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Author Topic: A Domestic Storm: 1992 Alternative Timeline  (Read 13546 times)
The Duke
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« on: May 13, 2007, 05:01:12 am »
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I will be writing an alternate timeline for the 1992 election and the aftermath of the election.  The timeline diverges into fiction on March 10th, 1992.  This timeline will be written essentially as a short story, differentiating it from most timelines here.  I will try to make the timeline realistic, and I will try to keep the characters (all of whom are real people) true to their real life selves.  However, dramatic license will be taken as conversations and scenes are invented and history is re-written.  I hope you all enjoy my little experiment.
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2007, 05:04:07 am »
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Episode One: The Pilot Episode

The President finished his remarks as Super Tuesday drifted into Wednesday.  The speech was pedestrian, but it did not need to be great oratory.  Only the staffers in the campaign headquarters in Arlington Virginia were there to here it anyway, and they were a naturally friendly audience.  The President left the stage to polite applause and proceeded to ride back to the White House with his head pollster Robert Teeter.

For a while, neither man said anything as the President's limousine crossed the Arlington Memorial Bridge.  It was the President who broke the silence just as they approached the Lincoln Memorial.

"What did you think of the event?" He asked.

"It was fine." Replied Teeter.

"You don't sound very enthused." Said the President.

"It was fine.  It was a fine event.  If I don't sound enthused its because if you've seen one speech to a campaign staff you've seen them all."

"Well, Tony's a pretty good writer so I wouldn't say that this speech was just another speech."

Tony's a good enough writer not to waste his good stuff on a room full of people at least most of whom I'm pretty sure are voting for us already."

The President smiled a bit at Teeters quip.  "Do you have the new campaign internals yet?"

No," replied Teeter, "They'll be ready first thing tomorrow.  We have some stuff to do before they're ready for you."

The President nodded as the limo approached the White House.  The car parked at the ellipse and Teeter and the President got out.

The President went to the Residence as soon as they arrived, while Teeter went to see Chief of Staff Samuel Skinner.

Teeter found Skinner in his office finishing the day's work.  Skinner did not acknowledge Teeter's presence at first.

"I have the newest campaign internals." Teeter said after a moment.  Teeter's face revealed a gloom about the numbers.

Skinner looked up and removed his glasses.  Apprehensively, he asked, "How bad are they?"

"Strong leader is at 46-52.  Honest and trustworthy is at 38-59.  We lead a hypothetical matchup with Clinton by only four points in a two way race and by just two if Perot is included." Teeter revealed.  He spoke as if he were diagnosing a cancer patient.

"What's the overall job approval number?" Asked Skinner.

"Forty one." Replied Teeter.

"Have you told the President?" Asked Skinner.

"Not yet.  I told him they won't be ready until tomorrow morning.  I wanted him to be able to enjoy tonight before he has to worry about the general." Said Teeter.  "I didn't just come to tell you the numbers either.  I came here to tell you that historically, a President's job approval number is a very good indicator of how many people are going to vote to re-elect him.  I came here to tell you that at 41% there is absolutely no chance that the President can be re-elected."

"And?"

"And I think we need to bring in senior White House and campaign staff to decide on a new direction for the campaign.  We need something good enough to take to the President to convince him that we have to change the direction of this thing."

Skinner does not reply, but he is clearly processing the information.

"Sam, this is going to have to be the "Come to Jesus" meeting."

Skinner remains quiet, still thinking.  He breaks his silence after a long pause.

"Do you have a new direction in mind?" He asked.

"Yes.  Yes I do." Said Teeter.

"Alright.  Let me hear it."
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 08:31:59 pm by Written by Aaron Sorkin »Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2007, 02:44:08 pm »
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Awesome stuff John.  Looking forward to reading more.
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2007, 08:33:19 pm »
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Awesome stuff John.  Looking forward to reading more.

Thanks much.  I appreciate the positive feedback.
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2007, 09:38:02 pm »
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So far, so good.
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2007, 02:04:23 am »
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Episode Two: The Come to Jesus Meeting Part I

"What does he want to talk about?" she asked.

"The campaign." he replied.

"I could guess that much.  I didn't imagine he was planning a trip to the zoo."

The atmosphere was tense in the White House, and the conversation between White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater and Campaign strategist Mary Matalin reflected it.  Everyone was edgy towards everyone else, even those who liked each other.

