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 'No Chappaquiddick' by Guest Historian Eric Lipps
Guest Historian Guest Historian Eric Lipps says, in this scenario in which Chappaquiddick never happened, we explore an EMK Presidency 1977-1985. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit My AOL site.
Ted Kennedy



February 16

In 1988, Richard Gephardt, riding his surprise win in Iowa, beats President Gary Hart in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. The Hart campaign does its best to play down the significance of his back-to-back defeats, but privately, Hart's advisers warn that he is in danger of becoming another Lyndon Johnson, defeated for renomination. Polls indicate that the continuing stigma of the Donna Rice episode is one reason many primary voters have turned away from him.

 - Richard Gephardt
Richard Gephardt


July 12

In 1976, the Democratic National Convention opens in Madison Square Garden, New York City.

After a hard-fought primary season, it is expected that Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts will be nominated for president. There is an air of tension about the proceedings. There are rumors that followers of Senator Henry Jackson, Rep. Morris K. Udall, and minor candidate Gov. Jimmy Carter of Georgia may pool their votes and make a deal with some delegates nominally pledged to Kennedy to deny him a first-ballot victory and open the convention.

Senator
Senator - Edward Kennedy
Edward Kennedy


July 13

In 1972, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts receives the Democratic nomination for President at the party's national convention in Miami Beach, Florida.

To the disappointment of many liberals, he does not choose as his running mate South Dakota's Senator George S. McGovern, who had run a strong second in the primaries. Instead, he picks Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington State, who is known as a foreign-policy hawk.

 -


July 16

In 1984, the national convention of the Democratic Party opens at the Moscone Center in San Francisco amid rumors that front-running candidate Gary Hart, who is expected to be the nominee, will choose black activist Jesse L. Jackson as his running-mate in order to ensure the loyalty of the preacher-politico and his considerable following in November.

 - Gary Hart
Gary Hart


July 19

In 1984, as expected, Colorado's Senator Gary Hart receives the Democratic nomination for president. In his acceptance speech, he reveals he has chosen John Glenn, the former astronaut and current Ohio senator, to run with him in the fall. The VP nomination comes as a bit of a consolation prize to Glenn, whose own bid for the nomination never quite took fire. A disappointed Jesse Jackson delivers an emotional speech of his own following Hart's, urging his supporters to "keep hope alive". Rev. Jackson's words are widely interpreted as signaling that he means to run again in 1988.

 - Gary Hart
Gary Hart


October 7

In 1984, in the first of two scheduled debates between the presidential contenders, which focuses on domestic policy, GOP candidate Robert Dole asserts the need to "rein in the growth of entitlement programs", which he asserts are 'sapping the initiative of Americans' and which he blames for rising inflation, now at 9 percent annually, and for continuing federal deficits, which have run between $30 billion and $50 billion a year since 1981.

Nominee
Nominee - Bob Dole
Bob Dole

Departing briefly from the agreed-on restrictions on the debate's scope, Democratic candidate Gary Hart notes that the ongoing Iran-Iraq war has contributed to a substantial rise in the price of oil, which he asserts is the most important factor in the growth of the federal deficit. An angry Dole accuses him of trying to shift the blame for deficits away from a Democratic administration, and demands that moderator Barbara Walters of ABC rebuke Hart for 'breaking the rules of debate we both agreed on in advance.'

Walters admonishes Hart, who avoids references to foreign affairs for the remainder of the debate. However, Dole's harsh response to his opponent's words hurts the Republican candidate with the TV audience, to whom he comes across as hot-tempered.



October 13

In 1972, an unemployed Chicago construction worker fires a shot at Ted Kennedy as the Massachusetts senator delivers a presidential campaign speech.

He misses and is apprehended by Kennedy's Secret Service detail. The failed attack is the lead story on all three network newscasts that night. President Richard Nixon, who is running for re-election against Kennedy, is furious. He rages to his aide John Ehrlichman that the assassination attempt was 'a put-up job' aimed at garnering voters' sympathy for Kennedy, whose brothers President John F. Kennedy and presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy were both assassinated.

