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Author Topic: Rocky in 1968  (Read 35506 times)
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
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« on: February 16, 2010, 10:54:29 pm »

New York governor Nelson Rockefeller was deeply concerned at the 1968 Republican National Convention. He had let a nomination slip through his fingers, and Nixon seemed destined to win the nomination. "What a waste it was to endorse Romney," Rockefeller thought. But there was still time.

Before Richard Nixon knew it, he had lost his nomination. Rockefeller managed to keep Nixon within 100 delegates of the nomination on the first ballot. Once that happened, Rockefeller managed to cajole several favorite son candidates, to switch to him. He even gained George Romney's delegates after much negotiation. Also, Nixon lost the support of the southern delegates, who had warmed up to California Governor Ronald Reagan. After the second ballot, Nixon was eliminated, and Rockefeller managed to gain the support of Ohio Governor James Rhodes's delegates. After the third ballot, Nelson Rockefeller had narrowly won the nomination over Ronald Reagan, who had the support of the southern delegation. While Ronald Reagan begrudgingly endorsed Rockefeller, the southern delegates, led by Strom Thurmond, walked out of the convention and endorsed George Wallace's third party candidacy.

Rockefeller's next objective was to choose a vice-presidential nominee. After some deliberation, Texas Senator John Tower was chosen.

Meanwhile, George Wallace managed to convince actor John Wayne to become the vice-presidential nominee of the American Independent Party. While Wayne had initially said no, he balked at the idea of a Rockefeller presidency and joined forces with Wallace.

The election would prove to be intensely close, with the Humphrey/Muskie ticket representing the left, the Wallace/Wayne ticket representing the right, and the Rockefeller/Tower ticket representing the center. Both Wallace and Rockefeller ran “law and order” campaigns. However, Rockefeller vigorously supported civil rights, and made no attempt to cloak his support. This cost him the support of conservative white Republicans, who defected to Wallace. Also, Humphrey lost the support of many blue collar Democrats, who found Wallace’s campaign quite appealing.

Election night was a nail-biter. Wallace made an impressive showing in the South, while Rockefeller carried his home state of New York and New England, save for Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. However, Tower’s vice presidential candidacy failed to bring in Texas to the Rockefeller column. Meanwhile, Missouri and Kentucky went to Humphrey by tight margins. While John Wayne’s presence on the American Independence Party ticket was not enough to swing California to the American Independence Party, it was enough to swing it to Humphrey. No candidate felt assured of victory, and the ever-looming threat of an electoral draw seemed present. The results would not be called until next morning, where major news networks announced the Nelson Rockefeller had been elected the 37th President of the United States. The closest Rockefeller states were Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.  Had Humphrey carried any one of them, no candidate would have an electoral majority. Had Humphrey carried all of them in addition to New Jersey (which was close as well), he would have won the presidency.



Nelson Rockefeller (R-NY)/John Tower (R-TX): 289 EV, 40.3% PV
Hubert Humphrey (D-MN)/Edmund Muskie (D-ME): 172 EV, 39.6% PV
George Wallace (AI-AL)/John Wayne (AI-CA): 77 EV, 19.7% PV
« Last Edit: June 15, 2010, 11:03:29 am by Han »Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 09:23:31 pm »

Thanks for the support and suggestions guys! I'm going to put up the next installment as soon as I can!
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 03:46:05 pm »

The First Term of Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller



Rockefeller’s Cabinet
Vice President: John Tower
Secretary of State: Henry Kissinger
Secretary of Treasury:  George Romney
Secretary of Defense: Richard Nixon
Attorney General: James Rhodes
Postmaster General: William Scranton
Secretary of Interior: Edward Brooke
Secretary of Labor: Margaret Chase Smith
Secretary of Agriculture: Clifford Hardin
Secretary of Commerce: John Chafee
Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare: Arthur Fletcher
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: John Volpe
Secretary of Transportation: John Lindsay



Rockefeller carried very few coattails, with the Republicans only gaining 5 Senate seats and 5 House seats. However, Rockefeller felt optimistic on January 20, 1969, as he fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming the President of the United States. Conservative Republicans were dismayed at Rockefeller’s cabinet selection, which was largely comprised of moderates. Conservatives would also be disappointed by Rockefeller’s domestic policy. In an effort to become “the greatest school desegregator in history,” President Rockefeller, who was outspoken in his support for civil rights, made no attempts to stop forced integration, or busing, of public schools. To ensure that school desegregation went smoothly, he threatened to use Federal troops if southerners would not comply. He also supported extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and declared on the campaign trail in 1970 that the Federal Government would never hesitate to intervene in the name of civil rights. Rockefeller also signed affirmative action programs, such as the Revised Philadelphia Plan, into law. He appointed numerous blacks, Hispanics, and women to government positions.  This made Rockefeller very popular with minorities, social liberals, and moderates, but white southerners learned to despise him.

