WI: George Wallace successfully throws the election to the House

The person next in line to succeed was John McCormack, the newly-reelected Speaker of the House. Whether he would actually attempt to serve as Acting President was another matter.

In Our Next President (1968) Russell Baker described a complicated plot by which Bobby Kennedy (who had become LBJ's running mate and never mind that they hated each other) leveraged himself into the Presidency, after Wallace managed to squander his position and ended up deadlocking the House of Representatives.
then there is no reason whatsoever for Humphrey to throw it to Nixon
 
1972's Operation Linebacker was pretty much identical to the limited Operation Duck Hook that you're describing. It didn't automatically win the war for South Vietnam IOTL, but it did compel the North Vietnamese to recontinue negotiations. A limited Duck Hook in 1969 would likely have the same effect as Linebacker IOTL, unless Nixon follows it up with a conventional invasion. That would be politically unsustainable under normal circumstances, but if Nixon thinks he's doomed to one term, then it's within the realm of possibility that he would go through with it.
Operation Duck Hook has the same end goal as Linebacker but it was ten times worse in its way of achieving it. Duck Hook called for a Dresden-style saturation bombing of Hanoi and for blowing the dams and mining Haiphong harbour three years before it was done IOTL. It would destroy that year's rice crop, drown thousands of North Vietnamese and kill thousands more in the ensuing famine. It would make Linebacker look tame in comparison.

Alternatively, he could launch a massive amphibious raid on the Red River Delta in 1969/1970 (Hanoi and Haiphong) with U.S. Army forces, ordering them to vandalize and set ablaze everything in their path. That would do more damage than any of the bombing campaigns. (I'm suggesting this because I've seen it posted on the sight before, personally I think it wouldn't happen because by this point, the U.S. Army's morale was abysmal and because public support for the war was in the shitter. But I do think it would force the North Vietnamese to dance to America's tune.)

If he went for either of these options, I think it would be coupled with two things. #1. Nixon going for the run-for-the-hills strategy of pulling out U.S. forces as fast as humanly possibly without causing a collapse of the South Vietnamese regime. #2 Ending the draft to appease the anti-war protestors.
 
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This isn’t my forte, though I reckon that neither would want to negotiate with Wallace out of differing personal reasons. Moralist got Humphrey and pride for Nixon.

Maybe Nixon gives it to Humphrey to increase his chances next go-round and promote himself as an honest politician.

Would this lead to the Electoral College being removed via amendment like it nearly happened here?
 
Maybe Nixon gives it to Humphrey to increase his chances next go-round and promote himself as an honest politician.
There isn't going to be a next time for Nixon if he doesn't walk away from '68 with the presidency. It's already enough of a historical aberration to nominate a former loser (though less so than today), the Republicans certainly aren't going to nominate Nixon again in '72.

I think there are three plausible scenarios, which I've ordered in terms of how likely I think they are:

1. Some sort of deal is cut, either in the Electoral College or the House of Representatives, between the Democrats and Republicans to put a caretaker administration in power for 4 years. The most likely outcome here is President Humphrey, but with some Republicans in his cabinet and promising not to expand the War on Poverty.

2. Nixon makes a deal with Wallace. I don't see this one as particularly likely, just bc Nixon has to know that if he does a second corrupt bargain for the presidency with George Wallace of all people, his presidency is DOA. I think even someone as singular minded about taking the presidency as Nixon would balk at that offer.

3. Things are hopelessly deadlocked, and everyone just sort of gives up and lets Acting President Muskie be president for his 4 years. I don't think this is likely, just because I think people would expect some sort of resolution to this mess at some point, and just letting Muskie play act as president bc 51 Senators voted for him doesn't feel very satisfactory.

