narkive is for sale. (interested) / (dismiss)
Discussion:
Bobby Kennedy is Not Assassinated in 1968 and is Next President of US
(too old to reply)
Daniel
2009-09-02 20:16:13 UTC
Permalink
What-If Bobby Kennedy was not killed in 1968? Imagine him being
the Democratic Party Nominee (instead of Hubert Humphrey), running
against
Richard Nixon.

Imagine Bobby winning the election. Nixon concedes defeat. Bobby is
sworn in
as President in 1969. What would happen? Would he have been a better
President
than his brother John?

What would his foreign policy be? Would his domestic policy be better
than
Lyndon Johnson's?

-Daniel
Rich Rostrom
2009-09-02 22:31:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel
What-If Bobby Kennedy was not killed in 1968? Imagine him being
the Democratic Party Nominee (instead of Hubert Humphrey), running
against Richard Nixon.
As David Tenner has repeatedly shown
(with overwhelming historic detail), by the
time of his death it was just about
impossible for RFK to get the
Democrat nomination in 1968.

Humphrey had secured enough delegates
from the caucus states to control the
convention. It is remotely possible that
a united front of McCarthy and Kennedy
might have blocked Humphrey's nomination.
But McCarthy and Kennedy had become
bitter enemies, and neither would consent
to the other's nomination.
Luke Schleusener
2009-09-03 01:13:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
What-If  Bobby Kennedy was not killed in 1968?  Imagine him being
the Democratic Party Nominee (instead of Hubert Humphrey), running
against Richard Nixon.
As David Tenner has repeatedly shown
(with overwhelming historic detail), by the
time of his death it was just about
impossible for RFK to get the
Democrat nomination in 1968.
Humphrey had secured enough delegates
from the caucus states to control the
convention. It is remotely possible that
a united front of McCarthy and Kennedy
might have blocked Humphrey's nomination.
But McCarthy and Kennedy had become
bitter enemies, and neither would consent
to the other's nomination.
Or, you know, he could read this:

http://groups.google.com/group/soc.history.what-if/browse_frm/thread/2711808852f63f81

Or

http://groups.google.com/group/soc.history.what-if/search?group=soc.history.what-if&q=%22the++glory+and+the+dream%22&qt_g=Search+this+group

ObWI: In JFK without LBJ, how does Stuart Symington-RFK or Al Gore Sr.-
RFK work out from 1965-1969?

Daniel, one should note, is not particularly anything to write home
about.

Best

L
Daniel
2009-09-04 19:46:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luke Schleusener
Daniel, one should note, is not particularly anything to write home
about.
Best
L
I figured someone in the past wrote about this subject; however, I
have not
contributed to this Group in a long time, so I did not know.

Sorry,

-Daniel
Luke Schleusener
2009-09-07 03:23:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel
I figured someone in the past wrote about this subject; however, I
have not
contributed to this Group in a long time, so I did not know.
There is an active and ongoing thread on this issue; google the date
of RFK's assassination and it probably comes up--I linked to it above.

What you did makes you look lazy and so on.
The Horny Goat
2009-09-03 04:09:22 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 2 Sep 2009 15:31:46 -0700 (PDT), Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
As David Tenner has repeatedly shown
(with overwhelming historic detail), by the
time of his death it was just about
impossible for RFK to get the
Democrat nomination in 1968.
Humphrey had secured enough delegates
from the caucus states to control the
convention. It is remotely possible that
a united front of McCarthy and Kennedy
might have blocked Humphrey's nomination.
But McCarthy and Kennedy had become
bitter enemies, and neither would consent
to the other's nomination.
I'm surprised no one here has ever explored the "Sirhan Bishara Sirhan
targets HHH instead of RFK" since that's to my mind the 'best' way to
get someone other than Humphrey as the Democratic candidate in 1968.

(In other words I completely agree with Mr. T on HHH's delegate count)

Remove HHH and pretty much any scenario is possible including either
RFK or RMN winning in the House of Representatives.
Luke Schleusener
2009-09-03 13:38:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
I'm surprised no one here has ever explored the "Sirhan Bishara Sirhan
targets HHH instead of RFK" since that's to my mind the 'best' way to
get someone other than Humphrey as the Democratic candidate in 1968.
(In other words I completely agree with Mr. T on HHH's delegate count)
Remove HHH and pretty much any scenario is possible including either
RFK or RMN winning in the House of Representatives.
Well, Allen brought this up in the thread that I linked to. The
problem is that Sirhan's motivation--while internally consistent, not
exactly reality based--wasn't really going to allow for aiming for
Humphrey, given that the driving presumption of pro-Israeliness.

