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Spaghetti Shenanigans Starring Riley

Into The Carterverse #23 (Muldoon vs Moyle)
(this essentially serves as a treat to me after writing about American politics, so for today I switch back to what the hell has been going on in my own country)

Into the CarterKiwiverse

Muldoon vs Moyle

Robert Muldoon had been Prime Minister of New Zealand for 9 Years. After winning a surprising victory in 1975 and then losing the popular vote in 1978 and 1981 he had clung on to the prime ministership despite being wildly controversial. By 1984 dissenters in his caucus with a 1 seat thin majority were beginning to show themselves. MP Marylin Waring voted against the government on Nuclear Free legislation despite efforts from Muldoon to influence her otherwise at fear of appearing to lose his caucus. During the voting the anti-nuclear legislation passed into law, alongside Ms. Waring Mr. Mike Minogue also crossed the house to vote for the legislation at the last moment having already been opposed to Robert Muldoon's leadership. The immensely restrictive economic of Mr. Muldoon [Constantly exercising state power over the ability to trade and borrowing billions to prop up the overvalued currency] had resulted in division in his own party and his abrasive leadership had annoyed many MPs.

On the night of the 14th of July Robert Muldoon had been enjoying some brandy and dry. National party president Sue Wood had been in the room with him supposedly discussing the possibility of a snap election to her shock. While Muldoon had been privately thinking of the idea for some time he made a decision to call a press conference to call the election. He had only told Mrs. Wood that night despite her being the party president. Wood was opposed to the idea of a snap election which Muldoon knew, giving the reason for his secrecy. According to others in the room Wood and Muldoon had a loud verbal argument as the press were arriving at parliament awaiting the announcement of a snap election. Robert was drunk and ill and could not control his temper resulting in a screaming match. Muldoon tried to leave the room to go talk to the reporters. Sue Wood pulled him back; she tried to go out to the press alone to send them back home. Muldoon chased after her and drunkenly fell to the ground giving Wood enough time to leave the room and shut the door behind her. The short press conference ensued.

Wood: "Good evening everyone. The Prime Minister has been busy with some late night telephone calls but we have just been consulting tonight... He has asked me to tell you all about... a consideration of the extension of the wage and price freeze. The situation that New Zealand is faced with today... is..."

The awkwardness of Wood's speech left reporters puzzled. As Sue Wood was completly making up the content of her speech it took her a few more second to finally master it into something resembling a proper announcement talking about "sacrifices for economic health." Suddenly a loud bang followed by a drunken roar of the Prime Minister was heard behind her. The media cameras had refocused their attention to a disgustingly drunk Rob Muldoon who had tried to run up to the media and failed to turn down the corridor in time resulting in him smacking into the wall. Immediately after about 4 men appeared right behind him and tried to drag him back down the hallway. Sue Wood abandoned the press conference and ran after them. As if it was an impromptu running event the press proceeded to follow Muldoon and Wood down the corridor in a race to capture a picture of the chaos of the behaviour of the drunk Muldoon.

Although Sue Wood had managed to avoid a snap election the Prime Minister had suffered a major national embarrassment as the images of his Drunkeness were broadcast night after night to the general public. Immediately after the incident the National Party caucus met regarding whether to replace the unpopular leader. Bill Birch stood up as a leadership contender. However, he lost a caucus vote by a slim margin.

On the other side of the House, after barley losing 1978 and 1981 the leader Bill Rowling had decided to retire. He'd lead the party since the death of Prime Minister Norman Kirk in 1974 and barely won a leadership challenge against David Lange of the "fish and chip brigade." His resignation seemed initially as if it was going to be a coronation for David Lange. Lange's neoliberal ideas battled against Robert Muldoon's policies of heavy state control but inevitably unpopular with Labour's traditional supporters of socialist policy. But instead of a coronation the leadership contest was in fact the beginning of one of the most surprising comeback stories in New Zealand history.