"Teeter thinks we're headed in the wrong direction." Fitzwater said.

"The President doesn't agree."

"The President is wrong and you know that.  Teeter is right, this has got to be the Come to Jesus meeting."

The two old hands continued their conversation as they proceeded through the West Wing offices towards the Roosevelt Room.

"Where is the President right now?" asked Matalin.  "He's going to want to know why the entire senior staff if meeting across the hall."

"He's with Gates in the Oval."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Robert Gates sat across from President Bush on the couches in the Oval Office.

"Fighting in Sarajevo has intensified since the referendum.  Things are getting very ugly over there.  We expect this situation to get worse not better, and I don't think there's any way that Bosnia remains part of Yugoslavia at this point."

"Robert, I'm leaning towards recognizing independence for Bosnia.  It’s the de facto reality on the ground anyway." the President said.  "How about Somalia?"

"We continue to see vicious fighting in the capital.  Without some kind of international intervention the whole country is going to starve to death." The CIA Director informed Bush.

"That's what everyone says." The President said.  "I don't want to be policing civil wars on two continents, staying out of things like this is why I didn't go to Baghdad last year."

"I think you're going to find that we will be called on to complete missions like this more and more as time goes on."

"Why am I starting to miss the Cold War?" the President muttered sarcastically.  "Thanks, I always appreciate you coming in here."

"Thank you, Mr. President." Replied the Director.  He stood and shook the President's hand and was shown out by the President's personal aide.

The President's secretary entered the Oval.

"Mr. Teeter is waiting." She said.

"Send him in." Said the President.  He was now standing behind the Resolute Desk reading his PDB, which like his personal briefing focused on Somalia and Bosnia.  Teeter entered the room.

"What's going on in the Roosevelt Room, Bob?"

"It's a bull session, sir.  Nothing for you to be too concerned about."

"Sam says you have some ideas for the campaign.  Some of them are pretty ambitious.  Did you come up with them by yourself?"

"No, sir.  I had some help in generating them.  I wanted senior staff to kick them around before I presented them to you.  That's what the meeting is about.  I think they can form the basis for a successful re-election strategy."

"We have our strategy.  Don't change horses in mid stream, that's the strategy."

Teeter paused, recognizing again that getting Bush to adopt a new plan for the general election would not be an easy sell.  He had to have the whole senior staff on board, and he had to try and get James Baker on board.  Baker had the President's ear more than anyone else other than the President' wife, even more than Skinner and Mosbacher.

"We're not changing.  Have your meeting, but I don't care what the polls say I believe people will come around."

"Yes, sir.  Thank you Mr. President."  Teeter left the Oval through the cutaway door and proceeded straight across the hall to the Roosevelt Room.  He found the senior staff already gathered.

There was Campaign Manager Robert Mosbacher, a friend of Bush's from Texas who had a white silk handkerchief in the breast pocket of his suit today.  There was Mosbacher's Deputy, Mary Matalin.  There was Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater, whose tie needed to be straightened.  There was Sam Skinner, who had aged about five years in the last five months.  There was Tony Snow, the President's head speechwriter.  There was the Vice President's representative at the meeting, his Chief of Staff William Kristol, who smiled like a Cheshire cat and said nothing at all.

Teeter took his seat at the head of the table.  "Thank you all for coming in here today.  I've called this meeting because we have finished our only opposition in the primaries, we know who the presumptive Democratic nominee will be, and our job approval numbers came in today and they show we have a great deal of work to do if we want to survive this final stage of the election campaign.  We'll be starting the meeting in just a few moments, because one of our friends has not yet arrived."

"Who hasn't arrived?" asked Skinner.  "Everyone named in the memo is here.  This is senior staff."

"There's one person who wasn't named in the memo who I wanted to bring in.  Most of the ideas I have on how to turn this thing around came from him."

"Who?"

"The only guy on Earth who knows how to save this campaign."

"The ghost of Lee Atwater?" Snow joked.  Light laughter followed.

"Close." said Teeter, after a beat.

Looks of concentration came over the faces of the gathered strategists, as they tried to guess in their own minds who the last man to come to the meeting might be.

The door opened and in walked a short, bald man with tortoise shell glasses.  He was wearing an expensive suit and very nice shoes.

Bob Teeter smiled on seeing the man enter.  "I'm glad you could make it."  The rest of the room was silent.

"It's good to see you all again." He said.  "So, who wants to know how you're going to win this election?"
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 02:05:11 am »
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So far, so good.