Rockefeller made no cuts in his predecessor’s Great Society, and expanded Medicare and Medicaid. Also, he and the Democratic Congress would increase federal spending on education, infrastructure, the arts, the environment, crime prevention, transportation, and welfare. To ameliorate the deficit incurred, Rockefeller signed the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1970, which raised income taxes. Nevertheless, Rockefeller was unable to present a balanced budget, declaring “Now I am a Keynesian.” Despite the federal spending, the economy was showing signs of stagnancy, and inflation was rising. This phenomenon would become known as “stagflation.” To control stagflation, Rockefeller signed the Economic Stabilization Act, which allowed him to set wages and prices. Rockefeller would decisively use them after passage. While the wage and price controls were popular, they did not end inflation. Rockefeller’s economic policies would alienate conservatives, who thought of President Rockefeller as a “tax-and-spend liberal.” However, Democrats like Hubert Humphrey would praise Rockefeller. Humphrey praised Rockefeller as “a man who was willing to cross party lines to ensure economic prosperity for generations to come.”



Rockefeller would also create numerous government departments during his first term, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Education, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). He would also turn the cabinet level Post Office Department with the independent United States Postal Service. To help protect the environment, President Rockefeller would sign the Clean Air Act of 1970. Rockefeller would also increase spending for “The War on Drugs,” since he strongly believed that they were a menace to society. He would sign the Stable Society Act, which demanded mandatory life sentences for all drug users, dealers, and those convicted of drug-related violent crimes; a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of drug pushers; and harsh sentences for youthful drug users. Rockefeller’s harsh drug laws would become known as the “Rockefeller Drug Laws.”



In addition, Rockefeller increased funding for NASA, since he wanted to win the space race. One of his proudest moments was on July 20, 1969, which marked the first moon landing in history.  


Secretary of State Kissinger conversing with Secretary of Defense Richard Nixon

Despite all his domestic policy accomplishments, President Rockefeller’s most pressing objective that Rockefeller had to accomplish was how to win “peace with honor” in Vietnam. Henry Kissinger, Rockefeller’s ally from his days as the Governor of New York, and Rockefeller’s former primary rival Richard Nixon both privately believed that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable, and that the United States should only help Saigon for a “decent interval” so that the United States could not be blamed for Vietnam’s fall. Rockefeller took Kissinger’s advice and implemented “Vietnamization:” American troops would gradually be replaced by Vietnamese troops so that South Vietnam could defend itself.



In March 1969, at Kissinger’s suggestion, President Rockefeller agreed to a secret bombing in Cambodia, in hopes of destroying to destroy Vietcong strongholds and weapons supplies. To cut the Ho Chi Minh trail, he would later agree to bomb Laos in 1971. Rockefeller’s Vietnam policies would cause significant backlash among the anti-war left. Students protested in cities and campuses. Anti-war protestor Jane Fonda would proclaim: "I would think that if you understood what Communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees, that we would someday become communists." Rockefeller despised hippies, made no attempts to negotiate with them, and took steps to undermine the hippie movement such as escalating the War on Drugs.



Although Rockefeller had made enemies on both the far right and the far left, he was still a fairly popular president, and his approval ratings were in the high fifties or low sixties.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 09:59:54 pm by hantheguitarman »Logged
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2010, 01:00:50 pm »

Awesome Go Rocky, Does Chappaquidick still happen ITTL? Cuz if Rocky remains as popular as you say he is, Teddy may decide to wait till '76...Either Way can't wait to see your take on the '72 election...Keep it comming.

Thanks Historico! Yep, Chappaquiddick still happened ITTL, but I agree with you that he probably wouldn't have run in '72 even without Chappaquiddick.
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Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2010, 01:43:26 pm »

Just curious: Did Rocky raise income taxes on everyone, or just the rich? Also, go Rockefeller 1972!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He raised taxes on everybody, but most of the burden was on the rich. So like the poor saw like a 1% tax increase or something small like that while the rich had a much bigger tax increase percentage wise.
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2010, 01:44:21 pm »

The 1970 Midterm Elections

The 1970 mid-term elections ended up being somewhat of a draw for Rockefeller, as the Republicans ended up losing 9 House seats but ended up with a draw in the Senate races. Democrats picked up Senate seats in California and Illinois, while the Republicans managed to pick up Senator Al Gore’s seat in Tennessee, Joseph J. Tyding’s seat in Maryland, and Thomas Dodd’s seat in Connecticut, and an open seat in Ohio. Additionally, Charles Goodell managed to closely beat out Conservative Party Candidate James L. Buckley and Democratic candidate Richard Ottinger, largely due to a last minute campaign by President Nelson Rockefeller. In the end, the Republicans had picked up a net of 2 Senate seats while the Democrats had lost 3.

