Part 1 : Victory

It was November 8, 1960. Richard Milhous "Dick" Nixon is somewhere in Mexico with a pal of his getting drinks. This was the most unusual of reactions, but he was the most unusual of men. He built his career on hunting commies - and unlike the nut McCarthy, he actually did. He was one of the first to get onto Hiss. He'd hated those liberals at the State Department ever since - that's why he planned to give it Lodge if they won. The campaign was filled with plenty of turbulence, but, despite getting his ass handed to him on national TV by that slick young kid Kennedy, all went well. Near the final days, Martin Luther King got arrested, and people around Nixon wanted him to call his wife, Corretta. Nixon at first declined, but after being convinced by Jackie Robinson agreed to it. He was worried those Southerners would get all angry about it, but they didn't. In fact, it was a huge coup when Martin Luther King Sr decided to not only support Nixon but condemn Kennedy. After all, he listened to Bobby and didn't call Correta to appease the Southerners. Bobby himself was for civil rights, but damnit they needed to win. This looked terrible with them with the blacks in many northern states and a few pockets in Dixie and it didn't swing many Dixiecrats. However, the polls were saying it would be close, but a tight Kennedy win in the electoral college. Gallup had it dead even - 50 v 50. Anyway, Dick got back to the Ambassador Hotel that night, while those rich Kennedys' were up at their Hyannis Port Mansion. As the votes came in, it was close. Really close. Lyndon helped carry (or stole depending on who you asked) Texas and most of the South, but Nixon took the border states, Florida, and Tennessee. The big border state was Missouri where Stu Symington and Harry Truman were from. Most had it in the Kennedy camp, but Nixon got enough of the big city urban and minority vote to win. A bit up in Minnesota, a stunner nearly happened. In the state of Humphrey, Nixon nearly poached it from the Kennedy camp thanks to many social liberals backing Nixon - he was the one with the civil rights record after all, even if they detested his commie hunting. But the big ones left were clear - CA, NJ, and IL. Nixon needed all 3 to get a clean sweep in the electoral college, Kennedy needed CA to win the electoral college or IL and NJ. As the returns came in from CA, Kennedy looked good, albeit very narrowly and Nixon was just about ready to concede it, however Robert Finch, his campaign manager reminded him of the military ballots there. So he held off. NBC called it and on the air, David Brinkley was going on about how Nixon should concede for the good of the country. But, then those liberal fools had to retract their call when it was under 20,000 votes with military ballots still coming in. Out east in New Jersey, it was looking close, but Nixon had just pulled through, no doubt thanks to getting enough support from enough Democrats. Now, it was onto IL. Kennedy needed IL, as CA looked dim with military ballots. In IL, Nixon did just enough in Cook County, and among the key liberals who were always suspicious of Kennedy due to Old Joe that he would win the state. Later on, the ballots from CA made it clear, Richard Nixon was the 35th President of the United States of America. Now, this wasn't without controversy. Richard Daley and Arthur Schlesinger met in mid-November to discuss potential voter fraud in downstate Illinois and in the suburbs. They decided to go ahead, present their evidence to Jack, and tell some of their newspaper friends who were looking for any way to hurt Nixon. However, Jack put the kibosh on the plan since it would A. hurt the country and B. he liked Dick and didn't think he would be a bad President. So, despite objections from both Daley and Schlesinger, Richard Nixon was going to be made the 35th President without a fight.

It was time to pick his Cabinet. He'd have James Mitchell stay on at Labor. Dillon would go to Treasury. For State, Nixon wanted to weaken the State Department Liberals as much as he could - so he picked William P. Rogers, a fine AG, but had no foreign policy experience or wisdom. Meade Alcorn, the former head of the RNC would become the AG of the United States. Eugene Black would become the Secretary of Commerce. Finch would be Nixon's Chief of Staff with a few lieutenants including some guys named HR Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. Hoover and Dulles would stay at the FBI and CIA. Nixon decided he had to keep the social liberals who won him the election happy and he could do so by appointing an African-American to the Cabinet, so he decided to follow Lodge's advice and make Ralph Bunche Ambassador to the UN. Arthur Flemming, the Secretary of HEW would stay, and also Seaton would stay at Interior. He makes Henry Kissinger National Security Advisor. Though Kissinger hates him (until he gets to know him), he realizes this can help him grow. He also assures Rockefeller, that he will "guide" Nixon to the Rockefellerite foreign policy. McNamara goes to Defense to bring non-Washington people in.