That means a great deal coming from the author of my favorite timeline ever (Nixon survives watergate).
« Last Edit: May 14, 2007, 03:13:59 am by Written by Aaron Sorkin »Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 02:36:25 am »
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Well continue.  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2007, 11:39:13 pm »
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Awesome, please keep this up.
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2007, 02:21:44 am »
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Episode Three: The Come to Jesus Meeting Part II

“I heard the name of the meeting, but I couldn’t decide who needed to come to Jesus, you or me.” said the man in the tortoise shell glasses.

Michael Deaver had not been to the White House in six years and ten months.  That streak ended when he entered the Roosevelt Room on March 11th, 1992.

Michael Deaver had been White House Deputy Chief of Staff from 1981 until 1985, primarily handling public relations for President Reagan.  Deaver was one of three members of what was called “The Troika”, a powerful and talented group of White House staffers that included James Baker and Ed Meese.  Baker and Meese went on to earn cabinet posts in Reagan’s second term (Baker as Treasury Secretary and Meese as Attorney General).  Deaver left the White House to start his own public relations and lobbying firm in May of 1985.

Two years later, he was convicted of lying to a Federal Grand Jury over his lobbying activities and was fined $100,000.  His defense was that he was addicted alcohol and valium at the time, and thus could not be expected to properly remember anything.  It was this fall from grace that led to Deaver’s being remembered by the general public as the least of the three men.  Most professional operatives knew better.  Those in the room certainly knew better.  Despite his long exile, he was still regarded as one of the best political minds on Earth.

He was not an imposing figure by any stretch, with his slight frame and soft voice.  He took his seat at the invitation of Bob Teeter.  He dispensed with pleasantries and, without any notes, began to lay out a plan to re-elect the President of the United States.

He began by explaining his strategy to remove Perot from the race, a point he deemed crucial to winning.

“You can’t win with Perot in the race.” he said.

“Our polling shows that Perot doesn’t take many more votes from us that he does from Clinton.” objected Matalin.  “Our lead is 4 with Perot out and 2 with Perot in, that’s not much of a difference.”

“The main problem is not that Perot is directly removing votes from your column and adding them to his, though he is dong that , too.  The main problem is that Perot creates an atmosphere of discontent so powerful that people will feel that change is necessary.  It’s hard enough to fend of attacks from the opposition party, but having to also fend off attacks from a second candidate whose entire campaign is based on sowing anti-incumbent sentiment poisons the well.  If Perot keeps pulling double digits in these polls, nothing else you do matters.  The public's view of the state of the nation will be so negative they will never re-elect an incumbent.”

“How do we stop him?” asked Mosbacher.

“In 1980, one of the keys to our winning was getting one on one with Carter in the debate.  We kept John Anderson out of the debate.  This let us directly engage our opponent.  We knew in a three way debate, two things would happen.  First, Anderson would grandstand and steal the show.  Nothing our candidate did would garner attention, people would be fascinated by the quixotic spoiler.

“The second thing that would happen is we’d never get to directly challenge Carter’s record and make him defend it.  We wanted him to defend his record while the country was in recession and hostages were in Iran.  He couldn’t defend that, and we knew we’d never get to force him to try with Anderson on stage.”

“But how?  How do we get Perot off stage?” asked Mosbacher.

“You don’t.  You get Clinton off the stage, and you don’t wait for the Commission on Presidential Debates to put their event together in October, you do it right now outside the normal process.  You want to marginalize Ross Perot?  Challenge him to a one on one debate with the President.”

“We can’t put Perot on stage with President, it makes it look like they’re equals, like they’re on the same level.” complained Matalin.

“If you let the media treat Perot like a credible candidate, then that is what will make him appear to be on the same level as the President.  You have to expose him as a fringe candidate and you have to do it now before his position as a legitimate alternative is cemented.  You have to engage him in prime time and let voters see the difference between serious and not.  The contrast between the President of the United States and a guy who’s never run for dog catcher will be plain as day.  Expose Perot, and do it now while opinions of the man are still malleable.”

“Who would host the debate?  The Commission will never host a debate that excludes Clinton.  And would Perot agree to it?” asked Mosbacher.

“Both questions have essentially the same answer.  I believe we can get Larry King to host the debate, as he has given Perot tons of free media already.  Perot will not turn down a chance to go one on one with President Bush, especially if he believes he will get his moderator of choice.”

