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"Hipster" Politicians Thread

Location
somewhere in the multiverse...
Pronouns
she/her
Hey you! Yes you! Are you tired of seeing Clintons in every timeline, universal Kennedys or infinite Bushs?
Tire no longer, for here's a thread for figures who could've become something markedly more! Figures who are lesser-used or obscure and could've had their place in the sun under the correct circumstances, because it's always exciting to use and see new faces. Inspired by a thread over at The Other Place™.

If possible, describing their views and other interesting tidbits is always appreciated. Let's give these poor people some love. I'll start out with a few of my own:

- Jerry Litton - Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. Yes, I know, he's been seeing more action recently (most prominently in Enigma-Conundrum's excellent and pulpy The Beaten Path) but seldom elsewhere. Born into a Depression-era tiny town without electricity, Litton got involved with Symington's '60 run before finding fortune in the cattle business. He then ran and won a House seat in '72, becoming most famous for his TV show Dialogues with Litton in which he sought to increase government transparency (perfect material to get to know the guy, he had interviews with Humphrey and Carter). He then ran in the Senate primary to succeed Symington in '76 before cruelly dying in a plane crash along with most of his family on their way to a celebration. Endlessly witty, personable, and the perfect foil to the whole tax-and-spend liberal image, Litton would be viable presidential material anytime from 1980 onwards if his tragic death is prevented.

- Tom McCall - More of a hipster third-party candidate than a hipster president, but I digress. Former Governor of Oregon from 1967-75, a Republican with a fiercely independent streak (famously being the first Republican governor to call for Tricky Dick's resignation) and 1970s zeitgeist made manifest. BClick wrote an excellent thread here about how he mulled over creating a third party in the era of Watergate. He strikes me as a Jerry Brown type figure with the environmentalism and such, albeit on the other side of the aisle and without all the downsides being Jerry Brown entails.

- Peter Navarro - One of my personal favorites. He's most infamous today as Trump's Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy and before that as a fringe anti-China economist, but Navarro tried his hand at a few races in the 1990s, from Mayor of San Diego to a House seat. The fun part about Navarro is how much of a loose cannon he is, going from a Democrat to nonpartisan to Republican to nonpartisan again to Democrat again, you get the picture. He's described himself as both "proud to be carrying the Clinton-Gore banner" and as "a Reagan Democrat abandoned by (his) party." The only constant about him that I can discern is this strong pro-working class, socially progressive nature. He's a great pick for an outsider, anti-establishment populist candidate for either party, although his baggage - namely his abrasive, uncompromising, and generally unconventional nature - would likely make a Navarro presidency just generally miserable for all involved.

- Guy Vander Jagt - Republican Representative from that part of Michigan that seems to churn out politicians with Dutch surnames en masse for some reason. Described by both Nixon and Reagan as the best orator they ever met (the Gipper once joked that he feared having to follow him to a podium as POTUS), delivered the '80 RNC keynote entirely from memory and tried a run for House Minority Leader that same year. If he had won, he could've easily become a prominent Congressional Republican and set himself up for a run in '88 or so. Alternatively makes a solid running mate for Republicans from the 1970s onwards.

I've got plenty more, but I'll save it for now. Excited to see what unfamiliar faces get conjured up, especially for times and places I'm not too familiar with (read: not midcentury American politics) :^)
 
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Erinthecute

Member
Location
Australia
Pronouns
she/her
- Gustav Heinemann: far from obscure, but too interesting not to mention. Heinemann was a progressive Protestant and a stringent anti-fascist from the Rhineland. A liberal in his youth, he once overheard Hitler speaking at a beer hall in Munich in 1920 and was kicked out after interrupting to challenge his antisemitism. Post-war, he had a long and prolific career: as president of the General Synod of Protestant Churches; as an early figure in the Christian Democratic Union, which he supported for its interdenominational outlook, and briefly Interior Minister under Adenauer; as the leader of the progressive, pacifist, and short-lived All-German People's Party; as a lawyer who defended religious minorities and conscientious objectors; and then as a prominent member of the Social Democratic Party, helping to expand the party's base. However, Heinemann is best known as President of Germany from 1969 to 1974, where he built an approachable and kind image, encouraged the exercise of democratic freedoms by citizens, and promoted social justice and tolerance. For these reasons, he was highly popular among students and the New Left. Already aged 70 upon entering office, he chose not to run for a second term, and left office in 1974. He died a celebrated figure two years later. While he ultimately ended up President late in life, his career could have gone many ways.

