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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  Election What-ifs?
  Past Election What-ifs (US) (Moderators: Quarantine Time with Finn & Jake, Apocrypha)
  HHH/RFK in 68 (search mode)
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Author Topic: HHH/RFK in 68  (Read 5231 times)
johnpressman
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« on: September 17, 2013, 01:36:08 am »

An HHH/RFK ticket in 1968 presents a fundamental problem. You have Hubert Humphrey supporting the Vietnam War policies of LBJ, his boss, and Robert Kennedy, who is bitterly opposed to the war.  Which one is going to change their position?

With Humphrey being the one more likely to switch positions, you would have the Democratic Presidential Candidate opposing the sitting Democratic President's foreign policy.  This would almost force Humphrey to resign the Vice Presidency.  How could the sitting Vice President break with and defy the President, the man who chose him and then handed him the nomination?  This, along with LBJ's intense personal dislike for Robert Kennedy, would have him opposing HHH, his former running mate, and  either urging the Democratic Party organization to sit on its hands, or worse, work against HHH/RFK.

Nixon still wins, and carries Texas.  By the way, just because Kennedy won the California Democratic Primary in 1968, in which Humphrey did not run, doesn't mean he will carry the state in November.  Nixon was from California and Ronald  Reagan was a very popular governor at the time.  California was a much more conservative state in the 1968.  Watch "Dragnet" for example.
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johnpressman
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Posts: 148
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2013, 11:21:26 am »

No, the Vietnam war escalation began in 1965.  By the time of the Tet offensive in early 1968, LBJ was already looking for a way out of the war.  His decision not to seek reelection may have had something to do with not wanting to preside over the loss of the war he had escalated.

Nixon's "Vietnamization" plan was designed to turn the war over to the South Vietnamese in stages.  The first U.S. troops came home in 1969 and continued to leave until the last combat troops left in 1973.
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johnpressman
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Posts: 148
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2013, 02:42:13 pm »

As far as I can determine, this HHH/RFK 1968 scenario supposes that RFK had lived, not JFK.  That being said, it would be virtually impossible for HHH to break with his president's policies on Vietnam.  With LBJ choosing him and virtually handing him the nomination in 1968, a break with the President would be unthinkable.  Humphrey would have been branded a traitor and an ingrate, if not worse, and the rank-and-file Democratic Party would have sat on their hands in the general election.

As for the myth that, had JFK lived, he would have pulled us out of Vietnam, is pure speculation, at best.  While Kennedy did float some trial balloons about abandoning Vietnam after his reelection in 1964, the thought of Kennedy, the ultimate Cold warrior, leaving Southeast Asia to the Communists would cause a national panic.  This was the man who stated in his inaugural address that he  would bear any burden, support any friend, etc. in the name of liberty.  America was a MUCH more conservative nation in 1964.
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johnpressman
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Posts: 148
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 12:06:46 am »

Fuzzy Bear, your reasoning is sound.  An HHH-RFK ticket in 1968 is unreasonable, as I have stated in an earlier post.  An RFK headed ticket in 1968 would have probably closely emulated Humphrey's total,  winning Illinois but losing Texas.

You are right in that America in 1968 was tailor made for Nixon's comeback.  Nixon represented the 1950's and the memory of a more peaceful era.  RFK's message appealed to the young and minorities but turned off the voters of that year, 57% voting for Nixon/Wallace.

I am also convinced that had RFK not been assassinated, he would not have won the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1968.  Humphrey had a majority of the delegates committed to him, Kennedy and McCarthy's needed to persuade those committed delegates to change their votes in order to prevent a Humphrey victory on the first ballot. With the sitting President working against him behind the scenes, an RFK victory was not in the cards.
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johnpressman
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Posts: 148
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2013, 06:42:51 pm »

No, there is no possible way that George Wallace would become Vice President with Richard Nixon as President. Wallace was a fringe candidate, a hate monger and segregationist.  He was unacceptable to the vast majority of the electorate.  Besides, dumping your Vice Presidential candidate after the election in favor of a losing Presidential candidate makes no sense.  Nixon, for all his faults, had no respect for Wallace and their policies had little in common.

As aforementioned, an HHH/RFK candidacy is untenable, given their respective positions and loyalties.  For Humphrey, the sitting Vice President, to turn on LBJ,  his benefactor, and repudiate his policies is a stab in the back of momentous proportions.  Furthermore, to ally with Johnson's sworn enemy, RFK, would cause a political explosion that would have destroyed Humphrey's and maybe, Kennedy's career.

Nixon, the perfect candidate for 1968, wins easily.
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johnpressman
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Posts: 148
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 06:55:55 pm »

No, a U.S. Presidential Election, with no candidate recieving a majority of votes in the Electoral College, would be decied in the House of Repreesentatives, no the Senate.

With the Democrats having a 247 to 187 majority in 1968, it would be reasonable to predict that Humphrey would have won.  Of course, my prediction would have been a repeat of the Nixon victory, with the Democrats losing votes in the South with RFK on the ticket.  I do not see any states that voted for Nixon or Wallace switching to the Democrats with the addition of RFK to the ticket as VP.
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