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Senator Cynic
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« on: July 24, 2011, 11:03:08 pm »
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Forgive me rehashing a Watson timeline which I did awhile back. I've got a terrible case of writer's block that I'm desperate to break....
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 12:05:24 am »
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Lawrence J. M. Watson is an American politician who was born on February 11, 1950 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

BIOGRAPHY:

Watson was born the son of a railroad engineer and homemaker, the oldest of four brothers. Growing up in Pittsburgh's Mt. Washington, Watson watched Pittsburgh's industrial power in the post-World War world, deeply engaged in his city as a young child, he recalled fondly growing up with David L. Lawrence as Mayor (Whom he was named for) and watching Pittsburgh evolve both personally and industrially. He identified, even as a youngster with big steel and big industry. He would develop his love for rail travel when riding in a massive Allegheny type engine, which his father Mike ran. Large machines such as trains, ships and big cars were to become great passions. Indeed, physical sporting events such as football, hockey, boxing and pro wrestling would all become part of his many hobbies, which also included theater and consuming books.

As a teenager, Lawrence Watson was described by peers as friendly and charming, but also muscular, aggressive and intimidating. Already 6"2" and near 270lbs, he towered over classmates and gave the impression of an ebullient giant. A standout football player, he seemed to have little true interest in politics... That is until the 1968 election...

The election of '68 awakened a passion for politics in him. His preferred candidate was Hubert Humphrey, who would become something of a moulder of his own politics. Humphrey was big labor and popular in Western Pa. Indeed, he had not been charmed by RFK in the early goings. He became a leader of Students for Humphrey in Pennsylvania and discovered his talents as a political embryo. The defeat of Humphrey in 1968 was crushing, but he made important friends and contacts within the Pennsylvania Democratic Party which would prove important. Peter Flaherty, who saw in Watson a great deal of talent and in 1972 he chose the talented Pitt alum to head up his 1973 re-election campaign. Flaherty faced stiff primary competition from Richard Caliguiri, who received the endorsements of the city machine. Flaherty was victorious and his wunderkind Watson received a great deal of credit for it.

Watson chose to run for Pennsylvania's 20th Congressional District when Joseph Gaydos relinquished his seat to run for Lt. Governor in 1974. Although still technically under the legal age to serve, he was elected easily thanks to his high visibility and popularity among Western PA Democrats. He waited a month after the new Congress convened to swear in on his 25th birthday, February 11th, 1975.

In the House, Watson became a young satellite around the venerable Mo Udall. Udall was known to always have an eye peeled for young talent and he recognized the jumbo Pennsylvanian as a man on the rise. It was at this time, Watson, known among his peers as "Laughing Larry", became a heavy drinker and party animal. His penchant for holding his liquor was legendary among those who knew him best such as Montana's Scott Westman. In one night, it was estimated he'd tossed back nearly 20 cocktails and almost 50 shots of hard liquor. His friends would be stunned when he wouldn't get sick. Watson was moderately popular with women during his tenure, most of them drawn to his charisma. Watson was not one for one night stands, however and the frequency with which women broke his heart was immeasurable. Udall, sensing a derailment coming encouraged him to take a vacation.

In 1977, after having been re-elected, Watson took a trip to Sydney, Australia. While on the beach, he met Laura Ellen Imber, an engineer who worked to design new airplanes. Lawrence and Laura at first engaged in a happy friendship, Watson's Congressional phone bill went into the thousands of dollars. When Imber moved to the United States to work with United Airlines, Watson suggested they become a couple. On May, 11th 1979 the two were married. In December of that year, Watson announced he was running for Senate...
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 07:08:30 am »
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Forgive me rehashing a Watson timeline which I did awhile back.