- Alfred Loritz: a conservative Bavarian Catholic in the post-war era, Loritz founded the Economic Reconstruction Union, unwieldy in both name and ideological orientation. A right-populist but lacking Nazi sympathies, Loritz strongly supported Denazification and federalism, and promoted Bavarian interests and identity. His demagoguery and rhetoric sparked fears of a "second Hitler" among some, but what Loritz had in popular appeal he made up for in lack of real political talent. His party won 14.4% of Bavarian votes in the inaugural Bundestag election, but most of its new representatives defected in the following years. He found new allies, but they too left him; this continued until he fell into relative obscurity by the mid-1950s. Of course, his fortunes didn't have to go that way.

- Regine Hildebrandt: an East German biologist and opposition activist who was a prominent Social Democrat throughout the 1990s. She took up a position on the party's moderate left, putting an eastern twist on the traditions of her political heroes such as Willy Brandt. She briefly served as Minister for Labour and Social Affairs in the de Maiziére cabinet, but resigned along with her party colleagues when the coalition broke down. After reunification, she became a popular and prominent member of the SPD, known nationwide for her kind but strong-willed attitude; she was dubbed "Mother Courage" by the media. In 1996 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and as her health worsened, she resigned from the Brandenburg state government while remaining politically active. She pushed for a coalition with the Party of Democratic Socialism over the Christian Democrats after the 1999 state election, though she was ultimately unsuccessful. Opinion polls in 1999 and 2001 showed that she was the most popular candidate for the SPD national executive, though her health prevented her from running. With the peak of her career seemingly still ahead of her, Hildebrandt died in 2001, aged 60.
 

Hendryk

Nothing ever ends
Published by SLP
Location
France
In 1940, one of the co-founders of the America First Committee alongside a youthful Gerald Ford was Yale Law School student R. Douglas Stuart Jr., heir of the Quaker Oats business. He would later become active in the Republican Party and served as ambassador to Norway under Reagan. In different circumstances he could embrace a full-time political career and become president material by the late 1960s.
 

Bonniecanuck

DIEF WILL BE THE CHIEF AGAIN
Location
Hong Kong, now and forever home
Pronouns
she/her + they/them
Paul Hellyer - OH boy, where to begin with him. Served as Minister of Defence in the Pearson cabinet and oversaw the merger of the Canadian military's three service branches into a single Canadian Forces. Ran for Liberal Party leadership in 1968 and even placed second on the first ballot. He then served as Transport Minister under Trudeau but left the cabinet and eventually the Grits altogether over housing policy. Afterwards he was invited by Stanfield to join the Progressive Conservatives, but lost his seat in the 1974 general election and discredited himself in the 1976 leadership election after calling Red Tories un-conservative. He then returned to the Liberals in the 1980s before forming the anti-globalisation Canadian Action Party in the 90s, and tried in vain to absorb the NDP. These days he blathers on about UFOs and Martians. Oh, and he's still the longest serving member of the Privy Council, beating out Prince Philip by a month or so.

George Ignatieff - Father of the Michael Ignatieff himself, yet rendered to obscurity by everyone who's neither a foreign policy nerd nor a student of Trinity College at the University of Toronto. He joined the Department of External Affairs during the Second World War and was acquainted with Vincent Massey and Lester Pearson, both rising stars in the diplomatic sphere, and was Pearson's closest confidant when the latter served as Secretary of State for External Affairs. Their most memorable episode was when they visited the USSR for trade talks and out-drank Khrushchev and other Soviet functionaries during an overnight meeting in Yalta, 18 shots of vodka each, and managed to return to their residences without puking more than once or twice while their opponents practically fell unconscious. Afterwards Ignatieff served as Canada's Permanent Representative to NATO and Ambassador to the United Nations, and chaired the UNSC in the 1968-69 session. Considered an ideal candidate for the position of Governor-General, but considering the path that not only Pearson but also other prospective diplomats turned elected politicians like Bob Rae took, it's not hard to see him entering Parliament.
 