 -


November 2

In 1976, Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts defeats incumbent President Gerald R. Ford in the U.S. presidential election.

It has been a surprisingly close race, despite the burden Ford carries because of his pardon of Richard Nixon following the latter's resignation in the face of likely impeachment over the Watergate scandal and Ford's inept performance in the fall's presidential debates.

 -

Ford is also hurt by the fact that supporters of ex-California Governor Ronald Reagan, who had nearly beaten him in the primaries, stay home in droves - particularly white evangelical Christians, who after Reagan's defeat had found themselves with no candidate for whom they were enthusiastic about voting.



November 4

In 1979, in an interview on the Sunday interview show Meet the Press, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger condemns President Edward Kennedy for "betraying" the deposed Shah of Iran by refusing to allow him into America for medical treatment.

"After this", he intones, "who among our allies will be able to trust in our friendship?" He goes on to ask, "What can America possibly gain from this decision?"

 -

Privately, Vice-President Henry Jackson shares Kissinger's opinion. With a presidential election looming, however, Jackson does not feel free to say so publicly.

In Tehran, a small knot of protesters assembles briefly outside the U.S. Embassy, shouting revolutionary slogans. After telephone complaints from embassy security, municipal police and Revolutionary Guard troops arrive and break up the demonstration, arresting a number of participants.



November 7

In 1972, President Richard Nixon is re-elected, defeating Senator Edward Kennedy by an even narrower margin than he had won over Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

Nixons victory would not have been possible without the votes of supporters of George Wallace, whose decision not to run in '72 left them with nowhere else to turn. Some Kennedy supporters will charge that Nixon and his people rigged the vote, and that Kennedy was the actual winner. However, no hard evidence supporting this claim will surface, and Kennedy himself will refuse to endorse the accusation.

 -


December 11

In 1975, Senator Ted Kennedy announces he will run again for the presidency in 1976.

As had happened four years earlier, his announcement pushes him immediately to the front of the Democratic pack. Ordinarily, Kennedy's narrow loss to Nixon in '72 might have hurt his chances. But with Nixon forced to resign in August of 1974 in the wake of Watergate and his first vice-president Spiro Agnew pushed out even earlier as a result of a corruption scandal dating back to Agnew's days as governor of Maryland, the political landscape has been transformed. The expected Republican nominee, President Gerald R. Ford, who had succeeded Nixon after first being chosen to replace the disgraced Agnew, is a far weaker opponent, and Kennedy has many admirers who are eager to give him another opportunity.

 -

All is not roses for the last of the Kennedy brothers, however. The Democratic Party's conservative wing dislikes him intensely and is pushing several alternatives. One of these is Senator Henry M. Jackson, whom Kennedy had chosen as his running-mate in 1972 to balance the ticket regionally and ideologically. Jackson has said on several occasions that it was Kennedy's liberalism which led to their defeat that year.



December 31

In 1986, hoping to touch base with major Democratic contributors in preparation for his planned re-election campaign, President Gary Hart and his wife Lee attend a New Year's Eve party in Aspen, Colorado, at the invitation of Hollywood mogul and big Democratic Party donor Michael Medavoy. While there, the President meets an attractive blonde, Donna Rice.

 -


May 7
US President

In 1985, one day before a scheduled appearance at a wreath-laying ceremony at a German military cemetery at Bitburg on the fortieth anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe intended to demonstrate the strength of the friendship between modern West Germany and the United States, President Gary Hart is informed that the chosen cemetery contains the graves of 49 members of the Nazi SS.

It is a major embarrassment. The President cancels the visit, opting instead to visit a former concentration camp. West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is humiliated and furious, and the German media play up the President's decision not to come to the cemetery as 'an insult to the German people,' in the words of one editorial.