It was Blake TL if I recall correctly Tongue

But waiting to read this Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 07:27:25 am »
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I thought I was doing a Watson timeline. I could be wrong though. Like I say, I'm just desperate to break this writer's block
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 07:43:15 am »
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You're a gifted writer. I'm sure this will be good.
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Senator Cynic
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 09:12:26 am »
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Election 1980

Watson met Williamsport Congressman Allen Ertel in the Democratic Primary. Scholarly looking former attorney Ertel savaged Watson during the primary for his high living and hard drinking lifestyle. Ertel implied that Watson was a drug user, something Watson denied vehemently. The centrist Ertel also complained of Watson's streak of social democracy. Well known in the House for his votes in support of Full Employment and Universal Health Care. He also opposed most free trade agreements unless the other nation met his standard of civil and worker rights. Ertel did win most of the rural counties and got close in Philadelphia. Watson formed an alliance with Philadelphia power broker Joseph Clark and held onto his Western power base. He defeated Ertel by just over 7,000 votes. Ertel would later become Governor and indeed became a close ally of Watson, burying the hatchet over the vicious campaign.

Everyone knew that 1980 was a hopeless year for the Democrats. Watson was expected to be another sacrificial lamb for the party. It was assumed that Watson would lose the race and return to Pittsburgh to run in the next Mayoral election. Barely 30 years old, his opponent was the invincible seeming Arlen Specter. "Snarlin' Arlen" was a big time Philadelphia attorney who was known for his temper and nasty attitude. By contrast, Watson was one of Pennsylvania's most well-liked leaders. He was a visible figure in the House and his huge frame and penchant in the 70s for growing a full beard and long hair made him look a bit like a massive bear. By 1981, he would abandon the facial hair and took on a more businesslike look.

Specter and Watson engaged in a slug-fest that saw both men brutalize the other. Specter's charges of Watson being too far left, too young and too much a lover of the night life. Specter alleged, though indirectly, that Watson had met his wife Laura at a strip club in Sydney. Laura Watson, politically inactive (Though she claimed she had supported Australian Labor in 1977) and both shocked and hurt over the attack withdrew from traveling with him to stay in Pittsburgh with their year old son, Brian. Watson and his manager, Jimmy Lewis, a bisexual former political op-ed writer, devised a serious of harsh attack ads on Specter. In Pittsburgh and the western half of the state, he portrayed Specter as a money-grubbing, over-privileged publicity hound. In Philadelphia and the east, they focused on Specter's more controversial cases, portraying him as dangerous and a flip flopper, bringing up his former Democratic affiliation.

The 1980 debate was a brutal one. Missing his wife and son, Watson was agitated and aggressive. Specter's position on unions in the workplace was cause for an angry slap from the younger man. Someone with less personal charisma would've seen their political careers destroyed from such an angry debate performance. Instead, Watson won the election...


And this is where we stand today...
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 10:45:29 am »
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"I don't think I can be beaten..."

Boastful as the statement was, winning the 1980 Senate election was certainly cause to be boastful. Squeaking through Specter by a hair's breath made him the youngest U.S. Senator in Washington. His friends were happy for him, but his wife fretted over the amount of time apart with a newborn baby. Even still, his happily boasting quote was regarded by political pundits as a Bigger than Jesus style comment. But in all, there was some truth to it.

"What can we accomplish if we continue to use the Senate for its longtime purpose? This chamber moves glacially and although it is the way of things, the fact that we move so slowly means that people in my state may suffer another lost job or another denial of health coverage! We cannot sit and allow this to happen!"

It is a major risk to upset the status quo of the sedentary Senate. Watson's early proclamation against the established system ostracized him from the old guard. However, his aggressiveness and ambition found allies in younger men who he found himself around ever more increasingly. Scott Westman and Ted Kennedy were early friends as were Jefferson Dent, Joe Biden and Dale Bumpers. Kennedy was especially helpful in tutoring Watson on how to weave his way through the Senate. Bumpers, not really a young man, was still new to Washington himself, so they admired each others newness. Biden was of a similar age, also in his 30s, and the two connected easily on a passionate dedication to rail. Westman though would prove to be his closest personal friend, but an odd ally. Libertarian and generally anti-union, Westman and Watson had partied together, having both gotten to Congress the same year. Both liked booze and girls and their friendship forged a willingness to meet the other man's needs. Westman needed some help getting support from labor? No problem. Watson was there. Watson needed to soften his economic message to get support from businesses? Westman was there to help out. Two very different men, though. Westman was an ex-hippie who still kept his 60s look. Always disheveled and rail-thin, he looked the complete opposite of the massive ex-football standout....

