WI: Nixon and Kennedy flip fates

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by redjirachi, May 13, 2019.

  1. redjirachi Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    The idea of Richard Nixon beating Kennedy in the 1960 election is a popular alternate history. But what if the reversal of fates goes beyond that? Late 1963, Nixon is assassinated, leading Henry Cabot Lodge Jr to become president. Then in 1968, Robert Kennedy wins the presidency(JFK's health issues would realistically make a second attempt unlikely).

    The question is what do you think would happen, and would have to happen in this timeline? What is it going to be like from 1961 to 1973?
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  2. flippikat A lot goes a little way.

    Jul 21, 2008
    New Zealand
    I've heard it said before that President Nixon in 1960 would be a different man to President Nixon in OTL's 1968.

    Maybe not as idealistic as Kennedy.. but not as paranoid & corruptable as what we eventually got. That's a good starting point.

    Does anyone know any ways (policy-wise) that Nixon tried to distinguish himself from being "Ike, term 3" in the 1960 campaign?
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  3. Thomas Jefferson Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Nixon probably passes a civil rights bill, albeit not as sweeping as what Johnson passed OTL. As a result, African Americans remain a swing voting block through at least 1968, and you don't see southern states shift towards the Republicans. Nixon/Lodge's economic policies will probably be more conservative than Kennedy's so you won't see the strong GDP growth of OTL. You might also see some interesting foreign policy butterflies, such as more overt backing of the Bay of Pigs invasion.
  4. Derek Jackson Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    What does President Cabot Lodge look like?

    I kind of guess he would favour Civil Rights
  5. Kaze Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2017
    sooo JFK gets impeached for braking into a Republican office?
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  6. Colonel Zoidberg Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    RFK does. Or rather resigns under imminent impeachment pressure. Perhaps his brother’s death makes him paranoid.
  7. Hedonic Hun Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2018
    ... and finally we'll end up with this presidential list ;) :

    1961 - 1963: Richard Nixon
    1963 - 1969: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.

    1969 - 1974: Robert F. Kennedy
    1974 - 1977: Eugene McCarthy

    1977 - 1981: Hal Suit
    1981 - 1989: Ronald Reagan
    1989 - 1993: Mario Cuomo

    1993 - 2001: George W. Bush
    2001 - 2009: Andrew Cuomo
    2009 - 2017: Allen West
    2017 - : Donald Trump
  8. THeaven I am the Watcher

    Sep 12, 2018
    Why did Reagan become a Democrat in this timeline?
  9. The Plainsman Some call me Bazinga

    Apr 27, 2017
    Some city in Kansas
    Why do we still have Donald Trump as president?
  10. Hedonic Hun Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2018
    Okay I should have made it clear that the single point of this list was to jokingly construct a timeline in which not only Nixon and Kennedy, but their two parties as well flip fates. So I tried to find an equivalent to every president, but from the other party. And the best equivalents to Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump are, well, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump as both of 'em were Democrats before switching parties.
  11. 297* Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2014
    I think we should make a list slowly and gradually add on, instead of trying to force it to the present.

    35. Richard Nixon (R-CA) January 20, 1961 - November 22, 1963|VP: Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
    36. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (R-MA) November 22, 1963 - January 20, 1969
    | VP: Vacant (November 22, 1963 - January 20, 1965), ?? (January 20, 1965 - January 20, 1969) [1]
    37. John F. Kennedy (D-MA) January 20, 1969 - August 9, 1974 | VP: ?? (January 20, 1969 - August 9, 1974) [2]

    [1] Instead of Nixon getting assassinated, he resigns due to a scandal and subsequent fallout with Congress. For Lodge's VP, two candidates I believed would be most considered on his shortlist would either be Thruston B. Morton or Walter Judd.

    [2] Instead of Kennedy resigning, he dies due to health problems. Two candidates I believed would be most considered on Kennedy's shortlist would either be Fred R. Harris or Terry Sanford.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  12. GarethC Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    I'm still trying to get the image of Nixon and Marilyn out of my mind. "Tricky Dicky" indeed!
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  13. Hedonic Hun Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2018
    Yeah I know, mine was just a joke. An analogy that was intentionally forced and silly. I just wanted to expand on the "so RFK resigns in 1974 because he broke into a Republican office" joke. Hence the " ;) " smiley.
  14. Colonel Zoidberg Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    Wasn’t he originally a Democrat? Maybe he never flips.

    Because some things always happen no matter what you do. Hitler always rises to power. Someone always tries to whack the president in 1963. Tom Brady always becomes a great quarterback and a cheating bastard. Trump, in one form or another, always becomes POTUS and lasts at least one term.

    So the first black POTUS is elected in 2008 as a Republican. The more things change...

    I kind of always thought that the first black POTUS would be a center-right Republican simply because he could curry favor among the GOP establishment and still carry a big chunk of the black vote.
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  15. Hedonic Hun Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2018
    Or like the Twelfth Doctor put it: "Like sewage, smartphones, and Donald Trump, some things are just inevitable."
  16. creighton lock s foils in attack position

    Jul 23, 2013
    Kennedy's health could also be failing to a greater degree by 1968. His back was getting to be increasingly problematic during his term, and although his treatments were more effective by 1963, it's not out of the question that by 1974, Kennedy could be relying on a wheel chair for much of the day. It's also weird to think about how JFK would only be 59 by the end of a hypothetical second term. [Edit: Oh I see the OP already assumed this, and it's RFK in 1968. Reading comprehension fail by me]. So, if RFK wins in 1968 and gets two terms, his post presidency would also be interesting. Assume he doesn't set down a Watergate path, he'd only 51 at the end of his second term in 1976.

    If we flip Nixon and Kennedy in 60/68, we also butterfly away Goldwater in 1964, unless he challenges Nixon because he's been insufficiently conservative. No Goldwater in 1964 could mean no "A Time for Choosing" speech by Reagan, and he never gets seriously considered to run for Governor. Now, Reagan would still have his years in Hollywood and later as a GE spokesperson, but that just takes out the most direct link to him running for Governor in 1966.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  17. sprite King of the Faeries

    Feb 14, 2006
    Darlinghurst, Australia
    Kennedy's famous speech after losing the 1962 Massachusetts election to John Volpe, "You don't have Jack Kennedy to -er ahm- kick around anymore"


    At the 1988 vice-presidential debate, Republican VP candidate Bob Dole zings newcomer Senator Al Gore, "I served with Dick Nixon. I knew Dick Nixon. Dick Nixon was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Dick Nixon"
  18. elkarlo Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2009
    Sendai Japan
    I doubt it JFK was in bad health. By 1979, I think he'd be a husk of his former self.
  19. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

    May 18, 2016
    Leafy Southern Blighty
    Doesn’t this kind of hang on why you think JFK was assassinated? He was killed just for being the president at the time, or for other, more specific reasons?
  20. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2017
    Without JFK being assassinated, RFK doesn't run for Senate. Ted Kennedy is more likely for a 1968 candidate.