“Assuming this works and we push Perot into single digits and the D Section of the Post, what’s our plan to beat Clinton?” asked Tony Snow.

“The first part of the plan is to let the media pick away at the character question.  If we push the character issue, we look petty.  But if we don’t touch the issue, the media will push it for us because it’s a good story.  There will be a temptation to attack Clinton’s sex life, but you have to lay off that temptation understanding that the press will push the issue for you and every day you talk about sex is a day that you’re not using George Bush’s greatest asset in this campaign.”

“What asset is that?” asked Snow.

“That he is the President of the United States and Bill Clinton is not, and that the President of the United States can control the agenda like no one else on Earth.”

“What’s the agenda?”

“An aggressive domestic agenda, focused on three areas that my friend Bob Teeter’s poll tells us have uniquely high levels of support from the voters.  First, we propose a highway and infrastructure revitalization plan.  The nation’s infrastructure is decaying, and reconstruction is a higher priority for most voters than politicians realize.  Second, we propose an aggressive federal crime fighting program, focused on gangs and violent crime which are an increasingly salient issue as crime rates rise nationwide.  Third, we push for tax reform.  Simplifying the tax code is an always popular, traditionally Republican issue that we can sell as a something that can boost the economy.  It also allows us to regain the tax issue, which is the best club in this party’s bag, and an issue that you’ve been unable to touch since the 1990 budget deal. This domestic agenda will allow us to regain ground on our weakest issue: The economy.”

“How much will these plans cost?” asked Mosbacher.

“Not much.  Tax reform is revenue neutral, and fighting crime and fixing highways will cost only a small fraction of the federal budget.”

“Now all we need is a catchy name.” Matalin deadpanned.

“No, I’ve got that ready for you, too.”

“What’s the name?”

“A Domestic Storm.”

Everyone started smiling a little bit.

“I don’t know how to sell the President on this.” said Mosbacher, returning the room to reality.  “He’s set on his current course, and this is a big change.”

“You sell him this plan the same way PT Barnum once sold a truckload of white salmon: By putting a sign on it that said ‘Guaranteed not to turn pink’.”

Deaver rose from the table at about the two hour mark.  He had most of the room convinced, but not all of them were totally sold.  The meeting disbanded, and Robert Mosbahcer was congratulating Deaver in the hall as he escorted the man out of the West Wing.

“That was some good stuff, we want to chew on it but we’ll give you a call in a few days and maybe bring you back in to talk more.  I’m not blowing smoke up your rear, either, this is good stuff.  This is the kind of stuff we need right now.”

“Thank you, Bob.  Hey, there is one more thing you should do, and I certainly didn’t want to say this with Kristol in the room.  This needs to stay between us for now."

”What is it?”

The two men stopped walking just before they reached the exit.  Then Deaver answered.

“There is no electoral math that I can come up with, none at all, that doesn’t say you should replace Dan Quayle on the ticket in 1992.  And I have two names I want you to look at.”
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2007, 09:24:26 am »
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"Good writers borrow from other writers, great writers steal outright."
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Very few people seriously allow facts to affect their opinions.

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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2007, 09:56:32 am »
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Very good.  Smiley
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The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us." - P. J. O'Rourke

"Wa sala, wa lala."

(Zulu for, "You snooze, you lose.")
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2007, 04:01:35 am »
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I apologizxe for not getting another episode out yet.  I have had to work a lot and haven't had time to structure how I want the story of the episode to play out.

Tommorrow I hope it will be up.
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2007, 05:25:24 am »
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Episode Four: The Optimist and the Pessimist

"No!  Are you out of your mind!" the President exclaimed.

"That's not quite what we were hoping you'd say." Muttered Deaver.  Sam Skinner had gotten Deaver ten minutes with the President to lay out his strategy for re-election, and the President was not fond of any of it.

"Instead you were hoping I would agree to debate a lunatic who hates me because he thinks I intentionally abandoned POWs in Vietnam?  A man who hates me so much he's decided to spend $50 million of his own money running a hopeless and quixotic third party campaign against me even though he has no chance of winning just so he can hurt my chances of getting re-elected?  And you want that debate to take place on his home turf and you want me to exclude from this debate my only opponent who has actually been nominated for anything by anyone?"

"Yes, that's pretty much what I was hoping you'd agree to." Deaver replied calmly.