Dent was another close ally. A wily operator, Dent kept Watson in the loop with regards to working with the southern clique. Senator Russell Long, someone who immediately disliked Watson, was brought to work with him by the cagey Dent. 
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 12:04:20 pm by Doctor Cynic »Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 11:22:02 am »
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Scott Westman and Ted Kennedy were early friends as were Joe Biden and Dale Bumpers.

Alabama is not represented here.
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Senator Cynic
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2011, 11:27:19 am »
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Scott Westman and Ted Kennedy were early friends as were Joe Biden and Dale Bumpers.

Alabama is not represented here.

Did you want it to be? I was always under the impression that you didn't want me to use your Dent character. If that's different, I'll gladly change it.
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2011, 11:56:57 am »
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Scott Westman and Ted Kennedy were early friends as were Joe Biden and Dale Bumpers.

Alabama is not represented here.

Did you want it to be? I was always under the impression that you didn't want me to use your Dent character. If that's different, I'll gladly change it.

Not quite. The reason I didn't want Dent being used by Mechaman were his excessive butterflies (I can't imagine my character having a place in a TL without Vietnam War, Nixon Presidency etc.) You seems to start like an original Americana.

If you wish to, feel free to use Dent any way you just want to. I'd be happy to read it Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2011, 12:15:34 pm »
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---President Reagan vetoes Universal Health Care---

REACTIONS!!!!!!

Kennedy: That hair-dyeing prick!
Dent: Oh bullsh**t!
Westman: Not cool, Ronnie.
Watson: You can't act!

Helms: Great work!
Thurmond: Whozawhat'sit?
Hayakawa: ZZZZZZZZZZZ-HUH?! Oh, that... No biggie. Let 'em get their own health care!
Laxalt: These are the Republican Senators?! Oh god...
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Senator Cynic
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2011, 01:43:05 pm »
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The 1980 Democratic Primary Map.

Counties won by Watson are green.
Counties won by Ertel are light blue.
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Senator Cynic
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2011, 01:55:59 pm »
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The 1980 Senatorial Election Map.

Watson counties in red
Specter counties in blue
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Senator Cynic
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2011, 08:12:40 pm »
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TIME

Article retrieved on January 24th, 1982


Ronald Reagan strode confidently through the Capitol Building today and why shouldn't he? Reagan vetoed a Democratic lead plan to continue to fun universal health coverage. Funding for the program, which had been temporarily enacted in in November of 1977, the Humphrey-Kennedy Health Care Act, which had been adopted from the House's Udall-Watson bill, one of Hubert Humphrey's final sponsored acts to be passed, funded universal health care for those making an income of under $100,000 a year for four years. The temporary act was to allow time for a more comprehensive one to be cobbled together. When that act finally came, President Reagan turned it down. Treasury Secretary Don Regan claimed that money for the program simply did not exist. This prompted an angry reaction from Democrats and pro-health care Republicans today. Jefferson Dent, the venerable southern liberal who has long been one of Alabama's top political figures (along with his longtime rival, George Wallace), chose to use a twenty minute Senate speech criticizing President Reagan.

The loudest voice from the chamber to heckle Reagan though, came not from a veteran leader, but rather from the youngest member of the U.S. Senate, not yet 32 years old. Lawrence Watson, a Pittsburgh born Democrat heckled Reagan (who is a year older than his own father) mercilessly not only in the Senate chamber, but when Reagan came to Capitol Hill.