napoleon IV

Khanstitutional Amendment
Location
Washington, Douglass Commonwealth
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he/him
There's a lot of hipster picks to succeed Stalin, but probably the ultimate example (I've literally never seen him used) is Nikolai Yezhov. Yezhov is ignored as a potential successor because of the perception that he was a mere tool, brought to power by Stalin to purge the country and then disposed of once the job was done. However, historian J. Arch Getty's biography of Yezhov shows that he was in fact a skilled politician and administrator who rose through the ranks largely as a result of his talents rather than patronage. Yezhov was also 100% dedicated to the Stalin and the Party; unlike Beria he was a genuine believer and he really did think that the country was under threat and that the purges were necessary. Getty even speculates that if someone else had become head of the NKVD in 1936 Yezhov could have had a long career as a Politburo grandee.

I'm going to take things a step farther: The POD is that Stalin finds someone else to head the NKVD (the hilariously ironic choice is Beria) and Yezhov ends up somewhere else. In this scenario Yezhov survives the Great Purge and spends the period from 1936-1953 as a top Soviet politician, using his power to build a support base and making himself one of Stalin's key lieutenants. After Stalin's death in 1953 Yezhov is well placed in the ensuing power struggle and eventually becomes paramount leader. Given Yezhov's fanaticism and Manichean worldview he would likely be a Continuity Stalin, with positions including confrontation with the West and Stalinist cultural policies at home (though he would be forced to drop one man rule and terror against interparty opponents, since after Stalin's death there was overwhelming support within the Party for those things to be done away with).
 

Creekmench

A shade of indigo
Pronouns
He/him
There's a lot of hipster picks to succeed Stalin, but probably the ultimate example (I've literally never seen him used) is Nikolai Yezhov. Yezhov is ignored as a potential successor because of the perception that he was a mere tool, brought to power by Stalin to purge the country and then disposed of once the job was done. However, historian J. Arch Getty's biography of Yezhov shows that he was in fact a skilled politician and administrator who rose through the ranks largely as a result of his talents rather than patronage. Yezhov was also 100% dedicated to the Stalin and the Party; unlike Beria he was a genuine believer and he really did think that the country was under threat and that the purges were necessary. Getty even speculates that if someone else had become head of the NKVD in 1936 Yezhov could have had a long career as a Politburo grandee.

I'm going to take things a step farther: The POD is that Stalin finds someone else to head the NKVD (the hilariously ironic choice is Beria) and Yezhov ends up somewhere else. In this scenario Yezhov survives the Great Purge and spends the period from 1936-1953 as a top Soviet politician, using his power to build a support base and making himself one of Stalin's key lieutenants. After Stalin's death in 1953 Yezhov is well placed in the ensuing power struggle and eventually becomes paramount leader. Given Yezhov's fanaticism and Manichean worldview he would likely be a Continuity Stalin, with positions including confrontation with the West and Stalinist cultural policies at home (though he would be forced to drop one man rule and terror against interparty opponents, since after Stalin's death there was overwhelming support within the Party for those things to be done away with).
I can see only two paths from this USSR, it either getting nuked to pieces or turning into North Korea on the Eurasian Steppe.
 

Nofix

We ain't had no time to drink that beer.
Gonna repost some entries from AH:

Maybe not as a President, but Claude Raymond Wickard could have been a powerful Senator. He was FDR's Agriculture Secretary after Wallace (1940-1945), and Truman's Chief of the Rural Electrification Administration (1945-1953). He ran for the Senate seat in Indiana, 1956, losing 55.2-44.4 to incumbent Republican Homer E. Capehart. If Eisehower didn't run in 1956, or any other combination of events that gave him an indirect advantage, he might have done better and could have built up power and seniority in the Senate, kind of like his successor as Secretary of Agriculture.