Senate: 54 D, 45 R, 1 I
House: 252 D, 183 R


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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2010, 02:12:49 pm »

Alright, after this update I'll begin to cover the 1972 Presidential Election


Secretary Kissinger greeting Chairman Mao

Outside of Vietnam, Rockefeller’s foreign policy, carefully crafted by Secretary of Defense Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, was very popular. Rockefeller foreign policy would become known as realpolitik, where they would take pragmatic considerations into foreign policy rather than ideological considerations. After opening talks with China, President Rockefeller, Marguerite “Happy” Rockefeller, Richard Nixon, and Henry Kissinger visited China in February 1972, meeting up with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Chairman Mao Zedong. This normalizing relations with China was considered successful, and it would later be said that “only Rocky could go to China.”


Secretary Nixon meeting with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev

Additionally, President Rockefeller met with Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow on May 22, 1972. After intense negotiations, President Rockefeller and Brezhnev signed SALT I, an arms limitation agreement, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. President Rockefeller’s foreign policy with the Soviet Union would become known as détente, as the United States and the Soviet Union would relax tensions and enjoy peaceful relations.



California Governor Ronald Reagan, the leader of the "Reagan Republicans"

Rockefeller’s foreign policy in regards to the Soviet Union and China would be opposed by “Reagan Republicans,” or conservative Republicans who were virulently anti-communist, opposed Rockefeller’s spending and tax increases, opposed his expansion of government, and opposed his liberal positions on social issues.  


ERA Activists

Finally, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, despite the ire of conservative Democrats and “Reagan Republicans.”  President Rockefeller was an ardent supporter of the ERA, and campaigned heavily for it once it made its way to the state legislatures. Although there was fierce opposition from the South, the ERA was eventually passed.

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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2010, 07:58:08 pm »

The 1972 Presidential Election

President Rockefeller was in a comfortable position for the 1972 election. He and Vice President John Tower were easily renominated, his approval ratings were in the high fifties and low sixties, the economy was functioning decently, and the United States seemed to be winning the War in Vietnam. Due to President Rockefeller’s popularity, many Democrats stayed out of the primaries. Additionally, many Democrats stayed out of the race because they covertly supported President Rockefeller, since he was fairly cooperative with the Democratic Congress and he had made significant progress within the civil rights movement.


George Stanley McGovern (D-SD)


George Corley Wallace, Jr. (D-AL)


Henry Martin "Scoop" Jackson (D-WA)

As a result, only a few Democrats ran in the primaries. These Democrats were South Dakota Senator George McGovern, Alabama Governor George Wallace, and Washington Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson. McGovern represented the far-left wing of the Democratic Party, while Wallace represented the far-right wing, and Jackson represented the center wing (even though Jackson was fairly liberal). Wallace’s campaign was attractive to many socially conservative voters who hated Rockefeller. On the campaign trail, Wallace would say: “President Nelson Rockefeller is a far left liberal who is ruining America. He has allowed the Communists to make significant inroads in Vietnam; he is making concessions to the Communists in the Soviet Union and China; and he has interfered with states rights.” George Wallace also portrayed himself in the biggest contrast to President Rockefeller, since McGovern and Jackson were fairly close to the President on domestic issues. Meanwhile, McGovern promised to end the War in Vietnam once in for all, while Jackson campaigned on ending détente and escalating the Vietnam War and the Cold War.

Scoop Jackson managed to win victories in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primaries. However, Wallace won a huge victory in the Florida primary, carrying every county. He then won the Pennsylvania primary. McGovern would win the Massachusetts and California primaries. Wallace would do well in the South and among disgruntled socially conservative blue-collar white voters, while Jackson would do well among big labor and hawkish Democrats, and McGovern would do well among the hippies and the anti-war protestors. Primary victories would be exchanged among the three candidates throughout the entire Democratic primary season.