"I told the son of a bitch what I thought of him," Watson said of the encounter. It wouldn't make any difference to him, after all, his health care is already paid for. Not everyone can be movie stars, though... But it's certainly gotten to the point that ANYONE can be President."

Although he was privately chastised by leadership, sources say that many Democrats generally agree with his comments.

"We just wouldn't have gone about it so publicly. Ah, to be youthful and aggressive again," said one anonymous Senator.

Although known for his jovial personality, those that remember his full beard from five years ago can state that upsetting him is akin to poking a bear. He towers over and as a former football player, could probably figure to be good in a bar fight. His friend, Senator Scott Westman confirmed that his angry outburst was not for show.

"He's angry. Most of us are..."

Polls show that the people are angry too. Numbers show Reagan's support (clinically high for the past year) has taken a double dip. Only 51% now approve of President Reagan, as opposed to about 65% four months ago.
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« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2011, 09:07:55 pm »
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List of Republicans Who Voted For Health Care

Warren Rudman
H. John Heinz
John Chafee
John Danforth
Lowell Weicker, Jr.
Bob Packwood
Mark Hatfield
Charles Percy


List of Democrats Who Voted Against Health Care

John Stennis
Ernest Hollings
Sam Nunn
David Boren
Paul Tsongas
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 08:29:00 pm by Doctor Cynic »Logged

Senator Cynic
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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2011, 02:18:00 pm »
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May 11th, 1980

"It's our anniversary... Why can't you come home?"

"Honey, I can't... I have to keep going until November, you know that... Come with me on the road... Besides, everyone says I'm gonna lose anyway. I'll be home a lot more often."

"Why is your goddamn campaign more important than me? Why is it more important than your son?"

"It's not more important! I'm trying to make a better life for us. I'm trying to do it for everyone else in the state, too."

"Just stop... I can't take the things they say about you... What people think of me. My parents even hear things about it. They don't like you... They want me to come home."

"Rod and Joy never liked me from the get-go. Please come on the road with me. Bring Brian. I'll have Jimmy make arrangements for it... Please come."

"I hate politics... I can't..."


Laura Watson was by nature a shy girl. She was now 28 years old, about to turn 29 and with a son that was a year old, her desire really was just to spend time with her family. She had given up her career in Australia to marry the American politician she'd fallen in love with. Her desire was just to stay home and have her husband focus on Pittsburgh, the city he loved so passionately. Being a Senator would mean frequent trips around the state and more time apart in Washington. It would mean being around other politician's wives, none of whom she identified with. She hoped he would lose for his own sake. She knew that if he won, his ambition would only push him further. She knew he'd want to run for President someday. That was a life she did not want. She wanted him home where the two of them would focus on their massive new model railroad layout and he would obsess over the Steelers, who had just won Super Bowl XIV. She was a family oriented woman. He wanted to save the world and she admired that, but she just couldn't handle the price that it would entail.
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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2011, 05:35:11 pm »
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January 14th, 1983

The first of the Presidential candidates on the Democratic side have begun to emerge today. Apart from the traditional gadfly candidates, Senator Dale Bumpers has announced he will be a Democratic candidate for President...


Bumpers chose the quick start to get into primary season with name value. Charismatic and moderate as well as southern, Bumpers seemed a strong candidate in what would appear to be a weak field. Of the group, Presidential timber consisted of Bumpers, Walter Mondale, Jeff Dent and John Glenn. Bumpers and Glenn were moderates. Mondale and Dent, liberals. Some held out hope Ted Kennedy would make a run, but his failure in 1980 against Carter soured him on running forever. Bumpers was from Arkansas, an electorally poor state and he had no experience with a national campaign. Mondale, the former VP was regarded as boring and an old hat. A strong willed VP, he had exerted great influence in the Carter administration, but was regarded as too much the machine man. John Glenn came from plum prize Ohio and was a national hero to boot, but he was disliked by quite a few people who were influential within the party. Perhaps too much of a maverick. Jeff Dent was highly regarded but unpopular with much of his own section, he also had more skeletons in the closet than would be politically advisable.