---

Charles Seymour Whitman was kind of like Thomas Dewey a good two decades before Thomas Dewey became big. As a New York County DA he made high profile prosecutions of criminal elements (some within the City Police, and that of a murderous priest). Elected as Governor in 1914 and 1916, he narrowly lost to Al Smith in 1918. If he had won against him in that year, he could have positioned himself as a choice in 1920 (if he were so inclined to serve).

Also, as an interesting tidbit, "his grandson, John R. Whitman, married Christine Todd, who went on to be a Republican Governor of New Jersey and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency."

---

Joseph Patrick Monaghan. Elected as the Representative for Montana's first district at the age of 26, he served two terms (1933-1937) and ran for Senate in 1936. He narrowly lost the primary (44,956 votes to incumbent James Murray's 47,154), and ran in the general as an Independent candidate. He drew a respectable 17% of the vote, finishing third behind Murray and the Republican candidate, but getting less votes (39,655) then in the primary. His political career was dead at 30. He tried running again in 1964, in a primary against Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield of all people, but lost in a 85%-15% landslide.

If he had won in the 1936 primary, he could, potentially, have served far beyond Murray (who died in 1961). Possibly into the 1970's or even 1980's. Of course that all hinged on his political ability and acumen, something that wikipedia does little to enlighten upon. Still, long serving Congressman from small (or empty in Montana's case) states tended to build up power and seniority, letting them punch far above their weight and make them powerful legislative figures. Unknown if he'd ever try for President, or be tapped for Vice-President.

---

Even thou he isn't a Washington insider, maybe Tony Knowles [for Obama's Vice-Presidential pick in 2008] in a world where he won the 2004 Alaskan Senate race (lost 48.6% to 45.6% to Lisa Murkowski, giving him 8 years as Governor and 4 as Senator) or the 2006 gubernatorial race (which he lost 48.3% to 41.0% against Sarah Palin, giving him a cumulative 10 years as Governor)? Alaska is a pretty small state (population wise), and I don't know how popular or charismatic he is overall (winning like 2 out of 5 statewide elections). He might appeal to western voters, but it might be a big gamble for little pay off (especially given how bad VP picks tend to lose votes, but good ones don't gain them).
 

Catalunya

Well-known member
Let me just throw a few Turkish names in here.

- Ertuğrul Kürkçü: The fact that he is the honorary president of the majority Kurdish party despite being Turkish himself really says enough about how respectable of a person he is. Unfortunately the former revolutionary is more known as a meme these day because of the fight he had with Maoist turned Vanguardist and defendant in a court battle against the state of Switzerland Doğu Perinçek. He is one of the vert few names in Turkish history that could have united the Turkish and Kurdish left. Maybe in a more civil and caring Turkey he could have been president.

EDIT: Just remembered that he is the sole survivor of the Revolutionary Youth. His two higher-ups (Marxist-Leninist Mahir Çayan and Turkish Che Deniz Gezmiş) were slain by the Turkish army. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, later lowered to 14, and translated Das Kapital to Turkish during that time.

- Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu: Leader of the Nationalist-Islamist Great Union Party which formed after a seperation from the MHP in the 90s with his allies and formed their own party. If they were a bit luckier they could have both becomen the main ultranationalist party in the 90s and also halt the rise of Islamist parties like the Welfare party and the AKP. If they came into power in the early 2000s instead of Erdoğan we would have the Turkish-Islamist synthesis much earlier.

- Zülfü Livaneli: Author, poet, composer, politician, human rights activist and former political dissident for most of the most 70s and 80s. Livaneli is known as one of the most cultured men in Turkey and was the first major CHP member to break with party leader Baykal for his authoritarianism and shift to the centre. He himself ran for Istanbul mayor in 1994 and only lost by 5% to a certain dictator who is still in power.

- Ilhan Kesici: came in second in that election and is another interesting shout as he could very well have led a secular centre-right party by now if Turkey was a more democratic country.

- Ertuğrul Günay: one of the few Turkish politicians who indentified with the Muslim Left. He was also a founding member of the AKP and served as Minister of Tourism until 2013. Definitely had the potential to carve out a niche voting base, but was instead used and later on spat out by Erdoğan.