Bob Teeter and Sam Skinner watched the exchange with a bit of shock at how adamant Bush was in his opposition to Deaver's strategy, and with some shock regarding Deaver's sedate reaction to a dressing down in the Oval Office.

"Mr. President," Teeter interjected, "Mike has made some good points and I think you should at least think them over before you make a judgment on them."

"I don't need to think about them any more.  Ross Perot will go nowhere, he's a fad and he won't last."

"Sir, you're the only one in the room who thinks Perot won't last."

"Also I'm the only one in the room who's been elected President, so there you have it."  The President got up from his desk.  "Mike, thank you for coming in here, I appreciate your concern and your input, but we won't be changing the course of the campaign."  The President then left the Oval.

Bob Teeter, Sam Skinner, and Mike Deaver were left in the Oval Office.  "Boy, this is a really bad carpet." Deaver said.  "It's almost a turquoise.  President Reagan had a really nice off white carpet that helped open the room up, made it seem very spacious.  I'm not a fan of this new carpet."

"Mike, we have bigger problems than the carpet." Said Skinner.

"Of course we do, but changing the carpet anyway can't hurt matters."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Two kids, one an optimist and the other a pessimist, wake up on Christmas morning to see what their dad has bought them." Deaver said.  "They run downstairs and their dad tells them that each of their presents is in a different room of the house, and he shows each to the room where their present is.  He takes his son the pessimist to a room filled with toys, every kind of toy you can imagine.  He then takes his son the optimist to another room where there a huge pile of horse manure."

"Reagan used to tell a joke with horse manure?" Asked Skinner, incredulously.

Deaver chuckled, "Yeah, he did.  So the two kids each get their present, and the dad comes back an hour later to see how each is doing.  He finds his son the pessimist in his room full of toys crying.  'What's wrong?' he asks.  'This is too good to be true,' says the boy, 'I just know someone is going to come take these toys away from me.'  The father then goes to see his son the optimist, and finds him furiously digging through the manure.  'What are you doing?' he asks his boy, to which the child responds, 'Dad, I just know there's a pony in here somewhere.'"  Deaver begins laughing, but Skinner just furrows his brow.  He doesn't find anything funny right now.

Deaver stops laughing.  "Come on, Sam.  Lighten up."

Sam does not lighten up.  He sits at his office desk looking glum.  He also looks quite tired of Mike Deaver.

"Sam, he'll come around when he comes around.  He just needs to hear our plan from the right person at the right time.  I already know who the right person is, we just have to wait for the right time.  Things haven't bottomed out yet for the President, and that's what he needs to have happen before he changes his course.  Events must prove to him that Perot must be taken seriously and now."

"Things haven't bottomed out?  Our approval is 41%, they've pretty much bottomed out."

Deaver smiled. "Two guys are talking about their troubles, one is an optimist and the other is a pessimist.  The pessimist says 'Things can't get any worse.'  The optimist replies, 'Oh, yes they can.'"
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2007, 12:13:57 am »
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Nice stuff!  Keep it up!
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2007, 04:21:17 am »
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Episode Five: We Find the Defendants…

"…Not Guilty", read the jury foreman.

At 3:15 PM Pacific Standard Time, Police Sergeant Stacy Koon and Officer Laurence Powell were acquitted on all charges they faced regarding the savage beating of Rodney King.  The verdict, by a largely white jury, was based in large part on 13 seconds of footage that had not been made public from the videotape of the beating.  Within forty five minutes, a crowd had gathered outside the courtroom to protest the verdict.

A few hours later, a larger protest at the intersection of Florence and Normandie took place.  LAPD abandoned the area, leaving it to the protesters, who at this point were mostly peaceful.  The decision to leave the intersection unguarded proved t be fateful.  At 6:45 PM, truck driver Reginald Denny stopped at a red light at this intersection and was dragged from his vehicle and brutally pummeled by black gang members.  The punched and kicked him, threw him to the ground, and as he lay unconscious, smashed his skull with a cinder block.  A television news helicopter captured the incident live.  Shortly thereafter, Fidel Lopez, a Central American immigrant was dragged from his vehicle and beaten at the same intersection, and this too was captured on television.  The police never arrived.  They had ceded a piece of Los Angeles to rioters and the gangs now held undisputed control of territory.  Revolt became revolution.