Colin Moyle first came into parliament in 1963 and was a very popular Minister of Agriculture under Norman Kirk and Bill Rowling. He had respect from National and Rural voters. He had joined the Labour party at age 16 and been involved with youth socialist and labour organizations. He supported the heavy subsidies that New Zealand gave to farming and supported Māori fishing rights in-line with the Waitangi tribunal. He had been seen as a strong leadership contender for a long time. That was until 1977 when the Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon himself, had brought up allegations in parliament of homosexual activities by police and mocked Moyle's mannerisms as "effeminate." The accusation of Moyle being a homosexual [Made even more scandalous considering he had a wife and a son] forced him to resign. He never denied nor accepted the allegations but he did say that the whole thing made him sick. His seat was ironically won by David Lange and he returned to farming for 4 more years until being elected to parliament again in 1981. With Muldoon already unpopular he stood for leader, keen to get back at him for ruining his political career.

Moyle's boarder appeal to voters made him the favourite among the caucus and he was elected as leader. His popularity made Labour open a wide lead over National in the polls even before 1984s Missteps by Muldoon. Muldoon's anti-free market policies had also attracted opposition from the right of New Zealand. Bob Jones a former supporter of Muldoon founded the New Zealand party in late 1983 as a economically free market party. In the run up to the 1984 election it saw support in the opinion polls as high as 20% rivalling the National party. Bob Jones' anti-pc style was very controversial and the party was despised by the left-wing.

Muldoon still wanted to call a snap election but needed time to politically recover from his drunken antics on national television which meant that the election would occur at its usual time. The short campaign (decided on by Muldoon) would feature a large amount of Television coverage including 2 head to head debates of Muldoon vs Moyle and another with all 4 major leaders (demanded by Moyle). Moyle was strong on ambitious promises of spending and investment in ridiculous amounts of infrastructure, to overhaul superannuation, take on more debt to prop up the currency, and introduce a wealth tax. An Ambitious plan to save New Zealand from its fortress economy by growing fast and taking risks. Muldoon campaigned on economic stability with occasional jabs at Moyle over his 1977 scandal. Opinion polls showed that Moyle was preferred PM by about 55% of the country while Muldoon sat on about 12%, furthermore opinion polls showed that only about 25% of the public said that the Moyle Affair accusations was an impact on their voting preference. Before the debates Labour had 45% of the vote to National's 25% with the NZ Party and Socred at 10%.

Moyle thrashed Muldoon in all debates being declared the winner. In the multi-party debate the Muldoon bashing was joined by Bob Jones which cleaned up National support just before the election. One of the most iconic lines from the debates occurred at the final 1v1 debate where Robert Muldoon said confusingly "I love you Mr. Moyle." Some accused it of being another dig at the Moyle affair, others thought that it was a line of concession that Muldoon thought that the election campaign was unsalvageable.


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1984 NZ Election Box.png
It was a wipeout, the largest landslide in New Zealand history. Labour won 88.42% of Parliamentary seats, the largest percentage of seats won by a single party, ever. Prime Minister Muldoon lost his own seat of Tamaki to Labour's Robin Tulloch. the NZ party managed to win one seat but Labour's massive strength meant that even when the NZ party gained second place they were far behind Labour. This was the case in Ōhāriu where Bob Jones far surpassed the National candidate but was beat out by Labour. Social Credits percentage was halved from 1981 but because of National's collapse they managed to win an extra seat.

The immense scale of the win for Labour showed that Colin Moyle definitely had a mandate. As a side effect, the large amount of Rural MPs now meant that Moyle's precious farming subsidies would be safe from being abolished at risk of party revolt. It also meant that even rural regions preferred Labours ambitious plans. For Robert "Piggy" Muldoon the game had been lost, horribly, and for national it was back to the drawing board.
 
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This is actual peak comedy. You have to wonder how the caucus didn't force Muldoon out or otherwise make him to take a long, long nap before election day. All hail the Moyleslide.
When it came to replacing Muldoon there were alot of competing personalities, Bill Birch was a comprimise between them all which meant it just didnt happen. They couldnt really try again because the nation knew that they already wanted Rob gone but that if they tried again theyd devolve into chaos just before an eletion

And yes I agree, All hail to emperor Moyle
 
Into The Carterverse #24 (Afgani Accounting Anxiety)
Into the Carterverse
Afgani Accounting Anxiety


Walter Mondale was sworn in as president on January 20th 1985, Well officially at least, the actual public ceremony took place the next day. The preceding day was extremely cold 7 degrees (-14 in Celsius) in the capitol and proceedings had to be postponed. The swearing in of the first ever female vice president in Dianne Feinstein was a highly watched event on Television.