US President - Gary Hart
Gary Hart

"When," the same opinion piece asks, "will the Germans of today cease to be punished for the sins of their ancestors?" Meanwhile, at home and in Israel, the fact that Hart had even considered visiting what Elie Wiesel describes as "a ceremony to honor mass murderers"ignites waves of protest.



February 2

In 1993, President Sam Nunn announces that Vice-President Bill Bradley will chair a working group on the subject of universal health care, one of Bradley's interests while in the Senate.

Appearing before a conservative group in his home state of New York, ex-President Jack Kemp denounces the idea as threatening to substitute 'a social-welfare mentality' for the 'free market' in health care, branding it 'another tax-and-spend scheme from people who think they can run your life better than you can.'

Pres. Nominee
Pres. Nominee - Sam Nunn
Sam Nunn

Kemp calls for a system of 'healthcare incentives' in the form of tax breaks for employers who offer health plans to their employees.



December 16
Kennedy

In 1971, Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy of Massachusetts announces he will run for president in 1972. His declaration transforms him instantly into the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

Among the first people to volunteer to work in his campaign is Mary Jo Kopechne, who had worked for Kennedy's brother Robert prior to his assassination. She had met Ted Kennedy at a party in Chappaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard, in 1969. The pair had narrowly avoided what could have been a serious car accident while Kennedy had been driving her home afterward.

Kennedy - Brothers
Brothers


January 5

In 1976, Senator Henry M. Jackson announces he will run for president in that year's election, setting up a confrontation between him and Senator Edward M. Kennedy, whose vice-presidential running-mate he had been in 1972.

Jackson makes no secret of his belief that Kennedy is "soft" on the Soviets, and the Washington senator also insinuates that his Massachusetts counterpart is unfriendly to 'America's only real friend in the Middle East,' Israel. By the time of the convention, personal feelings between the two men - never really warm - will have badly deteriorated.

Senator
Senator - Henry M. Jackson
Henry M. Jackson


December 24

In 1979, the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. Its forces will overthrow the independent but pro-Soviet government in Kabul and replacing it with a puppet regime under Babrak Karmal. A U.S. response is not long in coming. Its public face is presented in the form of a strong condemnation of the Soviet action in the United Nations. Privately, President Kennedy confers with the governments of several nations, including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, regarding the provision of support to anti-Soviet elements inside Afghanistan. Kennedy opposes directly involving the U.S. military, but is willing to employ the CIA to help funnel material support to anti-Soviet fighters.

 -


January 21

In 1977, Massachusetts senator Edward Moore Kennedy is sworn in at noon as the 39th President of the United States of America.

Media coverage features numerous sentimental retrospectives on the 'Camelot' days of Kennedy's brother, President John F. Kennedy, whose assassination in 1963 remains a national trauma. There are plenty of critics of the incoming president, however: he is despised on the Republican right for his liberal views, and has even been criticized by the Catholic Church, of which he is a member, for his support of the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which struck down legal bans on abortion.

 -


January 21

In 1985, Gary Hart of Colorado is sworn in as the fortieth president of the United States, succeeding President Edward M. Kennedy.

The inauguration, which ordinarily would have taken place on the 20th, has been delayed according to longstanding tradition against holding the ceremony on a Sunday.

 - Gary Hart
Gary Hart


October 21

In 1984, in the second presidential debate, Democratic candidate Gary Hart returns to the idea that recent federal deficits and high inflation are largely the products of the ongoing Gulf war.

His opponent Robert Dole responds testily: "If that's so, Senator, why hasn't your party taken more aggressive steps to end that war? Why is President Kennedy sitting on his hands while ordinary Americans find it more and more difficult to make ends meet, and why should we believe you'd do any better?".

 - Gary Hart
Gary Hart

Commentators generally agree that Dole has won this debate on points. Once again, however, his hostile tone costs him with the national audience.