If he doesn't shoot Bobby, well, Nixon had just extolled the virtues
of Israel and its military in the aftermath of the '67 War. So,
capping him would make sense. I brought that up in March '08, IIRC

Best

L
Daniel
2009-09-04 19:52:16 UTC
Permalink
The problem is that Sirhan's motivation--while internally consistent, not
exactly reality based--wasn't really going to allow for aiming for
Humphrey, given that the driving presumption of pro-Israeliness.
If he doesn't shoot Bobby, well, Nixon had just extolled the virtues
of Israel and its military in the aftermath of the '67 War. So,
capping him would make sense. I brought that up in March '08, IIRC
Let us make a new What-If, then.

Hubert Humphery dies of a sudden heart attack while campaigning for
President.
RFK is never killed. Either he or McCarthy will win the Democratic
nomination
in 1968.

With Humphy out of the picture and Bobby alive, what would happen?

-Daniel
Luke Schleusener
2009-09-07 03:49:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel
Hubert Humphery dies of a sudden heart attack while campaigning for
President.
RFK is never killed.  Either he or McCarthy will win the Democratic
nomination
in 1968.
I think this is the wrong answer to the question that you're asking.
Neither McCarthy nor RFK had enough electors (nor were enough up for
grabs sans party bosses) in order to carry the nomination. Given that
the convention operates in a pre-reform manner, the bosses will pick
the candidate. To complicate things further, you've killed a nominee
in the process of collecting delegates, at a time where I'm not sure
what the convention rules were with regards to awarding delegates of a
dead candidate.
Post by Daniel
With Humphry out of the picture and Bobby alive,  what would happen?
Muskie probably gets nominated with Jordan or something palatable. The
idea of a successful insurgent campaign, especially Bobby's abortive,
late, entry successfully nominating an anti-establishment, "Peace"
nominee is more than a little fanciful; the bosses might not be able
to deliver the states, but they could still deliver the nomination.
More specific to Bobby, the campaign was roughshod and hard scrabble;
in retrospect, he makes people feel better about their objections to
Vietnam and to the darker side to the sixties, gives everyone a
comfortable emotional "out" on responsibility for what happened after.
Bobby had neither the experience nor the national infrastructure to be
a nation-wide candidate. He had certainly learned from his run for the
Senate and become better for it, but even there he had needed LBJ's
coattails to win the race.

Though he did occupy the polar opposite to Nixon's politics of
division, I think there was substantially less to Bobby's '68 bid than
meets the eye--let alone people's idealized recollection of it--he
entered late and he didn't effectively manage his resources or direct
his staff.

Frankly, it's more likely that a surviving Bobby Kennedy would be
*more* disappointing to the audience that fantasizes about his
survival, rather than *thrilling.* He clearly wasn't going to continue
in the Senate, he may have run for governor, or he may have retired
from politics altogether after shaking off the depression following
his brother's assassination. If he ran for governor against
Rockefeller, he'd inevitably have to run to the right on "law-and-
order issues" while trying to court students, blacks, and feminists
and his base, which may prove to be more than he can handle. He lacked
the sense to press flesh and make appearances with local politicians,
which made enemies where he needed friends; something he may have
learned from over time. I'm just saying, like the weird liberal
fantasy that LBJ was some war-mad monster and JFK would've kept us out
of Vietnam, there's no particularly conclusive evidence one way or the
other, and to presume that the grass is always greener is silly.

If what you want is what the headline says: a surviving RFK assuming
the presidency in 1968, there are a couple of ways to get there, most
involve working further back than 1968

1a-b) either Stuart Symington or Albert Gore Sr. is chosen to be JFK's
running mate. Despite the shift, the ticket still carries Texas (LBJ
would stuff the ballot box either way) and thus, wins the White House.
There's still the fateful rise in Bircher, etc. politically violent
rhetoric and JFK keeps his appointment in Dallas. At the 1964
Convention, neither Symington nor Gore is really able to reliably
block Bobby from getting the nomination to VP.