In any of these scenarios, I see a Hart-Celler Amendment having a real shot. One of the primary objections to it OTL was that there wasn't a need for it, that the Electoral College had worked fine so far and there was no need to change it now. That obviously couldn't be further from the truth here, and in fact you now have a very credible real life case for why it needs to be abolished. If it can get through the Senate, which I think it can with more public pressure for it, it's as good as passed. Even OTL, there were 30 state legislatures ready to ratify and a further 6 on the fence. With such a huge crisis, I think those 6 would go over, and then you only need 2 more. In Scenarios 1 and 3, either President Humphrey or (Acting) President Muskie probably support the bill, and in Scenario 2 Nixon has lost enough credibility that I don't think it matters what he says.
 
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There isn't going to be a next time for Nixon if he doesn't walk away from '68 with the presidency. It's already enough of a historical aberration to nominate a former loser (though less so than today), the Republicans certainly aren't going to nominate Nixon again in '72.

I think there are three plausible scenarios, which I've ordered in terms of how likely I think they are:

1. Some sort of deal is cut, either in the Electoral College or the House of Representatives, between the Democrats and Republicans to put a caretaker administration in power for 4 years. The most likely outcome here is President Humphrey, but with some Republicans in his cabinet and promising not to expand the War on Poverty.

2. Nixon makes a deal with Wallace. I don't see this one as particularly likely, just bc Nixon has to know that if he does a second corrupt bargain for the presidency with George Wallace of all people, his presidency is DOA. I think even someone as singular minded about taking the presidency as Nixon would balk at that offer.

3. Things are hopelessly deadlocked, and everyone just sort of gives up and lets Acting President Muskie be president for his 4 years. I don't think this is likely, just because I think people would expect some sort of resolution to this mess at some point, and just letting Muskie play act as president bc 51 Senators voted for him doesn't feel very satisfactory.

In any of these scenarios, I see a Hart-Celler Amendment having a real shot. One of the primary objections to it OTL was that there wasn't a need for it, that the Electoral College had worked fine so far and there was no need to change it now. That obviously couldn't be further from the truth here, and in fact you now have a very credible real life case for why it needs to be abolished. If it can get through the Senate, which I think it can with more public pressure for it, it's as good as passed. Even OTL, there were 30 state legislatures ready to ratify and a further 6 on the fence. With such a huge crisis, I think those 6 would go over, and then you only need 2 more. In Scenarios 1 and 3, either President Humphrey or (Acting) President Muskie probably support the bill, and in Scenario 2 Nixon has lost enough credibility that I don't think it matters what he says.
Maybe though Nixon could blame Wallace taking more of the support given how close it was. In OTL, I believe he actually was supportative of the Amendment to abolish the Electoral College. Meanwhile, the scenarios presented are all quite fascinating.

1- Pretty accurate and Nixon could take the confidence boost in him doing the "upstanding" thing and channel into another attempt for differing oolitics down the line. He may be prideful and stubborn, but not stupid and it's alot more dignified bowing out to Huphrey when the it's pretty close than deal with Wallace.

2- I think he would be too prideful and given his insecurities, I think that he wouldn't want to owe anything to Wallace and of course he knows it would just invigorate Humphrey and like-minded politicians next go around.

3- Yeah, definitely unlikely,

As for the Amendment, it did come pretty damn close in OTL and so in this scenario, it seems nearly inevitable. I did skim the Bayh-Celler Amendment on how it would be like though I'm curious on what would the changes be in regards to elections or other things tied to the amendment.

"House Joint Resolution 681, a proposed Constitutional amendment that would have replaced the Electoral College with a simpler two-round system based on the national popular vote, similar to that used in French presidential elections. With this system, the pair of candidates who had received the highest number of votes would win the presidency and vice presidency provided they won at least 40% of the national popular vote. If no pair received 40% of the popular vote, a runoff election would be held in which the choice of president and vice president would be made from the two pairs of persons who had received the highest number of votes in the first election. The word "pair" was defined as "two persons who shall have consented to the joining of their names as candidates for the offices of President and Vice President. "

I don't think they'd make any changes from this
 
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