Within hours, cars were being broken into, stores were being robbed, rioters were throwing Molotov cocktails, and the violence had spread from South Central to Inglewood.  Police Chief Daryl Gates was at a political fundraiser that evening, and the leaderless LAPD failed to take control of the crucial first hours of the riots.  By 8:45 PM, Mayor Tom Bradley was forced to ask the Governor to declare a state of emergency.  The Governor complied, and 2,000 members of the National Guard were deployed to the streets of Los Angeles to take back control of the city.  By the time the order was issued, it was past midnight on the east coast and the President was asleep.   He had to be woken and informed of the situation in Los Angeles.

The President entered the Oval at 12:40 AM on Day 2 of the riots.  He found Chief of Staff Samuel Skinner and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Colin Powell, waiting for him.

"Mr. President," Skinner said, "We have a situation in Los Angeles."

"Boy, you ain't kidding." Replied the President.

"The Governor has declared a state of emergency.  The California National Guard will be deploying to Los Angeles out of Camp Pendleton but they can't get there for 24 hours."

"Why 24 hours?  Camp Pendleton is only, what, 80 miles from downtown Los Angeles?"

"They have equipment issues." Powell explained.  "Not to mention they have to assemble 2,000 citizen soldiers before they can move in."

"How bad are things on the ground?" The President asked.

"Very bad, sir." Powell answered.  "In Koreatown, the shopkeepers have formed an ad hoc militia to defend their community from black rioters.  We have black gangs fighting Korean shopkeepers and both sides are heavily armed and surprisingly well organized.  We have a race war going on in an American city."

"Mr. President, we'll need you to make a public statement first thing tomorrow morning.  We need you to speak on this matter, preferably during the morning shows.  The networks will cut to you live in the briefing room and you can try to urge people in Los Angeles to stay calm." Argued Skinner.

Powell disagreed.  "We have armed gangs taking over sections of the second largest city in America and the police have been driven out of some neighborhoods entirely.  He's not going to stop the violence by interrupting Good Morning America."

Skinner's pager went off.  He reached for it.

"What does it say?" Asked Powell.

"It's from Mike Deaver.  It says, 'Tipping point.  Get President to California.'"
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2007, 04:51:29 am »
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Excellent...waiting for more!
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2007, 12:20:38 pm »
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Great writing. Sorkin-esque even.
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2007, 04:59:50 am »
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Episode Six: Operation Cease and Desist

Bob Teeter clung tightly to his armrest.

"I don't like flying." He said.

The President calmly continued reading his briefing book as Air Force One descended towards El Toro, a Marine Air Station in Orange County.  "We'll be landing in a moment, relax."

"I can't relax.  Landing is the part I hate most."

"That's because you've never been shot down.  In World War II my plane was shot down and had to make a forced water landing, so I'm pretty happy every rime a plane I'm in lands on actual land.  You know what I've always wanted to do," said the President as he lay his briefing book down, "skydiving.  I've always wanted to do that, it looks like a lot of fun."

Teeter was silent and stiff.

The President looked over at him.  "You stopped talking." He said.

"I was just wondering about the millions of people who voted for you to be leader of the free world and whether or not they knew they were electing someone who thinks it looks fun to jump out of a perfectly good airplane."  Said an increasingly tense Teeter.

"You know right after this, we get to fly on a helicopter."

"Excellent." Teeter said, sarcastically.  He winced as the plane's wheels hit the runway.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The President hopped out of the helicopter and was met by Pendleton's base commander.  Deaver had let local media know that the President would be arriving, and arranged with the base to have them film the President's exit from Marine One.  It was as great a visual as Deaver thought it would be.

The commander explained the current situation to the President as they walked towards his command center where he found Governor Wilson being briefed.  CHP units were being flown in to provide backup to local first responders.  LAPD were starting to take back the city block by block.  Rioting continued, but it was clear that the situation would be under control soon enough.  The Guardsmen at Pendleton were preparing to depart for Los Angeles in what was to be called Operation: Cease and Desist.

After the briefing was over, the President and the Governor addressed the media and took questions.  The President promised that "anarchy will not be tolerated, and we will restore order to Los Angeles."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mike Deaver and Sam Skinner watched the President and the Governor's joint press conference on CNN in Skinner's office in the West Wing.  President Bush was answering questions, with Governor Wilson standing beside him.  Mike Deaver and Sam Skinner watch press conferences like most people watch basketball games, calling instructions their favorite team as they watch them on television.