Both win landslide victories in '64 (though neither as substantial as
LBJ's). By 1968, Symington is too polarizing on race to be reelected
(losing lots of voters to Wallace) and so his VP, Bobby, gets the nod.
Conversely, Gore hasn't been hawkish enough on Vietnam and thus his
more hawkish VP carries the day. (This is all very loosely speaking).

Otherwise, you need Bobby to preempt Gene McCarthy in the '68 race and
thus not end up with a split anti-war vote; and even then, the odds
are really long on getting Bobby the nomination. You might be able to
get it if Bobby somehow swings Daley, but Daley's a machine and party
man, and I don't think he'd come on board until the very last minute.

Best

L
Rich Rostrom
2009-09-07 04:57:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luke Schleusener
Neither McCarthy nor RFK had enough electors
ITYM committed delegates
Post by Luke Schleusener
(nor were enough up for grabs sans party bosses) in order to carry
the nomination. Given that the convention operates in a pre-reform
manner, the bosses will pick the candidate.
Just who are these bosses? Who do you think will meet
in a "smoke-filled room" to select the nominee? If we go
back to the original "smoke-filled room" that picked
Harding in 1920 - it was not a group of bosses whose
decision was automatically followed by legions of
robotized followed. The leaders had to satisfy their
followers as well as direct them.

One could also look at the battles over the
Democrat Vice Presidential nomination in
1940 and 1944 to see the absence of Boss
rule.

There are a few 'bosses' with blocks of delegates
wholly at their service (Daley, for instance), but
there would be a lot of uncommitted delegates: the
ex-Humphrey delegates, for instance.
Post by Luke Schleusener
what the convention rules were with regards to
awarding delegates of a dead candidate.
The delegates would be released as far as the
convention was concerned, but the state
committees in caucus states might hold emergency
meetings to re-set the commitments for their
delegates.

Actually, this is a question that should be
relatively easy to answer, at least in part,
since a candidate _did_ die while collecting
delegates that year.
Post by Luke Schleusener
With Humphrey out of the picture and Bobby alive, what would happen?
Muskie probably gets nominated with Jordan or something palatable.
Muskie??? It is to laugh. He was nobody till
Humphrey tapped him for VP. It's possible
some conventional Democrat steps forward
as the replacement HHH - but it's unlikely.
No one was ready to do so, there was no
obvious choice for the role, and Kennedy
and McCarthy were the men who already
had real support. Neither of them wants to
be an obvious vulture, but both will press
the opportunity, and both will collect a share
of Humphrey's support. Very few of the party
apparatchiks will want to risk being on the
---- list of the next President.

There is the remote possibility that Johnson
would try to re-enter the picture. Or he might
try to play kingmaker. I don't think he had a
chance at either role - he was too tainted by
that time.

"Jordan"? Who?
Luke Schleusener
2009-09-07 13:11:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Luke Schleusener
Neither McCarthy nor RFK had enough electors
ITYM committed delegates
Yeah.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Luke Schleusener
(nor were enough up for  grabs sans party bosses) in order to carry
the nomination. Given that  the convention operates in a pre-reform
manner, the bosses will pick the candidate.
Just who are these bosses? Who do you think will meet
in a "smoke-filled room" to select the nominee? If we go
back to the original "smoke-filled room" that picked
Harding in 1920 - it was not a group of bosses whose
decision was automatically followed by legions of
robotized followed. The leaders had to satisfy their
followers as well as direct them.
True enough; I apologize for being unclear and wrong. There aren't
enough primary states for anyone running a primary campaign to get the
required number of delegates at the Convention to nominate
Post by Rich Rostrom
The delegates would be released as far as the
convention was concerned, but the state
committees in caucus states might hold emergency
meetings to re-set the commitments for their
delegates.
Actually, this is a question that should be
relatively easy to answer, at least in part,
since a candidate _did_ die while collecting
delegates that year.
Right; but Bobby's delegates belonged exclusively to primary states,
which Humphrey's decidedly did not; to further complicate matters,
Humphrey had used proxy favorite son candidates as stand-ins in three
states. So, it's somewhat less simple than at at first blush. But
assuming that all of them are released, you get a nomination fight at
the convention.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Muskie??? It is to laugh. He was nobody till
Humphrey tapped him for VP. It's possible
some conventional Democrat steps forward
as the replacement HHH - but it's unlikely.
No one was ready to do so, there was no
obvious choice for the role, and Kennedy
and McCarthy were the men who already
had real support. Neither of them wants to
be an obvious vulture, but both will press
the opportunity, and both will collect a share
of Humphrey's support. Very few of the party
apparatchiks will want to risk being on the
---- list of the next President.
I'd suppose; but I'd strongly doubt that either would be able to get
the nomination as the peace candidate. I was inclined toward Muskie
for his environmental work and the fact that he was a veteran.