- Bülent Arınç: Erdoğan’s number two until 2015 when they had a break up. If Erdoğan was not allowed to re-enter politics in 2002 we’d have to deal with Arınç instead. An absolute son of a bitch who would have been no better than the dictator. Famously criticized women for laughing out loud and stating that if their husbands are not around “they go on vacations with their lovers and pole dance when they see a man”.

- Melih Gökçek: Erdoğan through a glass darkly. The former mayor of Ankara entered national fame at the same point as the dictator and was for a time touted as a potential leader of the Islamist Welfare Party. Everybody realized that Gökçek is incredibly corrupt and just batshit insane though. Was the mayor of Ankara for more than 2 decades until he caved in to Erdoğan’s pressure. When the opposition won the mayorship back last year they found out that he had bought so many Jetski’s that they had to hire several storage places. Most of them weren’t even ever used. Also started building several theme parks throughout the city, but never finished the one. Also built dumb statues.

41328CEF-04FA-4B7E-A265-3D06EDFF29B7.jpeg
 
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Yokai Man

Well-known member
Let me just throw a few Turkish names in here.

- Ertuğrul Kürkçü: The fact that he is the honorary president of the majority Kurdish party despite being Turkish himself really says enough about how respectable of a person he is. Unfortunately the former revolutionary is more known as a meme these day because of the fight he had with Maoist turned Vanguardist and defendant in a court battle against the state of Switzerland Doğu Perinçek. He is one of the vert few names in Turkish history that could have united the Turkish and Kurdish left. Maybe in a more civil and caring Turkey he could have been president.

- Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu: Leader of the Nationalist-Islamist Great Union Party which formed after a seperation from the MHP in the 90s with his allies and formed their own party. If they were a bit luckier they could have both becomen the main ultranationalist party in the 90s and also halt the rise of Islamist parties like the Welfare party and the AKP. If they came into power in the early 2000s instead of Erdoğan we would have the Turkish-Islamist synthesis much earlier.

- Zülfü Livaneli: Author, poet, composer, politician, human rights activist and human rights activist. Livaneli is known as one of the most cultured men in Turkey and was the first major CHP member to break with party leader Baykal for his authoritarianism and shift to the centre. He himself ran for Istanbul mayor in 1994 and only lost by 5% to a certain dictator who is still in power.

- Ilhan Kesici: came in second in that election is another interesting shout as he could very well have led a secular centre-right party by now if Turkey was a more democratic country.

- Ertuğrul Günay: one of the few Turkish politicians who indentified with the Muslim Left. He was also a founding member of the AKP and served as Minister of Tourism until 2013. Definitely had the potential to carve out a niche voting base, but was instead and used and spat out by Erdoğan.

- Bülent Arınç: Erdoğan’s number two until 2015 when they had a break up. If Erdoğan was not allowed to re-enter politics in 2002 we’d have to deal with Arınç instead. An absolute son of a bitch who would have been no better than the dictator. Famously criticized women for laughing out loud and stating that if their husbands are not around “they go on vacations with their lovers and pole dance when they see a man”.

- Melih Gökçek: Erdoğan through a glass darkly. The former mayor of Ankara entered national fame at the same point as the dictator and was for a time touted as a potential leader of the Islamist Welfare Party. Everybody realized that Gökçek is incredibly corrupt and just batshit insane though. Was the mayor of Ankara for more than 2 decades until he caved in to Erdoğan’s pressure. When the opposition won the mayorship back last year they found out that he had bought so many Jetski’s that they had to hire several storage places. Most of them weren’t even ever used. Also started building several theme parks throughout the city, but never finished the one. Also build dumb statues.