The New, more liberal administration had a legacy of Carter to carry out. Despite being the president Mondale had limited influence over congress. With a high number of democrats in congress being southern and conservative Mondale would not have free reign over the whole caucus, but because the house caucus was so big and diverse politically he figured he had some room to push his agenda there, with 61 senate democrats it also seemed as if Mondale had plenty of chances.

Decarbonization was a priority for the new Mondale administration. Energy was the main culprit, Oil Gas and Coal made up a whopping 90% of energy consumption in the USA as of 1985. Less than 5% were "Renewable" with the other 5% belonging to Nuclear which was still somewhat controversial after the near-meltdown at Three-Mile Island barely 7 Years ago some environmentalists despite their want for more clean energy were demanding nuclear plants be shut down due to safety and waste concerns despite making up 1122 Terrawatt hours worth of Primary Energy in the US. Energy from coal also employed 300,000 miners people mostly in Appalachia, people who usually voted democratic.

These plans were controversial on both sides but it was clear that making up 22% of Global emissions was unacceptable, Walter Mondale was hoping to use his leverage to influence the budget to expand green energy subsidies and funding for decarbonization schemes. New Nuclear plants seemed like a step too far however with their massive cost and taking 10 years at a minimum to be built. Experimental forms of energy in Solar and Wind would not be as cost effective as Gas Oil and Coal, some experts thought that the forms of energy would never survive without subsidization.

Expanding soviet influence in the middle-east was making oil harder and harder to get, States were starting to pressure companies into finding alternatives to fuel out of concerns of pollution and fuel cost. Early experiments to make cars running on Lead-Acid batteries were being perused at GM as well as ideas of having a fuel-cell car to turn a environmentally friendly source, lets say Hydrogen, into electricity to run a car. To find a long term solution around manufacturing a new style of car and working around innifeccent lead-acid batteries which were not suitable for long range transportation making decarbonization of shipping and airline transport hard to do.

Alongside all of this, there were expensive promises to increase the bread and butter issues of education and healthcare spending while simultaneously securing higher wages... The truth was that the annual surplus of about 20 Billion a year wouldn't cut it to solve all of these issues. Cuts were needed to be made somewhere to balance the proposed spending and the two choices were the $350 Billion social services budget or the $150 defense budget.

speaking of the defense budget...


Military Parade in Kabul marking the 5th anniversary of the Saur Revolution, April 27th 1983
Carter's programmed initially was to arm the Mujahadeen via the Pakistani Intelligence Agency but the programme was cut after the energy crisis, Carter still privately supported the so called "Freedom Fighters" but many members of his inner circle saw aiding them as unnecessary. The Mujahedeen were still receiving support from Saudi Arabia and China but without the United States they were starved of many supplies, The soviet invasion steadily fought away at the rebel groups. The DRA/USSR occupied the soviet border and then used aerial operations to fight in the central mountains. By 1985 the final pockets of Rebel support were being dealt with. Masses of Soviet troops occupied Afganistan posing a massive threat to Pakistan and Iran.

This brought a problem, the state secular Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was in direct conflict with the historically Islamic ideals of Afghanistan. While this seemed to not be so much of a problem in cities, in rural regions it was seen as an affront to their lifestyles by foreign invaders. There were thousands of captured Mujahadeen fighters being treated less than humanely, and with those not captured the soviets were hardly popular. On the good side, the progressive policies pushed by the People's Democratic Party previously enjoyed only by the cities were now being spread across the country. Programs to expand and ensure the education of women had drastically increased the number of women in professional work. Women could vote in municipal elections. Restrictions of social behaviour of women were slowly being dismantled. More and more women were able to choose their husbands, go anywhere in public and dress however they chose. Though women were officially equal under the law many were either pressured not to or chose not to exercise their legal rights. There were many women members of the Revolutionary Council and membership of the Afghan Women's Council rose quite drastically to a membership of about 500,000 by 1990, with a stronger membership they continued to call out the mistreatment of women in the conservative rural regions.