"Are you worried that putting the army on the streets will threaten the civil liberties of Americans?" asked a reporter.

"Redirect." Said Deaver.

"What I'm worried about is violent mobs threatening the safety of Americans." The President retorted.

"Nice." Said Skinner.

"When will order be restored to Los Angeles?" asked another reporter.

"As soon as possible.  Of course, order could be restored right now if the rioters would stop rioting."

"Nice again." Said Skinner.

"That's the guy who won the Gulf War.  That's the guy people loved a year ago."  Said Deaver.

"Yeah, where the hell has that guy been?"

"I don't know which way you're leaning on part 3 of my plan to re-elect your boss, but I just want you to look at that shot on your TV screen with those two guys standing next to each other."

"It would win us California."

"Now that's a running mate.  Who needs Dan Quayle, anyway?"

"Easy, Mike." Said Skinner.  "We'll burn that bridge when we get to it."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Day turned to night in Los Angeles, and night was lit by fires from all around the great city.  It was lit only by the fires, as the area afflicted by riots had lost its electricity.  National Guard began arriving on the city streets in armored vehicles and police began taking back the land they had surrendered the night before.

The city was nowhere near normal.  Two NBA playoff games were moved out of LA.  The Clippers-Jazz game was moved to Anaheim and the Lakers-Blazers game was moved to Las Vegas.  Santa Anita's racetrack was shut down.  Citizens were sold to spray water on the roofs of their houses so if ash fell on them it would not start new fires.  The Mayor had imposed a curfew, and there was to be no one on the streets this night.

But order was being restored.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2007, 12:50:15 am by Written by Aaron Sorkin »Logged

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« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2007, 04:33:38 pm »
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Great, great story!!  Thanks for entertaining us!
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11/07/06:  The American citizen wakes up!!  God Bless America!!
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« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2007, 11:42:52 pm »
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Thank you for all the nice comments, I'm glad the story is working out.

I'll hopefully have another episode up itommorrow.
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« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2007, 04:39:34 am »
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Awesome!  Keep it up.
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« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2007, 06:34:07 am »
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Episode Seven: The Truman Balcony

"Everything is going to fine in a few days.  Well, not fine, you know what I mean."

"Yes, Mr. President." Replied Sam Skinner.  Skinner was on the speakerphone and was watching first responders and national guard restore order live on CNN.

The President was in his quarters on Air Force One talking on the phone with his Chief of Staff.  "Will Teeter have new poll numbers for us by weeks end?" The President asked.

"Yes, sir.  We all expect you to show a substantial uptick.  You were great out in California.  That's what we need from you, and I don't mean just the campaign.  I mean the country."

"Thank you, Sam."

"I was wondering if, after the events of the last few days if you had thought about Mike Deaver's plan for a re-elect platform.  The riots have brought a lot of the issues he talked about to the fore.  I think this might be a good time to have the OMB start scoring some of the proposals."

"I've thought about it.  I still don't want to do it.  And I certainly don't want to follow his advice on going after Perot.  It would legitimize Perot in a way I don't want to do.  Besides, if I lay out an ambitious domestic agenda, won't someone ask where it's been for the last four years?"

"Alright." Sighed Skinner.  "We'll see you when you get back to the White House and congratulations again on your handling of the riots."

Back in Washington, Skinner hung up the phone.  He stared at his desk for a moment as the morning sun snuck through his blinds.

A man with a deep, gravely southern voice was sitting on his couch and had listened to the conversation.   It was James Baker.

"I think I should have a word with the President." Said the gravely voiced man.

"Yeah." Replied Skinner.  "He's softening up, but he's not ready.  I need you to push him along.  You have more influence with him than anyone but the first lady.  He'll listen to you."

"Yes he will.  I'll bring him along with the Domestic Storm bit and with the bit about Perot.  But we should hold off on the bit about Quayle, he won't be ready for all of this stuff at once."

"Thank you for doing this."

"Hey, Sam, if he loses we all lose, you know what I mean?"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It was near sunset.  The President had been told that Jim Baker was waiting for him in the residence, and he was glad to hear the news.

"Jim!" He said happily when he saw the Secretary of State in his living room.  "It's good to have you back.  How was Egypt?"

"It was hotter'n hell." Replied the Secretary.

"So what brings you here, Jim?  I presume it's not the weather."

"Let's go out the Truman Balcony.  We'll talk there."