View attachment 25746
That Islamist Turkish Mecha statue is one hell of a concept though and I’m kinda glad it exists
 

Indicus

<insert title here>
Location
Trawno
Pronouns
he/him
To toss in some Indian politicians:

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee: A Hindu nationalist politician, and the founder of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Jana Sangh (the predecessor of the BJP). He served as a cabinet minister in the unity cabinet of the Constituent Assembly. He was strongly opposed to Jammu and Kashmir's Article 370 autonomy when it came out, and he stated, "Ek desh mein do vidhan, do pradhan aur do nishan nahi chalenge" ("In one country two laws, two prime ministers, and two flags will not work"), which is a Hindu nationalist slogan to this day. In opposition he made protests, and after a law was enacted establishing ID cards in Jammu and Kashmir in 1953, he went there to go on hunger strike, but he was arrested for crossing the border into the state illegally without a permit. He died in jail; he had deep health problems, but many claim that he was assassinated by the government of Jammu and Kashmir. More recently, his name has been invoked over the abrogation of Article 370.

Deendayal Upadhaya: A Hindu nationalist politician who, in the aftermath of Indian independence, tried to make the Jana Sangh electorally viable by creating the ideology of integral humanism, an ideology similar to Gandhianism while also including Hindu nationalist thought; this ideology enabled Hindu nationalists to claim to be Gandhians, which enabled their inclusion in protests such as the JP movement. He later died in 1968, with his body found in a train station; what perhaps occurred was that he was robbed and thrown off the train.

Balraj Madhok: A Hindu nationalist politician who headed the Jan Sangh to its largely successful result in the 1967 election, but he was sidelined in the 1970s by Vajpayee and later died in obscurity in 2016.

J.B. Kripalani: A Gandhian politician, who became a notable member of the Indian independence movement from the 1920s onwards. He later split from the Congress party after independence, joining the Socialist Party which later joined the Praja Socialist Party. He was an avowed critic of Nehru, and oddly enough his own wife remained a member of the Congress party (and was also an MP). As he grew older, he became more of a figurehead, and was notable in the JP movement protests. He was arrested in 1975 during the Emergency, but lived to see its end and died in 1982. It's a staggeringly long political career.

Ram Manohar Lohia: A socialist politician, who made his name during the independence movement. He was a fugitive during the Quit India movement of the 1940s, arrested in 1944 and released in 1946. Almost immediately afterwards he went to Goa to protest Portuguese rule there, and was arrested again, which gave him much attention. He later joined the Socialist Party, spearheading his split from the Congress party, and served as its leader and prototypical of anti-Congress socialism. He died in 1967.

Bhim Singh: Oh, where to begin. He was born an aristocrat in Jammu and Kashmir, and later was a student political leader, going to jail in 1953 for throwing confectionary at Jammu and Kashmir's head of government Sheikh Abdullah. He was involved in the Jammu protests of 1966 for the creation of a local university, where four people died, and later in 1967 he left India to go motorcycling in the Sahara, becoming the first person to motorcycle across it. He met Yasser Arafat along the way, becoming friends with him. Later he went back to India, splitting from the Congress party in 1982 to make his own Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, where he served as something of a dissident candidate, getting arrested loads of times for a variety of reasons. Later, during the trial of Saddam Hussein, he attempted to serve as his defence lawyer, though he was blocked. He also was a Gaddhafi supporter. He is still an active politician to this day in the National Panthers Party.

Meira Kumar: An Indian National Congress politician and the daughter of the great Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram. She served in the Indian Foreign Service in the 1970s before being brought into the Congress party in 1985, despite her father having split from the Congress party. In her first election, she faced experienced Dalit leaders Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati, beating them both to become an MP. She went on to serve as a cabinet minister in Manmohan Singh's government and ran in the 2017 presidential election as the Congress candidate. She is still the Congress party's most major Dalit leader. There's some major AH potential here - no doubt, in a TL where Jagjivan Ram became PM like he always wanted, Meira Kumar's career would be much bolstered.

Karan Singh: He was the crown prince of Jammu and Kashmir and later served as its Sadr-i-Riyasat ("head of state", effectively its governor) after its accession, from 1952 to 1967. He later resigned to become a cabinet minister, and when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared the end of stipends to ex-monarchs like him, he voluntarily surrendered it. During the Emergency, he was sidelined by Sanjay Gandhi, and when Congress split after its 1977 defeat, he joined the anti-Indira splitters. He subsequently was a member of many minor parties till 2000, when he joined the Congress party again. He is still alive to this day, despite his political career extending 70 years. More recently, he stated that he wanted to become Prime Minister or President, and laments being sidelined by Sanjay Gandhi.
 
