. You know the story about the mother with two sons. One went to sea, the other …”

Carter cut him off. “The other became Vice President. Neither was heard from again.” He grinned.

Humphrey smiled and nodded. “Yes, exactly. That’s the story. Well, I think — listen, I gained a great appreciation for your mind out there on the trail, and I wanted to know: Do you think you would rather serve as Secretary of State?”

Carter could not believe the question. “Is that even — I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

“Well, you’d need to resign as Vice President. You could make it effective upon your confirmation, nothing wrong with that — not that I’d expect there to be any issue getting you confirmed.”

“Sir, with all due respect, why would I want to do that?”

“Well, I think this is a real opportunity for you. I need someone I trust — someone I like — at the State Department. And I can ask Cy Vance or any of the other insiders. George Ball, whomever. But I think you could bring a unique perspective to the role.”

Carter didn’t know what to say, so he just replied thank you and that he’d consider it. Then, he left the meeting and told Ham Jordan to meet him at his hotel room in Arlington. He wanted to relay what Humphrey had just asked him about.

Well, when Jordan heard the news he just about blew a gasket. Jordan saw it in only one way — the Washington establishment was out to get Carter again. He had yet to even be sworn-in as Vice President and they were already trying to demote him. If Carter wanted to be President, this was no route for him to go. Carter pushed back, though. Secretary of State could actually be considered a promotion. He was going to have the opportunity to negotiate with foreign leaders, gain valuable foreign policy experience — wasn’t that a good path to the White House? In fact, it was a more common path, historically, than the vice presidency. With the exception of those who inherited the office mid-term, no Vice President had gone on to directly win the presidency since Martin Van Buren. Jordan dismissed it all.

The Vice Presidency put Jimmy Carter a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. That was all there was to it. Besides, before Carter had accepted Humphrey’s offer, they had done their diligence. They’d planned out the responsibilities Carter would take on as Vice President. For the first time, he would have an office in the West Wing. No other Vice President had been situated so close to the Oval. It would be a symbol, yes, of his influence, but it was more than that — he was going to be in every meeting, read every memo; he was going to become Hubert Humphrey’s closest adviser, and when the time came, it would quell all doubts about his ability to become president. He would spend eight years making the domestic political relationships necessary to seamlessly win the race for the 1984 Democratic nomination. That was all there was to it. If he went over to Foggy Bottom, there would be no more politicking. In the modern political era, it was not a leg-up in the path to the presidency. The Secretary of State did not talk to precinct captains or make speeches about taxes, the budget, energy, education, healthcare — none of the issues Americans worried about at the polls. Secretaries of State were off in far away lands negotiating away from the public spotlight. Jordan was adamant: If Carter wanted to get to the White House, he had to stay there.

Carter went back to Humphrey with the news.

Humphrey was disappointed, and he reminded Carter that there was great potential in being Secretary of State. In particular, he noted the upcoming negotiations with Panama over the Canal there. It had been a hot-button issue on the campaign trail, and Humphrey knew it had the potential to go awry. He needed a Secretary of State who could empathize with the Panamanians and craft a fair treaty that also stood a chance at ratification in the Senate.

Carter didn’t budge.

“Mr. President, with all due respect, I believe I can be a better use to you helping to advance our domestic agenda. I’m afraid that the State Department would take me away from all of those.” He paused before offering, “I think I can be helpful when it comes to the budget — other matters like that. In fact, I’ve been thinking about the changes we can make in federal energy policy…”

Humphrey politely smiled and put a hand on Carter’s knee. “That all sounds great, Jimmy,” he said. “Send over the memos.”

The next day, Humphrey named Cy Vance as his choice for Secretary of State, and he wondered if the task of fulfilling his policy ambitions would fall to the Peanut Farmer from Georgia.
 
Interesting. You're definitely setting up a slightly more vengeful Carter so far, I do wonder if he'll make the Washington brigade regret their choice. I think it's a credit to your other timeline that I could instantly tell that Carter was going to take no for an answer from just reading his reactions. It's definitely an...interesting choice that's been made here, and I'm really curious as to where you're going to take the story from here.
 