I really doubt that a heart-attack having Humphrey in April means that
the anti-war candidate wins the nomination in July.
Post by Rich Rostrom
There is the remote possibility that Johnson
would try to re-enter the picture. Or he might
try to play kingmaker. I don't think he had a
chance at either role - he was too tainted by
that time.
"Jordan"? Who?
B. Everett Jordan of North Carolina

Best

L
Rich Rostrom
2009-09-07 19:13:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luke Schleusener
I apologize for being unclear and wrong.
An attempt at stating the complex too briefly.
Post by Luke Schleusener
There aren't
enough primary states for anyone running a primary campaign to get the
required number of delegates at the Convention to nominate
... by primaries only. True, but winning primaries
also wins friends and influences allies in caucus
states. JFK's nomination campaign went "over
the top" in 1960 when he won the West Virginia
primary.

In 1968, McCarthy had votes from 33 caucus
states. He had 87 from NY (almost as many as
Humphrey); all 35 from OR; 2 1/2 (of 104) from
TX; 10 of 35 from CO; 13 1/2 of 43 from GA.
Post by Luke Schleusener
Post by Rich Rostrom
The delegates would be released as far as the
convention was concerned, but the state
committees in caucus states might hold emergency
meetings to re-set the commitments for their
delegates.
Actually, this is a question that should be
relatively easy to answer, at least in part,
since a candidate _did_ die while collecting
delegates that year.
Right; but Bobby's delegates belonged exclusively to primary states...
I can't disprove that explicitly, since my reference only
gives the votes at the convention. But McGovern,
who IIRC had come forward as a would-be RFK
proxy, got 146 1/2 votes, of which 52 were from
caucus states. So I'm almost certain RFK had some
pledged or declared/uncommitted delegates from
caucus states.
Post by Luke Schleusener
Humphrey had used proxy favorite son candidates as stand-ins in three
states.
Which means those blocs are free to maneuver.
Post by Luke Schleusener
Post by Rich Rostrom
It's possible
some conventional Democrat steps forward
as the replacement HHH - but it's unlikely.
No one was ready to do so, there was no
obvious choice for the role, and Kennedy
and McCarthy were the men who already
had real support.
I'd suppose; but I'd strongly doubt that either would be able to get
the nomination as the peace candidate.
Probably not McCarthy. I think RFK would wiggle in;
portraying himself as the True Liberal candidate
to compete with McCarthy, with many hints about
peace, but avoiding an explicit peace pledge to
keep as many as possible of the Old Bulls in line.
Also, the 'peace' approach was beginning to have
a fair amount of traction among the traditional
Democrats. Johnson's war record had brought
him down, and there were many respectable
'organization' Democrats with some degree of
pacifist tendencies to begin with.
Post by Luke Schleusener
I really doubt that a heart-attack having Humphrey in April means that
the anti-war candidate wins the nomination in July.
If Humphrey drops out in April, that opens most
of the caucus states. I think RFK would get most
of them.
Luke Schleusener
2009-09-07 22:54:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
... by primaries only. True, but winning primaries
also wins friends and influences allies in caucus
states. JFK's nomination campaign went "over
the top" in 1960 when he won the West Virginia
primary.
Question; my recollection from Thomas's RFK bio (somewhere in a box in
a van moving cross country) was that the '60 VW Primary was much more
about allaying the relative fears about JFK's Catholicism than about
actually accumulating a majority of delegates to 'win' the nomination,
given the relatively few primaries, let alone delegates won at
primaries versus those otherwise accumulated (a process which varied
state-by-state in a rather ramshackle fashion). My even vaguer
recollection is that VW was in early spring (March/April), such that
the primaries were going to continue on into June or so.