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Location
somewhere in the multiverse...
Pronouns
she/her
Ah, 1976. Helluva year. The bicentennial election's a favorite of mine, if only for how many ways one can bend and twist it with the lack of a clear Democratic frontrunner. Usually in alternate history, in lieu of everyone's favorite peanut-farming trainwreck, it seems like Scoop, Moonbeam, or less commonly Mo or Bayh get the nomination. This got me thinking, who would've made a perfect liberal candidate for most everyone to rally around this cycle?

Enter stage left: John J. Gilligan. Born into a humble Irish Catholic family in Cincinnati, Gilligan was a WWII vet and a university teacher before serving a single term as a Representative and then succeeding Jim Rhodes to serve as Governor of the Buckeye State. In 1974 - the post-Watergate midterms, mind you - he was dethroned by Rhodes with a >12,000 vote margin. It's not inconceivable that flipping this razor-thin election would put Gilligan in the top tier of '76 candidates. A witty, liberal outsider governor of a Republican-leaning swing state? He'd clean house!

Here lies the problem with Gilligan - he has a Bidenesque mouth and a Palinesque temperament, shall we say. In response to a reporter's innocuous question on if he wanted to shear sheep at the state fair, Gilligan cracked "I shear taxpayers, not sheep." In another oft-cited incident, he once claimed to have seen a UFO while driving in Michigan. Yes, really. As such, along with his tax-and-spend liberal image and grand total of two electoral victories, I'm a bit skeptical of how well a Gilligan campaign would turn out in actuality. Hence why he alternatively makes for a good disaster candidate if you want a different naïve, gaffe-prone governor not named Jimmy or Jerry for that year.

On an interesting side note, if you're interested in alternate political dynasties, his daughter Kathleen would work great for a Gilligan timeline if she were to stay back home and follow in her father's footsteps. How many timelines do you know have a father-daughter presidential duo?
 

M_Kresal

I am nerd, hear me bore.
Published by SLP
Location
North Alabama
Ah, 1976. Helluva year. The bicentennial election's a favorite of mine, if only for how many ways one can bend and twist it with the lack of a clear Democratic frontrunner. ...

In another oft-cited incident, he once claimed to have seen a UFO while driving in Michigan. Yes, really.
To be fair, BOTH of the eventual 1976 candidates had an interest and history with the UFO topic. And another candidate that year, Reagan, had a publicized UFO sighting of his own.
 

Catalunya

Well-known member
Ah, 1976. Helluva year. The bicentennial election's a favorite of mine, if only for how many ways one can bend and twist it with the lack of a clear Democratic frontrunner. Usually in alternate history, in lieu of everyone's favorite peanut-farming trainwreck, it seems like Scoop, Moonbeam, or less commonly Mo or Bayh get the nomination. This got me thinking, who would've made a perfect liberal candidate for most everyone to rally around this cycle?

Enter stage left: John J. Gilligan. Born into a humble Irish Catholic family in Cincinnati, Gilligan was a WWII vet and a university teacher before serving a single term as a Representative and then succeeding Jim Rhodes to serve as Governor of the Buckeye State. In 1974 - the post-Watergate midterms, mind you - he was dethroned by Rhodes with a >12,000 vote margin. It's not inconceivable that flipping this razor-thin election would put Gilligan in the top tier of '76 candidates. A witty, liberal outsider governor of a Republican-leaning swing state? He'd clean house!

Here lies the problem with Gilligan - he has a Bidenesque mouth and a Palinesque temperament, shall we say. In response to a reporter's innocuous question on if he wanted to shear sheep at the state fair, Gilligan cracked "I shear taxpayers, not sheep." In another oft-cited incident, he once claimed to have seen a UFO while driving in Michigan. Yes, really. As such, along with his tax-and-spend liberal image and grand total of two electoral victories, I'm a bit skeptical of how well a Gilligan campaign would turn out in actuality. Hence why he alternatively makes for a good disaster candidate if you want a different naïve, gaffe-prone governor not named Jimmy or Jerry for that year.