On the campaign trail in Maryland, a man named Arthur Bremer shot at Wallace and screamed “a penny for your thoughts!” Somehow, the shots missed and Bremer was quickly subdued. Wallace took his survival to be divine intervention, and that he had a mandate from God to win the Democratic nomination.

By the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami, no candidate had a majority of delegates. Wallace was in the lead, with Jackson second, and McGovern third. Wallace could have conceivably lost if Jackson combined his delegates with McGovern’s in a “Stop Wallace” movement, but the movement failed to gain traction since both refused to endorse each other. After many rounds of intense balloting, George Wallace was nominated.


Governor George Wallace accepting the nomination at the Democratic National Convention

Right after the nomination, George Wallace picked Georgia governor Lester Maddox to be his running mate. McGovern and Jackson both refused to endorse the segregationist governor, and McGovern, Jackson, and all their delegates stormed out of the convention in a huff. Scoop Jackson decided to bite the bullet and endorse President Rockefeller in his re-election bid, while George McGovern announced that he would run for the presidency as an independent. McGovern chose former Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy as his running mate. McGovern’s independent ticket would prove to be popular among hippies and college students, and it was said that McGovern’s candidacy was one of “amnesty, abortion, and acid.”

Many Democrats, such as Hubert Humphrey, Edmund Muskie, Shirley Chisholm, and Scoop Jackson endorsed Rockefeller’s re-election bid. “Democrats for Rockefeller” became a powerful political organization that convinced many Democrats to vote Republican.

President Rockefeller campaigned on his foreign policy and domestic successes. He portrayed Governor Wallace as a bigot and he portrayed George McGovern as far-left crazy liberal. Wallace tried to shoot back by saying that Rockefeller was not winning in Vietnam and that if Wallace were president, he would “bomb Hanoi until kingdom come.” This campaign message was seen as way too extreme, and more people started to support the Rockefeller ticket. Wallace also vowed to protect states rights and to allow for “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.” If there was any doubt that Rockefeller would be re-elected, that doubt ended October 8, 1972, where after secret talks with the North Vietnamese, Secretary Kissinger declared that “peace is at hand.” This was more palatable than George Wallace’s hawkish message, and this also marginalized George McGovern’s anti-war message. Additionally, Rockefeller sent Vice President John Tower to campaign for him in the South. On November 7, 1972, President Rockefeller was re-elected in a landslide.



Nelson Rockefeller (R-NY)/John Tower (R-TX): 470 EV, 61.3% PV
George Wallace (D-AL)/Lester Maddox (D-GA): 60 EV, 28.2% PV
George McGovern (I-SD)/Eugene McCarthy (I-MN): 3 EV, 10.1 % PV


President Nelson Rockefeller at his victory celebration

The election was the greatest Republican landslide since Abraham Lincoln’s re-election in 1864. George Wallace only carried states in the South. Wallace’s popularity came blue collar Democrats, labor unions, and the party machinery. Although George McGovern won a decent share of the popular vote (for a third party candidacy), he only carried the District of Columbia. The ultimate irony of the election was that Governor Wallace actually did worse on a major party ticket than he did on a third party ticket four years ago. Rockefeller even managed to carry some southern states due to Vice President and Southerner John Tower’s campaigning in the South. With a strong mandate, President Rockefeller looked forward to his second term.
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2010, 08:00:45 pm »

This is good.

It does seem to me that in terms of policy, a Rockefeller presidency would not have been that different from the Nixon presidency. The main difference would have been, as you pointed out, less resistance to desegregation, less conservative judicial nominations, and fewer dog whistles to the South.

My impression is that the left would still have come to dominate Democratic presidential nominations, as Rocky's Vietnam policy wasn't all that different from Nixon's.

Thanks pragmatic liberal! Well I figured Rockefeller's progressivism would launch a conservative nomination for 1972, just like Historico pointed out, but I doubt that conservatives will dominate the Democratic Party after Wallace's crushing defeat.
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2010, 09:59:23 pm »

Great timeline, but just a question about the cabinet, John Lindsay in Agriculture.

Why a big city Secretary of Agriculture from Manhattan?

Did I actually do that? OOPS....

Um, I guess Rocky appointed him due to sectional nepotism? j/k more like it's a bad mistake on my part. I'll change it.