February 8

In 1988, Democrat Richard Gephardt and Republican Rep. Jack Kemp win their respective parties' Iowa caucuses.

President Gary Hart's defeat by Senator Gephardt sends shock waves through the Democratic Party. Although the President's supporters try to argue that Iowa is unrepresentative of the nation as a whole, the result points up the erosion in his political support since the Donna Rice scandal emerged.

 - Richard Gephardt
Richard Gephardt

Talk that he will be denied renomination intensifies.

On the Republican side, the real shocker is the second-place finish by right-wing TV preacher Rev. Pat Robertson. George H. W. Bush finishes third. Robertson's strong showing is taken as a sign of the rising power of evangelical and fundamentalist Protestant voters in the GOP.



October 11

In 1984, vice-presidential contenders John Glenn and Jack Kemp square off in a debate in Philadelphia. Neither candidate is judged to have committed any major gaffe or landed a knockout blow against the other. Kemp is considered far more charismatic than Glenn, but the former astronaut projects an air of quiet integrity.

VP Nominee
VP Nominee - Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp

The most dramatic moment of the debate comes when Kemp is questioned about his past advocacy of returning America to the gold standard to bolster the economy: Glenn, borrowing a phrase first used by George H. W. Bush against Ronald Reagan, calls this notion 'voodoo economics.' Kemp, however, recovers nicely, stating that the gold-standard proposal is only one of a number of actions he would consider as president to stabilize the dollar.



August 20
Nominee

In 1984, the Republican national convention opens at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. Three days later, Senator Robert Dole of Kansas receives the party's nomination for president. In his acceptance speech, he announces he has chosen New York Rep. Jack Kemp as his running-mate.

Dole's choice of Kemp is more strategic than based on personal chemistry between the two men. As a Midwesterner, Dole believes he needs Kemp as a connection to the GOP's wealthy 'Eastern establishment.' The choice, however, alienates the party's Western wing, which had been pushing for Bush.

Nominee - Bob Dole
Bob Dole


November 8

In 1988, Representative Jack Kemp wins the U.S. presidential election, defeating Democrat Richard Gephardt.

The election has been a roller-coaster, with President Gary Hart, once considered likely to win re-election in a walk, instead forced to drop out of the race after the embarrassment of the Donna Rice episode, Gephardt emerging seemingly from nowhere to capture the Democratic nomination in the President's place, and the Republicans jolted by the surprisingly powerful candidacy of television preacher Pat Robertson.

Pres. Elect
Pres. Elect - Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp


May 1
US President

In 1987, a reporter for the Washington Post learns that an attractive blonde has been visiting the White House for some time, often in the evening and apparently always when President Gary Hart's wife is away. Reporters for the Miami Herald, it turns out, have been investigating rumors of Hart's womanizing for weeks.

US President - Gary Hart
Gary Hart

Two days later, at a White House press conference, the President is deluged with questions about the Post's mystery woman and about his alleged infidelity in general. Annoyed, Hart dares the assembled journalists: 'Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They'll be very bored.'



November 10

In 1989, East German troops begin dismantling the Berlin Wall.

In the United States, Democratic efforts to credit the fall of the Wall to what Senator Richard Gephardt calls 'the patient diplomacy of the cool-headed administrations of Presidents Ted Kennedy and Gary Hart' are greeted with furious Republican rebuttals.

 -

Conservative pundit Patrick Buchanan noted acidly that 'patient diplomacy' did not bring down the Wall until a Republican once more occupied the Oval Office. 'It's more likely,' he suggests, 'that once a real leader, a real American, was in the White House again, the Soviets knew the jig was up, and lost their nerve.' Why that had not happened earlier, under President Ford or Buchanan's former employer Richard Nixon, he leaves unsaid.



January 18
US President

In 1991, President Jack Kemp pleads with the Israelis not to retaliate for the Iraqi Scud missile attack of the previous day, explaining that he fears that their doing so will blow up the fragile alliance he has made with other Gulf nations against Iraq. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin agrees, but warns the President that if there are further attacks he will not answer for the consequences.