I find the pre-reform system rather confusing, because delegates won
in primaries don't directly correlate to delegates held at the
convention, among other things. How this ever worked boggles my mind.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Luke Schleusener
Right; but Bobby's delegates belonged exclusively to primary states...
I can't disprove that explicitly, since my reference only
gives the votes at the convention.
As do mine. Somewhere in Nixonland, there's a very good explanation of
how the pre-reform conventions worked, but that, again is in a big ole
box.
Post by Rich Rostrom
But McGovern,
who IIRC had come forward as a would-be RFK
proxy, got 146 1/2 votes, of which 52 were from
caucus states. So I'm almost certain RFK had some
pledged or declared/uncommitted delegates from
caucus states.
Right.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Probably not McCarthy. I think RFK would wiggle in;
portraying himself as the True Liberal candidate
to compete with McCarthy, with many hints about
peace, but avoiding an explicit peace pledge to
keep as many as possible of the Old Bulls in line.
Bobby could also get Daley in line here; I'd imagine Bobby would pull
sharply to the right on law-and-order issues if he's going to move
forward.

If HHH dies of a heart attack prior to his campaign but after
Johnson's withdrawal, will Johnson bother to name a replacement VP? Is
the death suitably far back that there's some alternative to merely
assuming that it'd be Bobby or McCarthy?
Post by Rich Rostrom
Also, the 'peace' approach was beginning to have
a fair amount of traction among the traditional
Democrats.
I suppose; I still feel like the party was headed for the rocks of one
sort or another in '68, and the peace plank ultimately did lose.
Daley, of course, didn't like the war 'cause it didn't do anything for
the party, the old bastard. If Bobby survives and the only
assassination of '68 is King, I suspect there's still going to be
riots at the convention, though somewhat diminished, though I don't
think there's a precise metric to guess how so.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Johnson's war record had brought
him down, and there were many respectable
'organization' Democrats with some degree of
pacifist tendencies to begin with.
I think it's wrong to misread things to into pacifism v. bellicosity--
after all, Nixon was a war criminal and a Quaker. And I'd think within
the party/in general that there's a difference between pulling back
from the quagmire and being against all wars, and the difference
between the yippies and the hippies outside, and the party regulars on
the inside.

And I certainly think neither party had a lock on the anti-Vietnam War
vote in '68, but that the Democratic Party had a higher incidence of
younger voters overall, and thus, got a starker whiplash
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Luke Schleusener
I really doubt that a heart-attack having Humphrey in April means that
the anti-war candidate wins the nomination in July.
If Humphrey drops out in April, that opens most
of the caucus states. I think RFK would get most
of them.
Maybe; despite the fairly strong impression people have after the
fact, between his late entry and his staff, his primary run was not
particularly impressive. Like Humphrey's general election staff, there
was more enthusiasm than expertise in the mix; mind, that can overcome
most problems in a primary, but it's going to be harder. McCarthy
entered earlier, though Kennedy could run rightward and vie for the
establishment title, I suppose, though I feel like someone else is
going to get that slot, perhaps.

What do you think?

Best

L
MummyChunk
2020-04-14 18:24:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel
What-If Bobby Kennedy was not killed in 1968? Imagine him bein
the Democratic Party Nominee (instead of Hubert Humphrey), runnin
agains
Richard Nixon
Imagine Bobby winning the election. Nixon concedes defeat. Bobb
i
Post by Daniel
sworn i
as President in 1969. What would happen? Would he have been
bette
Post by Daniel
Presiden
than his brother John
What would his foreign policy be? Would his domestic policy b
bette
Post by Daniel
tha
Lyndon Johnson's
-Danie
I think he would have been a better president tha
JFK but he might have gotten us into some worse skirmishes since i
seems he had a hotter head


This is a response to the post seen at
http://www.jlaforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=48501326#4850132
a425couple
2020-04-18 15:38:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel
What-If Bobby Kennedy was not killed in 1968? Imagine him being
the Democratic Party Nominee (instead of Hubert Humphrey), running
against Richard Nixon.
Imagine Bobby winning the election. Nixon concedes defeat. Bobby
is sworn in
as President in 1969. What would happen? Would he have been a
better President than his brother John?
What would his foreign policy be? Would his domestic policy be
better than Lyndon Johnson's?
I think he would have been a better president than
JFK but he might have gotten us into some worse skirmishes since it
seems he had a hotter head.
"Worse" !!!
Jesus man! That Democratic fucktard war monger POTUS JFK took a
little immaterial backwater Military Assistance Group task and
blew it up into over 500,000 boots on the ground and 57,000
of our finest youth dead!!

And you think the little brother could do worse!!
Yeah, mushroom clouds over Massachusetts!
http://www.jlaforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=48501326#48501326
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