Rockefeller’s Cabinet
Vice President: John Tower
Secretary of State: Henry Kissinger
Secretary of Treasury:  George Romney
Secretary of Defense: Richard Nixon
Attorney General: James Rhodes
Postmaster General: William Scranton
Secretary of Interior: Edward Brooke
Secretary of Labor: Margaret Chase Smith
Secretary of Agriculture: Clifford Hardin
Secretary of Commerce: John Chafee
Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare: Arthur Fletcher
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: John Volpe
Secretary of Transportation: John Lindsay
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2010, 10:37:35 pm »

Oh, and thanks for the support and suggestions guys!
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2010, 12:54:04 pm »

That's not to say that an urbanite could not serve capably as Secretary of Agriculture.  John Lindsay was a very talented individual who could have been effective in this capacity, after having immersed himself in agricultural issues, but it would be highly unusual, and may cause animosity and resentment within the agricultural community.

But I agree Lindsay is much better for Transportation, as you have made the change.

Also, do you not think that Rockefeller would have included at least one or possibly two Democrats in cabinet?  Rockefeller's public life did go back to working himself in the FDR administration as Assistant Secretary of State, not a cabinet level position, but in the administration.

Your cabinet as named is very good, especially with the change, the above is simply a discussion point.

Inspired choice George Romney at Treasury.  Smiley

Thanks! Smiley Well I think that Rocky choosing several Democrats in his cabinet is not out of the realm of possibility. However, I found enough Republicans that Rocky probably would have wanted in his administration that I didn't need to add a Democrat, AND I figure that he probably would have been criticized enough already by the conservative wing for choosing some of the more liberal Republicans in his cabinet (like Lindsay and Volpe), and that criticism would have been amplified had he chosen a Democrat. Not to mention that Rocky was already perceived by many as a liberal. I figured that he wanted to unify his party at least a little bit.
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2010, 04:50:22 pm »

Any more thoughts, comments, or suggestions? I'd love to hear them. Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2010, 08:31:55 pm »

The 1972 Congressional Elections

President Rockefeller managed to make inroads in the House of Representatives, winning 15 house seats. However, the Republicans lost a net of two seats in the Senate, while the Democrats made a net gain of two. In North Carolina, Democrat Jesse Helms managed to defeat both incumbent Senator B. Everett Jordan and Nick Galifianakis in the Democratic primary, and he would win a convincing victory in the general election. Also, Delaware incumbent Republican J. Caleb Boggs closely defeated Democrat Joe Biden in his bid for re-election. Secretary of Commerce John Chafee resigned his cabinet position to run for the Senate. While President Rockefeller was sad to see him go, he endorsed Chafee in his senate run and even campaigned for him a little. Chafee would be replaced by New York Senator and Rockfeller Republican Jacob Javits, who was easily confirmed by the Senate.

Republican Gains:
Rhode Island: John Chafee
New Mexico: Pete Dominicini
Virginia: William L. Scott

Democratic Gains:
Texas: John Connally
Kentucky: Walter D. Huddleston
South Dakota: James Abourezk
Iowa: Dick Clark

House: 237 D (-15), 198 R (+15)
Senate: 55 D (+1), 44 R (-1), 1 I


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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2010, 04:18:01 pm »

The Second Term of Nelson Rockefeller



While President Rockefeller was reinaugurated in a national feeling of optimism, that feeling would soon fade away, as it was clear that economic troubles were afflicting the nation, and that these economic problems would most likely increase. To deal with the increasing inflation problem, President Rockefeller and the Democratic Congress brandished a new economic plan, entitled WIN, or “Whip Inflation Now.” In addition to circulating WIN pins to encourage personal fiscal responsibility, President Rockefeller signed off on a bill that cut domestic spending, raised taxes on the rich to levels not seen since the Eisenhower years, and restarted price and wage controls. However, inflation would not desist, and unemployment continued to rise. The wage and price controls began to ruin productivity in the economy, and stagflation only increased. President Rockefeller would have liked more spending to have been cut, but infighting in Congress led to a cut of only small portion of domestic spending.


The signing of the Paris Peace Accords


Secretary Nixon greeting former POW John McCain

The United States, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government signed off on the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. They agreed to a cease-fire, and North and South Vietnamese forces were allowed to hold their places. Additionally, US troops would withdraw, and US POWs would be returned to home. Saigon and the Viet Cong were to negotiate, and reunification of Vietnam was to be “carried out step by step through peaceful means.” If North Vietnam was to break the treaty, the United States would respond with military force. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Lę Đức Thọ would be rewarded Nobel Peace Prizes, even though Thọ refused to accept it.



After an Arab coalition led by Soviet allies Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in October 1973, Rockefeller initiated an airlift of weapons to help out the Israelis. By the time the United States and the USSR agreed to a truce, Israel had made inroads in the homelands of the enemy. However, OPEC raised oil prices as a result of US support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War. OPEC also placed an embargo against the United States and the Netherlands (the Netherlands assisted Israel as well).