On an interesting side note, if you're interested in alternate political dynasties, his daughter Kathleen would work great for a Gilligan timeline if she were to stay back home and follow in her father's footsteps. How many timelines do you know have a father-daughter presidential duo?
Someone on the other place actually wrote a TL a couple years back where they both ended up becoming president.
 

Walpurgisnacht

Anglo Fandango
Location
Banned from the forum
Pronouns
He/Him
So, let's look at the classic* scenario of Albert Speer's Nazi Germany. TLs where Speer succeeds to the Fuhrership can go one of two ways: they can have Speer reform away all the bad bits of fascism, or they can be remotely historically accurate.

For the second, good version, where Speer either maintains the rotten structure of Nazism or, even worse, stabilises it, I've noticed that there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of suggested Speer successors. The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are his son (unlikely) and Werner Von Braun (why would he want to do this). Allow me to put forward a potential option: Hans Schleyer.

A former SS officer who in OTL lied about his seniority to escape trial, he met his end on this day 43 years ago and 29 years too late, at the hands of the Red Army Faction. The main reason I suggest him is because he wouldn't be a complete geriatric by the time Speer perished (well, 65 is a bit old but it's not like he's Andropov), and was demonstrably successful in his endeavours, becoming head of the Federation of German Industries. Under everyone's favourite technocratic worm, an analogous position would be pretty important.
 
Location
somewhere in the multiverse...
Pronouns
she/her
For a mildly dystopian U.S. President, it's hard to pass up Mississippi Senator James Oliver Eastland. A truly contemptuous figure (he once praised Rhodesia as an exemplum of "racial harmony"), the bespectacled and openly white supremacist Eastland was part of a generation of Dixiecrat congressmen that, if they weren't dying along the way, were aging into the upper ranks of Senate seniority in the Seventies.

I think you can start seeing where I'm bringing this.

Eastland served as President Pro Tempore from '72 until his retirement in '78, putting him right behind Speaker Albert in the line of succession. This means that he was only a couple of heartbeats away from occupying the hot seat itself for two stretches of time: the months between Agnew's resignation and Ford's inauguration as Vice President, and subsequently the months from the latter's inauguration as President to Rockefeller's confirmation as VP. Any number of variables - say, Nixon growing ill and dying from his phlebitis or a conveniently placed Manson family adherent - would get him a notch closer. And given Albert's own record of alcoholism and corruption, it's not inconceivable to have him leave as soon as he came. Imagine how damaging it would be to national stability if worse came to worst...

Granted, it's a bit tricky to have all this all work out given that Albert came up with a contingency plan for this exact scenario and how it all relies on a series of unfortunate events in a very short timeframe. The only two timelines I've seen deal with such a scenario (aside from the odd POTUS list both here and on The Other Place™) have been A Very Bad Year and the aborted Eastland Rises Over Westland.
 

Nofix

We ain't had no time to drink that beer.
If they're an American politician and they don't have a wikipedia page, then they're a hipster pick in my opinion.

Craig Barnes is one of those. Peace Activist, desegregationist, founder of Colorado Common Cause, and in 1970 he primaried out a conservative Democratic congressman from Colorado who had served for two decades, only to lose in the general election. He never ran for office again, despite losing at the age of 34 and having plenty of chances to do so. I could see him making a run for Governor in 1974, serving two or three terms, and making a run for President in 1988 as the western candidate. He might not win the general election, or even the Democratic primary, but he could probably do better than Gary Hart.
 

Time Enough

New Left Wing Political Queers-Micheal Moran
Pronouns
He/Him
Patrick Haggerty is always a good shout if you want a fun independent left wing Washington based Congressmen or something to quote;
After disbanding Lavender Country in 1976, Haggerty ran two unsuccessful campaigns for political office, once for Seattle City Council and once as an independent candidate for a seat in the Washington House of Representatives,[8] and continued to work as a gay rights and anti-racism activist.[8]
He was also the lead singer of the Gay themed Country band, Lavender Country which...would be a funny combo.
 
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