1984 would be a lost year for the Democrats, Lawrence Watson thought and what was worse, he had almost no influence. He liked all four of the major candidates, but none of them were winners against Reagan he thought. He failed to push Mo Udall into the race and settled into the realization that in fact, he still had very little power. He couldn't and wouldn't make a run himself, no matter how badly he wanted to. It was not his time, he thought. But he needed to decide on one of the four quickly. What was worse, no matter what... He would offend a friend...
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2011, 06:20:07 pm »
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Good thread is good.
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17:20   bore   the point of atlasia is to achieve things which you can then use as pick up lines
Senator Cynic
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2011, 06:55:22 pm »
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Good thread is good.

Good Tongue
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« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2011, 08:16:20 pm »
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Excellent, but one nitpick.

Quentin Burdick is a Republican in this timeline?
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Senator Cynic
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2011, 08:28:12 pm »
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That was actually a mistake I made reading his bio... I just never got around to changing it.

Good eye though Tongue
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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2011, 08:56:32 pm »
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As a junior Senator, but one rapidly gaining influence simply by being from a state with plenty of voters and being one of the few to not only survive a slaughter, but actually win in spite of it, Lawrence Watson's endorsement in the Presidential primary race was one worth attracting. All four of the major candidates agreed on that. The one deemed most likely to get his support was Mondale. After all, Mondale was a link with Watson's political idol, Hubert Humphrey. Mondale did still exert the greatest control over potential super delegates who were all important at conventions.

Still, Watson was not thrilled about Mondale. He sensed a desire not to be strong in campaigns. Not to go for the jugular of Reagan. He didn't sense it in the smiling Bumpers either. In fact, Bumpers was out because the union man in him could not reconcile Dale's pro-business leanings. John Glenn certainly was attractive, but in every private meeting, Glenn seemed to push him further away. Attempting to hedge on unions and especially social issues. A civil libertarian, Watson became further disgusted with Glenn's statements to him.

The one man he thought would be good was Dent.

"Jeff, tell me you're running..."

"Don't let it leak, Lawrence... I'm going to run..."

It seemed his mind was made up for him. He would hold back his endorsement until it would be expedient. The Greensburg Tribune though, long an enemy of Watson, played up his canny silence in a cartoon caricature of him being weighed down by indecision as he attempted to heave his heavy body to take another step.




Laura Watson was not impressed with the cartoon, but he laughed it off. She was pregnant again and didn't need the stress, so he quietly kept newspapers away from her unless they were positive. Lawrence meanwhile, read everything. His devoted manager, Jimmy Lewis frequently quizzed him to make sure Dent was the right candidate.

"All those skeletons. They just prove he's another slimy southern politician, just one we happen to agree with, no?"

"I don't think so. I think he's just had a lot of poor luck when it comes to familial relations. He's devoted to public service and so his private life has suffered. He's never been corrupt."

"Just be careful, Lawrence... Get tied to Dent and if his image takes a beating, yours will too. I still think Mondale's the way we should go..."

"No."

"Well, you do what you have to do."
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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2011, 08:26:54 pm »
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Laura Watson was not impressed with the cartoon

Doesn't suprise me Grin
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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2011, 09:58:05 pm »
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---In International News---

David Steel of the UK Liberal Party has been elected Prime Minister over Margaret Thatcher and Michael Foot. Ronald Reagan has lost a close foreign ally in Thatcher, but sends his congratulations to Steel.







(Which was actually the premise of an alternative history timeline I wrote some time ago in which I butterflied away the Falklands War and allowed Steel to replace Jenkins as leader of the Alliance)
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« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2011, 12:53:33 am »
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Reagan v. Dent race would be pretty amusing. A teflon President v. teflon Senator. Former Democrat v. former Republican.

However, 1984 is a lost cause.
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