As a result of the bad economy and US support for Israel, gas prices reached an all time high. To ameliorate the high gas prices and gas lines, President Rockefeller signed off on a bill that lowered the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 mph on January 2, 1974. Although Rockefeller had already signed off on a bill to cut spending, he also signed the Alternative Energy Act, which granted more funding to the EPA, raised taxes on oil companies and polluters, and gave economic incentives to companies so that they could invest and discover alternate energy sources.

Additionally, the stock market crashed from January 1973 to December 1974, as a result of the collapse of the Bretton-Woods System (President Rockefeller had taken the United States off the gold standard in 1971). After the United States went off the gold standard, foreign countries increased their currency reserves, which made the United States dollar and other currencies deflate.

On February 6, 1974, Rockefeller introduced the Comprehensive Health Insurance Act, or CHIP, which mandated employers to provide health insurance for their employees and provided a federal health plan that any American could join (as a sweetener to Democrats, the federal health plan was completely free to the very poor). While CHIP raised the ire of boll weevil Democrats and conservative Republicans, congress signed CHIP on tight margins, and President Rockefeller authorized it.


A stressed out and tired President Rockefeller at a cabinet meeting

When all was said and done, the economic problems brought the President’s approval ratings down to a measly 37% by November 1974, right before the midterm elections, possibly one of the worst times to be an unpopular president.
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2010, 11:15:32 am »

Intersting...

Thanks! Smiley

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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2010, 10:49:38 pm »

Any more comments, suggestions, or thoughts?
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2010, 08:22:13 pm »

Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions guys! Here's the next update

The 1974 Congressional Midterm Elections

The 1974 Congressional Midterm Elections
The bad economy had made President Rockefeller an unpopular president. Ergo, the Democrats made significant gains in Congress. Due to a campaign by President Rockefeller, who was still relatively popular among the New York populace, Senator Louis Lefkowitz, who New York governor Malcolm Wilson had appointed to fill the seat of Secretary of Commerce Jacob Javits, was able to win election in his own right. Several of the Senate elections would be close. Some close Senate elections would include Nevada, where Harry Reid would defeat Governor Paul Laxalt; Florida, where Jack Eckerd managed to defeat Richard Stone, and Kansas, where William Roy would defeat Bob Dole. In the House Elections, the Democrats would pick up 46 seats, leaving them 6 seats short of a veto proof majority.  

Democratic Pickups:
Gary Hart (D-CO)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Wendell Ford (D-KY)
William Roy (D-KS)
John Glenn (D-OH)

Republican Pickups:
None

House: 283 D (-46), 198 R (+46)
Senate: 60 D (+5), 39 R (-5), 1 I

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« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2010, 09:26:55 pm »

President Rockefeller was determined to rehabilitate his image over the next two years of his second term. The first domestic problem afflicting the nation was the Swine Flu Crisis. After the Influenza strain H1N1, which used to only harm pigs, began to affect humans, public health officials urged the President to demand mandatory vaccinations against Swine Flu. The President agreed, but due to public relations problems and delays, only 25% of the population was vaccinated. Many Americans were angered that more people died from the vaccines than did from the disease itself.

President Rockefeller happily signed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which required all public schools to accept federal funds for special education. He would also sign the Fairness in Education Act, which took funds deemed unnecessary by the Department of Education from rich public schools and gave them to poor public schools. Education activist Jonathan Kozol would proclaim that “The Fairness in Education Act has given poor children what they deserve the most: a path to success.” Also, at the request of New York City Mayor Abe Beame, Rockefeller would give New York City a Federal bailout, since they were facing bankruptcy.

Although the United States, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam had agreed to the Paris Peace Accords, North Vietnam resumed their attack on South Vietnam. Rockefeller wanted to supply the South with weapons and military aid, but the Democratic Congress refused to allow him to do so. President Rockefeller then implemented Operation Frequent Wind, which evacuated 1,373 US citizens and 5,595 Vietnamese and third country nationals from Saigon. Many of those Vietnamese refugees would become American citizens. The Reagan Republicans disliked Rockefeller’s Vietnam policy, and Ronald Reagan would proclaim “what happened to South Vietnam represents the ultimate betrayal of a military ally, the ultimate betrayal of the South Vietnamese citizens who wish to preserve their freedom against the evils of Communism, and the ultimate betrayal of everything we stand for.” The anti-war left would criticize Governor Reagan for his remarks, since they were glad that the long war in Vietnam was over. However, Republicans were beginning to consider Ronald Reagan as a potential presidential candidate if Vice President John Tower did not run in 1976.