Interesting. You're definitely setting up a slightly more vengeful Carter so far, I do wonder if he'll make the Washington brigade regret their choice. I think it's a credit to your other timeline that I could instantly tell that Carter was going to take no for an answer from just reading his reactions. It's definitely an...interesting choice that's been made here, and I'm really curious as to where you're going to take the story from here.
I've never seen Carter as the vengeful type tbh. It's people like Jordan who make him into a worse person than he is. At his heart Carter has proven to be a kind pragmatic realist.
 
My grandpa has a urine bag and it's not noticeable if you're not looking for it. Problem is, HHH is president - he's got millions of eyeballs on him whenever he's in public and a few thousand of those are reporters who aren't going to ignore a urine bag if they see one. I'm down for whatever the TL wants to do but the likely answer is that somebody's going to notice at some point. But Humphrey rolling nat-20's till he dies isn't impossible, if improbable.
Then again I supposed HHH is unlikely to keep it where my grandpa does, but other more hidden places... the problem, more than anything else, is if it breaks in public.
I'm sure it's going to get noticed at some point. My only point is that it's like he's walking around with a dialysis machine.
 
The next day, Humphrey named Cy Vance as his choice for Secretary of State, and he wondered if the task of fulfilling his policy ambitions would fall to the Peanut Farmer from Georgia.
It's like I'm watching a Coen Bros. movie.
 
I've never seen Carter as the vengeful type tbh. It's people like Jordan who make him into a worse person than he is. At his heart Carter has proven to be a kind pragmatic realist.

Carter could absolutely be ruthless -- especially in pursuit of the presidency, and there was certainly an ego to him, too. He was often stubborn and uncompromising. Just ask Ted Kennedy.
 
I've never seen Carter as the vengeful type tbh. It's people like Jordan who make him into a worse person than he is. At his heart Carter has proven to be a kind pragmatic realist.
Oh, by all means let's be clear about this, I'm talking vengeful by the standards of Jimmy Carter. I'm not talking firebombs at noon and Scoop Jackson getting his feet encased in concrete or anything like that.

Carter could absolutely be ruthless -- especially in pursuit of the presidency, and there was certainly an ego to him, too. He was often stubborn and uncompromising. Just ask Ted Kennedy.
And of course as lovely a marriage as it is, there's only so much that Rosalynn can do to ease the bruises to that ego. I mean from his perspective, Humphrey pulled some strings to mess around with his campaign, screwed up his coronation, forced him into being the co-pilot and then had the nerve to shove him off into a secondary position, not even the one he resigned himself to running for! Humphrey's position from his perspective is reasonable to me as a leftie, it'd also come off very insulting if you actually told Carter to his face what it was! "You're the wrong kind of Democrat and I don't think you'll rise to the occasion!" is a cynical take on Humphrey's motivations, it's also one that has more than one grain of truth to it.
 
Oh, by all means let's be clear about this, I'm talking vengeful by the standards of Jimmy Carter. I'm not talking firebombs at noon and Scoop Jackson getting his feet encased in concrete or anything like that.

Punished Jimmy, a man denied his peanuts.
 
I wonder who will be the rest of Humphrey’s Cabinet? So far we have Carter as Vice President and Cy Vance as Secretary of State. Considering how much Humphrey wants Mondale to succeed him, I wonder if he will be in it. I could see him become Attorney General.
 
Aha — after the first update, I was thinking "oh, I guess Vidal changed his mind on which cabinet post Carter would get", and that I didn't think State was as good a pick… but held off from saying so, not wanting to start the TL on a bum note. And now I see it was a feint!
 
Also, pretty dumb question that's probably not worth asking but who gets Humphrey's senate seat?
 
Aha — after the first update, I was thinking "oh, I guess Vidal changed his mind on which cabinet post Carter would get", and that I didn't think State was as good a pick… but held off from saying so, not wanting to start the TL on a bum note. And now I see it was a feint!

Haha! No spoilers!!

Also, pretty dumb question that's probably not worth asking but who gets Humphrey's senate seat?

This actually does become a little plot point — Skip Humphrey.
 
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