US President - Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp


August 2

In 1990, troops of the Iraqi army invade the neighboring nation of Kuwait, threatening to bring Kuwait's vast oil reserves under the control of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Gold speculators who since the election of President Jack Kemp have been quietly buying up supplies of the precious metal and interest in mines respond by redoubling their efforts, gambling on war to drive up prices.

US President
US President - Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp

On Aug. 6, the United Nations Security Council demands and immediate Iraqi withdrawal and imposes a trade boycott. Two days later, the United States launches Operation Desert Wind in response to Saddam Hussein's proclamation that Kuwait is now part of Iraq, as its '19th province.' Over the next two weeks, Baghdad will close its borders, the Arab League will agree to send Egyptian, Syrian and Moroccan troops to support the Western forces engaged in Desert Wind, Iraq will reopen diplomatic negotiations with Iran, and the Iraqi government announces that Western nationals still in Kuwait will be held as 'guests' at strategic Kuwaiti locations.



August 20
US President

In 1990, President Jack Kemp denounces both Iraq's occupation of Kuwait and Saddam's attempt to use captured Westerners as hostages to force acceptance of his annexation of that country. He warns that "the United States does not yield to blackmail, and does not negotiate with kidnappers", and states that unless the Westerners held in Kuwait are released immediately and Iraq withdraws its forces from that country, there will be "the gravest of consequences".

US President - Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp

On Aug. 25, backing up President Kemp's warning, the UN Security Council authorizes the use of force in support of the trade boycott against Iraq.



January 19

In 1991, Iraqis bomb Kuwaiti oil production facilities, creating a huge oil slick in the Gulf which threatens to poison all aquatic life there. News of the Iraqi action triggers panic buying on the spot oil market, boosting prices briefly to 50 USD per barrel.

Four days later, the Iraqis blow up 700 Kuwaiti oil wells, sparking further market panic. The spot oil price passes 50 USD again, after having declined to $40.

US President
US President - Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp

In a televised address airing at 8 P.M. Eastern time, President Jack Kemp announces the start of the ground-operations phase of Operation Desert Blaze. 'This brutal occupation of a peaceful nation friendly to the West by the forces of a dictator hostile to America shall not be allowed to succeed,' he assures his audience.



May 12
Pres. Nominee

In 1991, Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia announces he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992.

Many of his colleagues consider his decision to run a foolish one. In the wake of the Gulf War, President Kemp's re-election in is widely seen as inevitable. Nunn himself candidly admits that he had considered staying out for exactly that reason. "However," he explains, "I have reservations about a number of the President's positions, and decided he should not go unchallenged. At the very least, win or lose, this campaign will oblige the President to defend the positions he is taking on both domestic and international matters".

Pres. Nominee - Sam Nunn
Sam Nunn


July 16

In 1992, Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia receives the Democratic nomination for president. He announces that he has chosen New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley as his running-mate.

Watching from the gallery as Nunn delivers his acceptance speech are Bill and Hillary Clinton. Bombarded by charges of extramarital affairs and corrupt business dealings during his own campaign, the Arkansas governor saw his chances of winning the nomination wither.

Pres. Nominee
Pres. Nominee - Sam Nunn
Sam Nunn

The accusations will continue long after the convention, and will help ensure his defeat in his home state's 1994 gubernatorial election. To the amazement of almost everyone, the Clintons' marriage will survive.



July 13
Pres. Nominee

In 1992, the Democratic National Convention opens in New York City. Observers marvel at how the political landscape has changed in the past six months: Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, who had seemed a rising star in January, has been devastated by the bombardment of scandalous allegations he has endured since then, and now has no chance of winning the nomination.

In the wake of the implosion of Clinton's candidacy, Georgia's Senator Sam Nunn has emerged as the presumptive nominee, promoted as a "voice of moderation and maturity".