To help reduce Cold War Tensions, President Rockefeller would also enter the Helsinki Accords with the Soviet Union, continuing the policy of détente that Secretary Nixon and Secretary Kissinger had crafted. Also, he would again visit China and the Soviet Union.

Things were beginning to look up for President Rockefeller: his popularity was beginning to climb; the economy showed signs of recovery; and the War in Vietnam was over. While he was originally worried about how the rest of his term would play out, he once again felt optimistic about the rest of his term. Unfortunately, President Rockefeller never got to see the rest of his term, because on September 22, 1975, a woman named Sara Jane Moore shot President Rockefeller as he left a San Francisco hotel. Although doctors tried to operate on the President, he had lost too much blood, and President Rockefeller was dead. On trial, Moore would proclaim: “I am glad I succeeded, and allowed the winds of change to start. I did it to create chaos." President John Tower was quickly sworn in as President of the United States.


Sara Jane Moore


Nelson Rockefeller (July 8, 1908-September 22, 1975)

The assassination of Nelson Rockefeller was considered the greatest tragedy of the decade. The country was in great mourning and grief not seen since President John F. Kennedy’s assassination twelve years earlier. President Rockefeller’s untimely death cemented his reputation as a Progressive Hero. Years later historians would see him as one of the greatest Presidents of the United States.  


John Tower (R-TX): The 38th President of the United States
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« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2010, 09:31:38 pm »

Very interesting.  Wonder what Rocky will do if Vietnam and Cambodia collapse?  I always thought he would be much more aggressive.

Thanks! Well I figured that Rocky would probably listen to Henry Kissinger's advice just as much as Ford and Nixon did, since they were friends OTL. So unfortunately, Vietnam and Cambodia meet the same fate as they did OTL (I wish they hadn't, I'm Vietnamese).
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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2010, 08:34:31 pm »

I realized that I never mentioned Nelson Rockefeller’s Supreme Court Appointments. Without any ado, here they are.

Nelson Rockefeller Judicial Appointments:


Raymond P. Shafer
Began service on June 23, 1969


William J. Brennan Jr. (Chief Justice)
Already in the Supreme Court—Began service as Chief Justice on June 23, 1969


Wilfred Feinberg
Began service on May 14, 1970


Lewis F. Powell Jr.
Began service on December 9, 1971


John Paul Stevens
Began service on December 15, 1971

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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2010, 08:43:43 pm »

The Presidency of John Tower



President Tower came into office at a time of national mourning. As a result, Tower had approval ratings as high as 89%. To hold the country together, he requested that President Rockefeller’s cabinet stay with him for the rest of what was supposed to be President Rockefeller’s term. The next important thing that President Tower had to do was appoint a Vice President, since the Twenty-Fifth Amendment allowed him to do so—at the Senate’s confirmation. President Tower decided to appoint House Minority Leader Gerald Ford, whom the Democratic Senate found palatable and easily confirmed on December 13, 1975. Gerald Ford would be the first Vice President not elected.



Additionally, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court William Douglas announced his resignation. In a different move than his predecessor would have made, President Tower appointed William Rehnquist, an unabashed conservative, to the Supreme Court. Rehnquist was confirmed by the Senate by a tight vote. Rehnquist’s appointment would solidify President Tower’s popularity in the South. Associate Justice Rehnquist would begin service on December 17, 1975.



President Tower announced that he and Vice President Gerald Ford would be candidates for re-election. Although Ronald Reagan was planning to run for President in 1976, he changed his mind after President Rockefeller’s untimely assassination, and Governor Reagan endorsed the Tower/Ford ticket. Governor Reagan would, however, decide to run for the Senate in California. With no major opposition, John Tower and Gerald Ford easily won the Republican Nomination.

All in all, Tower was not afraid of the 1976 Presidential Election. The Vietnam War was over, the economy was recovering, he was fairly certain to win sympathy votes, and Tower’s approval ratings were relatively high (but had declined from the almost universal 89%). But Tower losing was not out of the realm of possibility, and whom the Democrats nominated, and how he or she campaigned, still needed to be determined.
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« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2010, 11:10:19 am »

Awesome.

You never posted a map of the '68 Senate elections, so based on the '70 numbers (the Republicans gained 2 seats for a 55-45 majority for Democrats; therefore, they'd had a 57-43 majority before '70) and the '74 map, I've come to the conclusion that the '68 races were all exactly the same with two exceptions:

Idaho: George Hansen (R) defeats Frank Church (D)
Ohio: John Gilligan (D) defeats William Saxbe (R)

Is this right?