On January 20, 1961, with John F. Kennedy seated nearby, along with the new Vice President Lodge and in a show of goodwill so is Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, Kennedy's running mate. In his speech he thanks President Eisenhower, and says a few kind things about Kennedy, then talks about the challenges facing the country in regards to the Soviet Union. He says a well-remembered line "I have a message to Mr. Khruschev: You won't kick the US around" which was said to great applause (though Ike, for whatever reason, feels this is an underhanded attack against him, which it isn't meant to be), and he talks about the importance of national unity in challenging times. It is a well-received speech, though some in the liberal media tried to say he was too belligerent in regards to foreign policy. And with that begin the Presidency of Richard Nixon.
 
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Part 2: Disaster Averted

Richard M. Nixon's first few months as President were rather uneventful. Some liberals at the State Department were talking about some kind of a Peace Corps, but Nixon didn't consider this for a moment. Those liberals had no idea of foreign policy, to begin with. However, there is something brewing in the water - an invasion of Cuba. He'd met with Dulles, Lodge, Mac, Kissinger, Dulles, Joint Chiefs, and Rogers on it. What was understood by all men, though not spoken, is that this was going to be a disaster unless they had decisive action, the fighters were screwed. The most important of these men was Lodge. He was a foriegn policy wiz. On April 15, 1961, Lodge entered the Oval Office to meet with Nixon. "Dick, those poor guys are gonna be massacred. We need to do something to ensure they leave and we don't look stupid." Nixon looked back and said with a nod of agreement "Your Right, Your Right, Henry. We gotta do everything. Air, supplies, eventually troops, all that shit. Lodge looked back and said "Good. And with God's help, we will restore freedom to Cuba." So on April 17, 1961, the so-called Bay of Pigs began. As the days continued it was clear. Nixon gave all the support needed and it was good enough to get on that island. Now beating Castro was going to be easy. On April 19 when what was going on became crystal clear, he started shouting while talking to his foreign minister Gromyko "Damnit Nixon wants to start a World War.....If he so chooses to invade Cuba, then we shall make our own moves to heaten this so-called Cold War up." And so he did, on April 20, the Vienna Summit was canceled. In an address to the people, he lambasted Nixon and demanded, he A. withdraw from Berlin, B. withdraw from Cuba, and C. Withdraw missiles from Turkey and Italy. Khrushchev privately knew he was in a race against time. The Americans were gonna have Cuba in their palms, and he'd have no leverage. April 21, 1961, Nixon is in a meeting with all of them again. Joint Chiefs were suggesting to send new missiles to Italy and Turkey and Lemay even talked about attacking Berlin. Dulles was leaning towards the war hawks on this one in Italy and Turkey, but he wasn't dumb enough to call for an attack in Berlin. Kissinger and Lodge were calling for an agreement with the Soviets - remove missiles from Turkey and Italy in exchange for Cuba. Khruschev also started plans for the construction of a wall. Nixon responded by activating military forces in Berlin. Khruschev then sent his forces to Checkpoint Charlie in a standoff with Americans. Despite, President Nixon's repeated pleas to leave, he loudly refuses and goes on USSR TV and denounces Nixon. Nixon eventually goes on TV and doesn't really rock the boat, but doesn't tell the whole truth. The USSR is also making plans to somehow get Castro and establish a government-in-exile, however they have to block the American blockade made on April 20. April 25 goes without any more changes as does the 26th. Then, finally, thanks to backhanded negotiations on 27 April 1961, between Dobryinin and Kissinger + Lodge they were finally making progress. A basic outline would be the US allows Castro to leave, removes missiles from Italy + Turkey in secret, the US takes Cuba, and the Berlin Crisis can be postponed to later to be decided. At first, Khruschev nor Nixon was convinced. Former on Cuba and the later on Italy and Turkey. However, both men were convinced by the aforementioned negotiators, and by April 29 their plan was set. On April 30, the US began to end the blockade, and soon after the USSR also began evacuating or rescuing - depending on where you were, the Communist leaders from Cuba including Castro, and Che. The big issue on Italy and Turkey as if it was to be publicly. Khruschev who despised Nixon - and was worried about the impact of letting Cuba fall demanded Nixon publicly remove missiles from the two countries. Nixon - with great reluctance agreed to it. Now, most of the world was thankful that there wasn't a clash. However, on Meet the Press, Barry Goldwater lambasted the Nixon Administration for caving away US defense missiles in Europe and letting tyrants escape without a fight. When asked if he would run for President in 1964, Goldwater hedged and said at the current moment he didn't have plans to run. Nixon ranted on about how Goldwater was an ungrateful swine and how he would destroy the son of a bitch's political career in the primaries and then shut the TV Off. But, most of the world was happy with the outcome and it could be encapsulated by what Henry Kissinger said privately with Henry Cabot Lodge "God Henry, we averted disaster."
 
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