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President Johnson:
I'm starting a new what-if timeline in the weeks and months to follow. The idea came to my mind these days. Interstingly during a shopping trip.

All starts on March 31, 1968; the fateful day when LBJ announced that he would not run for president again. Everything to this day remains to same, but then the president makes another decision.

Enjoy reading and feel free to comment.


Chapter 1: The year 1968

March 31, 1968. President Lyndon B. Johnson addresses the nation.



President Johnson during his address to the nation from the Oval Office, March 31, 1968


THE PRESIDENT: "Good evening, my fellow Americans: Tonight I want to speak to you of peace in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. [Ö]

With America's sons in the fields far away, with America's future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world's hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do believe that it is in the vital interest of the nation and our fighting men in Vietnam, the they know that the present leadership is behind them. That they can depend on their president and the entire administration. There should also be no confusion abroad. Our allies should know that we stand to our commitments and our advisories should know that we are going to proceed our policy towards seeking and promoting freedom, while we will continue and intensify our diplomatic efforts Ė just as I have outlined in this address.

Accordingly, I hereby declare that I will seek the nomination of the Democratic Party and your support for another term as your president. I made this decision with a deep commitment to serve our nation and to continue the polices we have begun. To finish our mission, here at home by building a Great Society and abroad to promote freedom and democracy. This is why I ask for you continued support. Support, that you have given me since I assumed this awesome responsibility four and a half years ago, when our late president John Fitzgerald Kennedy was struck down.

Thank you for listening, good night and god bless all of you."


Statement by the Richard Nixon presidential campaign, April 1, 1968:

Mr. Nixon welcomes the entering of President Lyndon Johnson into the race for the White House. We will continue to reach out to the American people and make the case that we have the better solutions to fix our nationís problems. The crime rate is too high, disrespect for law and order is devastating and the ongoing war in Vietnam is a stalemate. While thousands of our boys die in battle, the standing of the United States in world has declined. Mr. Nixon offers this country a fresh and new approach the end the war with honor, restore law and order here at home and improve life conditions of every American. The Democrats under the leadership of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson have led to the problems we currently face and therefore we need a new direction. Mr. Nixon is ready to lead this nation towards a more prosperous and peaceful future.


Democratic presidential candidates Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy have not reacted to the presidentís announcement as of April 1.


Gallup National Polls, released on April 2, 1968:

Democratic nomination:

Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson: 43%
Sen. Robert F. Kenndy: 37%
Sen. Eugene McCarthy: 15%
Undecided/other: 5%

Republican nomination:

Fmr. Vice-Pres. Richard Nixon: 47%
Gov. Nelson Rockefeller: 23%
Gov. Ronald Reagan: 20%
Undecided/other: 10%


General election, nationwide:

Lyndon B. Johnson (D, inc.): 46%
Richard Nixon (R): 45%

Lyndon B. Johnson (D, inc.): 45%
Nelson Rockefeller (R): 45%

Lyndon B. Johnson (D, inc.): 47%
Ronald Reagan (R): 43%



Robert F. Kennedy (D): 46%
Richard Nixon (R): 46%

Robert F. Kennedy (D): 45%
Nelson Rockefeller (R): 44%

Robert F. Kennedy (D): 45%
Ronald Reagan (R): 44%



Next: The spring primaries and the road towards the National Conventions

Devout Centrist:
Call for a bombing halt on North Vietnam! Imprison Anna Chennault! President Johnson ‹ber Alles!

NHI:
This looks promising!!

Kingpoleon:
Of all the liberals from this time period....

In all seriousness, I'm not sure how someone can be a great admirer of Ford and LBJ at the same time, as their personalities and governing styles were near exact opposites. However, good luck to LBJ, and maybe he'll be a better person ITTL.

President Johnson:
I just can tell this: It doesn't end with LBJ ;)

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