The Truman Balcony overlooked the south lawn of the White House, and provided Presidents with a perfect view of the Washington Monument and a not too bad view of the Jefferson Memorial.  In its original design, it was supposed to have massive awnings hanging from it.  Truman hated the awnings and thought they changed the character of the building for the worse.  Truman was right.  The awnings were removed from the final design.  The exceptional view remained.

The sun painted Washington a beautiful orange-red as it set to the west.  The city lights were starting to come on.  The President and the Secretary of State took a moment to gaze out over the railing at the city they saw beyond them like two kings who were rulers of all they surveyed.

"You've got to do it, George." Said Baker.  "You've got to push the Domestic Storm and you've got to take on Perot.  If you don't, then come next January the view from Kennebunkport will have to be good enough for you."

"I've got to be true to myself.  I can't run for re-election as something I'm not.  I ran as a Reagan Republican in 1988, but I'm just not that.  I coined the term voodoo economics for goodness sake.  Then I make that stupid taxes pledge knowing the odds were I'd have to break it.  Sure enough, I did and I've pay for it every day since.  I am what I am, Jim.  I'm an ambassador, a diplomat, I fought in a war as a young man and I led the nation in a war as an old man.  I know the world and how to deal with it.  I am not a domestic policy President and I don’t know how to be, and if I campaign as a domestic policy President I'll lose because that's not who I am.  I don't have the vision thing."

"Do you think FDR came up with the New Deal all by himself?  Do you think he was scribbling notes about aggregate demand on cocktail napkins as his train went from one campaign stop to another?  How about George Washington, would he have built the National Bank if it hadn't been for Alexander Hamilton?  Teddy Roosevelt didn't care a wit about food safety until he read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and that book convinced him to create the FDA.  No one does it alone, and you don't have to either.  You don't have to be Reagan because you don't face the circumstances he faced.  The Cold War is over and we have to re-brand the party and your Presidency for the new world we live in, and we can't re-elect you if all you're willing to talk about is how great you are at war and peace."

"You don't think war and peace matter to Americans."

"It's not that they don't matter, it's that they aren't the only things that matter.  Mr. President, you won't fail at this.  We won't let fail."

The President stared out at the monuments built to honor those who had once sat in his chair.  Straight ahead was a statue of the author of the Declaration of Independence, a man who in his term doubled the size of the young United States.  To the left was a 200-foot obelisk to the man who won America's war for independence and served as its first President.  The him and out of view from this balcony was yet another monument, this one to the man who freed the slaves.  The balcony itself was named for the man who rebuilt Europe after World War II and charted thee course in those heady early days of the Cold War, the only person ever to use an atomic weapon in anger.  There is no escaping history in this building, and it’s a tough curve to be graded on.

"If we're going to do this, how would we start?"
« Last Edit: June 23, 2007, 12:49:54 am by Written by Aaron Sorkin »Logged

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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2007, 12:42:10 pm »
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I will be writing an alternate timeline for the 1992 election and the aftermath of the election.  The timeline diverges into fiction on March 10th, 1992.  This timeline will be written essentially as a short story, differentiating it from most timelines here.  I will try to make the timeline realistic, and I will try to keep the characters (all of whom are real people) true to their real life selves.  However, dramatic license will be taken as conversations and scenes are invented and history is re-written.  I hope you all enjoy my little experiment.

Please continue this soon. I enjoy reading it.
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http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=195483.new#new
the birth of modern america & onward election Former Vice President Blanche Bruce defeats incumbent President Grover Cleveland in 1904. In an age of unpredictable election outcomes Bruce finds himself reelected in 1908 against an opponent whose name escapes me at the moment. Blanche Bruce served as Vice President under Frederick Douglas whom Cleveland defeated in 1900. His Vice President runs to replace Bruce in 1912.
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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2007, 03:34:34 am »
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I will be writing an alternate timeline for the 1992 election and the aftermath of the election.  The timeline diverges into fiction on March 10th, 1992.  This timeline will be written essentially as a short story, differentiating it from most timelines here.  I will try to make the timeline realistic, and I will try to keep the characters (all of whom are real people) true to their real life selves.  However, dramatic license will be taken as conversations and scenes are invented and history is re-written.  I hope you all enjoy my little experiment.

Please continue this soon. I enjoy reading it.

A new episode will be up tonight, and thanks for the kind words.  I always enjoy the positive feedback.
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