I had meant for the 1968 elections to be exactly the same as OTL, so that means that I messed up the 1974 maps. What happened in 1974 in Ohio was that Saxbe lost to John Glenn (since he's not Attorney General ITTL), so it's a Democratic gain. I screwed Ohio up because when I looked up the 1974 senate races I saw that Metzenbaum was the incumbent therefore making it a Democratic hold and not a gain, but I didn't realize that Metzenbaum was only appointed because Saxbe went off to be attorney general. Sorry for all the confusion. I'll change the 1974 map now.
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« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2010, 02:22:21 pm »

Awesome.

You never posted a map of the '68 Senate elections, so based on the '70 numbers (the Republicans gained 2 seats for a 55-45 majority for Democrats; therefore, they'd had a 57-43 majority before '70) and the '74 map, I've come to the conclusion that the '68 races were all exactly the same with two exceptions:

Idaho: George Hansen (R) defeats Frank Church (D)
Ohio: John Gilligan (D) defeats William Saxbe (R)

Is this right?

I had meant for the 1968 elections to be exactly the same as OTL, so that means that I messed up the 1974 maps. What happened in 1974 in Ohio was that Saxbe lost to John Glenn (since he's not Attorney General ITTL), so it's a Democratic gain. I screwed Ohio up because when I looked up the 1974 senate races I saw that Metzenbaum was the incumbent therefore making it a Democratic hold and not a gain, but I didn't realize that Metzenbaum was only appointed because Saxbe went off to be attorney general. Sorry for all the confusion. I'll change the 1974 map now.

Oh, okay. Since your going about changing errors in Senate maps, 1972 Oklahoma should be D hold, not gain Smiley

And great TL, by the way. Great TL.

Thanks man! Smiley Good call. Thanks for all the help and corrections!
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« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2010, 03:40:46 pm »

The 1976 Democratic Primaries

Several Democrats emerged to compete in the primaries. These Democrats included:

Shirley Chisholm (D-NY)
Eugene McCarthy (D-MN)
Henry Jackson (D-WA)
Jimmy Carter  (D-GA)
George McGovern (D-SD)
Jerry Brown (D-CA)
Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Mo Udall (D-AZ)
Frank Church (D-ID)

Ted Kennedy (D-MA) had originally planned to run, but he had decided not to after President Rockefeller’s assassination and John Tower’s popularity.

The campaign trail was bitter. Slowly but surely different candidates would drop out, and the only candidates that remained in the running would be Jackson, Brown, Carter, McGovern, Udall, Church, and Byrd. McGovern would attack Jackson as a racist for opposing desegregation busing, while Jackson would deride McGovern as a crazy far left liberal. Robert Byrd, who only won two primaries, would criticize Jackson and McGovern for contributing to party disunity during the 1972 Presidential Election. Jackson would end up winning most of the primaries. Carter would prove to be a sectional candidate, whose outsider status did not seem to make a dent in the rest of the nation. He did however perform well in the South. Jerry Brown and Frank Church did not win many primaries, since they had entered the race too late. Jackson was especially popular with big labor, foreign policy hawks, and blue collar Democrats. McGovern was popular among the “new left” and liberals. Carter was popular among Southern Democrats. The west for the most part, was split between Udall, Church, and Brown.



Red—Jackson
Green—Brown
Blue—Carter
Light Green—McGovern
Pink—Udall
Dark Green—Church
Dark Red—Byrd

By the Democratic National Convention, Henry Jackson had won more delegates than necessary to win the nomination. He was anxious not to lose the liberal voters who had deserted the Democrats in 1972 for the Republicans and McGovern’s independent ticket. Thus, Jackson selected the liberal Arizona representative Morris “Mo” Udall as his Vice Presidential candidate, even though they disagreed on several issues. At his nomination speech, Jackson promised to end détente with the Soviet Union, to end busing, and to enact policies friendly to big labor. However, due to President Rockefeller’s assassination, Jackson did not criticize any of Rockefeller’s policies or actions. Unlike the 1972 and 1968 Democratic National Conventions, the 1976 Democratic National Convention was relatively peaceful, and for the most part, the Democratic Party seemed to unite behind the Jackson/Udall Ticket. George McGovern was the only Democrat who had ran in the primaries that refused to endorse Jackson.


Henry Jackson (D-WA) giving his acceptance speech


Mo Udall (D-AZ)
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