Pres. Nominee - Sam Nunn
Sam Nunn


October 3

In 1991, William J. "Bill" Clinton of Arkansas announces he will run for President in 1992. Governor Clinton's announcement triggers a frenzy of activity on the part of his numerous political enemies, both within his home state and nationally, aimed at digging up dirt on him. The effort will prove humiliatingly successful, leading to Clinton's defeat in the Democratic primaries: a combination of financial and sexual scandals will ruin his chances for the White House and contribute as well to his defeat by Republican Mike Huckabee in his 1994 quest for re-election as governor.

Pres. Nominee
Pres. Nominee - Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton


November 3
Pres. Nominee

In 1992, Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia defeats incumbent Jack Kemp in the U.S. presidential election.

Observers marvel at how far Kemp's fortunes have fallen since the end of the Gulf War, when he had a 91 percent approval rating and seemed likely to win re-election in a landslide.

Pres. Nominee - Sam Nunn
Sam Nunn


August 25

In 1991, a wan Mikhail Gorbachev returns from his Crimean captivity. Technically, he has been restored to power. In practice, however, Boris Yeltsin, who has exploited his role in the failure of the military coup to gather power in his own hands, has become the effective master of the Soviet Union. Ironically, it will prove a fleeting prize.

In the United States, President Jack Kemp issues a statement praising the defeat of the August 18 coup and the return of Gorbachev, touching off another round of rage on the right. The following day, several conservative senators and Wall Street Journal editorial writer John Fund meet with Patrick Buchanan to discuss his running for the White House in 1992.

 - Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev


August 22
Pres. Candidate

In 1991, in the Soviet Union, faced with mounting resistance to their coup, the "Emergency Committee" and its backers dispatch tanks to the Russian Parliament, where they are confronted by an angry crowd of both armed and unarmed civilians led by a number of Russian parliamentarians, including firebrand Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who will strike a memorably telegenic pose of defiance before the tanks.

Faced with this show of resistance, the troops falter, some of them turning around and a surprising number actually switching sides.

Pres. Candidate - Patrick Buchanan
Patrick Buchanan

With the failure of its assault on the center of resistance at the Parliament building, the coup collapses as junior officers and political officials, including the leadership of the various Soviet republics, turn against the Committee.

In the United States, President Jack Kemp praises the countercoup. "The so-called Emergency Committee has been revealed as the hollow shell it is, a band of ambitious men with no legitimacy whatever. It is to be hoped that the recognized government of the Soviet Union will swiftly be restored and that the perpetrators of the August 18 coup will be brought to justice".

Once again Kemp's words will ignite fury on the right. In an op-ed in the Aug. 23 New York Times, combative conservative Patrick J. Buchanan will write, "The President sounds as if he is shilling for the Communists. Let's not forget that the 'recognized government' he talks about is a brutal Red tyranny which has murdered millions of its own people and engaged in an orgy of terror and destruction worldwide since 1917. The restoration of the latest and glossiest tyrant to call himself the leader of the savage Soviet regime is a tragedy, not the blessing he makes it sound. The world will not be safe until this blood-soaked barbarism is banished altogether from the world".

Many people mock Buchanan's piece as over the top, but it strikes a chord with conservatives, who begin to speak of backing Buchanan in a run against Kemp in the GOP primaries.



September 29

In 1991, Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey announces he will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 1992.

In his announcement, he praises the President for his victory in the Gulf, but expresses the view that Kemp's economic program is a 'well-intentioned disaster in the making.'

Pres. Candidate
Pres. Candidate - Bill Bradley
Bill Bradley


September 9
Pres. Nominee

In 1992, the federal Resolution Trust Corporation launches an investigation of the Whitewater Development Corporation, the real estate venture at the center of one of the scandals which had helped derail Bill Clinton's run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The RTC had been nervous about appearing to intervene in a presidential election. However, with Governor Clinton's defeat in the Democratic primary contest, that has ceased to be a concern.

Pres. Nominee - Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton


November 6

In 1984, Senator Gary Hart is elected President, defeating Republican opponent Senator Robert Dole of Kansas.

Rep. Phil Gramm of Texas wins election to the U.S. Senate, defeating Democrat Lloyd Doggett.

 - Gary Hart
Gary Hart


April 13

In 1987, President Gary Hart formally announces that he will be a candidate for re-election.

Political pundits observe that if, as is widely expected, Hart wins in 1988, by the time he leaves office in January of 1993 the Democrats will have held the White House for sixteen years, after having failed to win more than two elections in a row since the Roosevelt-Truman period which ended with Eisenhower's ascendency forty years earlier.

 - Gary Hart
Gary Hart


January 20

In 1993, Georgia senator Samuel Augustus Nunn is sworn in as the forty-second president of the United States of America.

In attendance at the ceremony are outgoing President Jack Kemp outgoing Vice-President Phil Gramm, and incoming Vice-President Bill Bradley. Also present, among the crowd of onlookers, are former Arkansas governor Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Pres. Nominee
Pres. Nominee - Sam Nunn
Sam Nunn

Mr. Clinton had run for president himself in 1992, but had been defeated in the primaries amid revelations about extramarital affairs and reports of financial improprieties in connection with a real-estate venture, the Whitewater Development Corporation.



May 12
Vice Pres.

In 1993, Vice-President Bill Bradley's healthcare working group releases its report, which calls for the establishment of a so-called "single-payer" national health care system, AmeriCare, loosely modeled on that of Canada.

The program is intended to cover everyone not already eligible for care under either Medicaid or Medicare.

Vice Pres. - Bill Bradley
Bill Bradley

Reaction is immediate, and, from the GOP, bitterly hostile. The Bradley group's plan is denounced as "socialist medicine" before the day is out, before anyone among its critics has read anything but a thumbnail summary of it.



July 18

In 1969, whilst leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy nearly drives his car off a bridge.

 - Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy

Badly shaken, he pulls over to the side of the road for awhile before proceeding to deliver his female companion, Mary Jo Kopechne, to her home and returning to the home of Kennedy cousin Joseph Gargan for the night.



June 17

In 1972, five men are apprehended emerging from an apparent break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Police will ascertain that the men are connected with the Committee to Re-Elect the President, President Richard M. Nixon's campaign organization.

 - Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon


July 13

In 1972, Ted Kennedy receives the Democratic nomination for President.

To the disappointment of many liberals, he does not choose as his running mate South Dakota's Senator George S. McGovern, who had run a strong second in the primaries. Instead, he picks Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington State, who is known as a foreign-policy hawk.

 - Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy


August 23

In 1972, as expected, President Richard M. Nixon is renominated at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.

 - Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon


October 13

In 1972, an unemployed Chicago construction worker fires a shot at Ted Kennedy as the Massachusetts senator delivers a presidential campaign speech.

He misses and is apprehended by Kennedy's Secret Service detail. The failed attack is the lead story on all three network newscasts that night.

 - Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

President Nixon is furious. He rages to his aide John Ehrlichman that the assassination attempt was 'a put-up job' aimed at garnering voters' sympathy for Kennedy, whose brothers President John F. Kennedy and presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy were both assassinated.



November 7

In 1972, President Richard Nixon is re-elected, defeating Senator Edward Kennedy by an even narrower margin than he had won over Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

Nixon's victory would not have been possible without the votes of supporters of George Wallace, whose decision not to run in '72 left them with nowhere else to turn.

 - Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

Some Kennedy supporters will charge that Nixon and his people rigged the vote, and that Kennedy was the actual winner. However, no hard evidence supporting this claim will surface, and Kennedy himself will refuse to endorse the accusation.



April 28

In 1973, following a series of revelations in the media linking the Watergate burglars to the Nixon re-election campaign and White House, the Senate begins televised hearings.

 - Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon


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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.