Officially being state secular the power of Islam in government was threated. 99% of the population was Muslim with a few religious minorities. Religions like Christianity, Baha'i had a few thousand followers. Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and Zoroastrians had about 5000 members between them. Many religious minorities had fled Afghanistan and faced repression. Apostacy was once a crime punished by death. This massive change in the law changed afghan society drastically and caused massive backlash as their culture was being altered by a secular foreign-backed government.

Overall in the eyes of the Afghan people the much stronger presence of the DRA and the and PDPA gave it legitimacy. This legitimacy recognized meant that Afghanistan experienced peace for the first time in years. The Parcham faction of the party ruling also delegitimized the radicalistic tactics of the Khalq reaffirming the authority of Chairman Babrak Karmal leading to a much warmer relationship with the Soviets and even a good personal relationship with General Secretary Valentina Tereshkova whom had been directing a rise in personal propaganda back in the USSR.

The Soviet victory in Afghanistan shifted the balance of power greatly in the middle east, with the USSR now a closer threat the attention of Middle Eastern nations turned much more fully to the Soviets rather than the US and Israel. The threat of the USSR made relationships more hostile but it also gave more weight to soviet demands. It strengthen their influence over the supply of middle eastern oil which was very beneficial in the way of reduced fuel costs. This further endangered the Unites Sates' supply of oil pushing them further onto a path of researching a long term alternative to oil based fuel.
 
Into The Carterverse #25 (Foot In Mouth Syndrome)
Into the Carterverse
Foot In Mouth Syndrome

Ever since the embaessment of the Falkland's and the 1982 election Margaret Thatcher had been on shaky ground with popularity. The faluire of the Falkland's and damaged most things for the UK, national pride, international relations and the economy to name a few. This all resulted in a loss of support for a government that was overseeing high and rapidly rising unemployment, unpopular privatization schemes and a stagnating economy.

With a minority in parliament after an embarrassing motion of no confidence sparked election Thatcher's personality and public perception shifted for the chaotic parliament full of division. Thatcher went from a second monarch to the conservative party to a cruel abusive mother who fought unpopularity with heavy punishment to those around her. She was unkind to her cabinet ministers and many were fired during the parlimentary term.

A lack of majority impeded any agenda the government had as Labour and the Alliance blocked what they could and passed what they could. Eventually it was clear that the parliament could sit no longer and finally an election was called for Thursday the 4th of April 1985.

Labour was in the lead in the polls. While Michael foot was originally branded as radically unelectable Labour's support remained stable, as he was accustomed to an older style of campaign that was seen in Britain up until the 1970s he wasn't a TV darling and his long impassioned speeches only worked best when delivered in person. Foot went on a n nationwide tour to play to his strengths in public speaking. Labour's manifesto was unapologetically radical as Labour had nothing else to fall back on other than socialist ideas while the Alliance sucked up the center. Its ideas included slowly reducing the UK number of Nuclear arms to 0 and to Abolish the House of Lords. It sought to Tackle Gender and Racial discrimination, create an 11 billion Pound "Emergency Action Programme" including investment in Housing and Transport to reverse the unemployment crisis and renationalize Steel and Aerospace industries. It also wanted a second EEC refferendum, a change from their 1982 position of wanting immediate withdrawal from the EEC Public was not in love with Labour but its campaign was somewhat successful. Foots lack of charm on TV did lead to issues however and is credited for the party losing some support.

The Alliance made its second political manifesto together after the massive. Its plan for tackling unemployment included a parliamentary act to further encourage workplace democracy for increased employee participation in companies and increased ownership of shares. It made the ambitious declaration to simply the benefits system in the future by reducing the number of different benefits. The Alliance promoted electoral reform to a proportional system that would ensure a party would only get a majority if it were to achieve 50% of the vote, this idea was opposed by both Labour and the Conservatives. The Alliance accepted the need for nuclear arms. Its centrist posotions often got broad support

The conservatives just campiagned on whatever it could muster, touting a record of success would not have worked very well so it cherry picked some data thought up the best slogans it could, attacked Labour and went on with its day. The conservative campaign machine was well oiled for a tv dominated campaign.

The polls showed that unlike 1982 the conservatives did not make the comeback from behind that they did i 1982 where they started in 3rd and finished in 1st, this time they hovered around the 25 mark the whole election while Labour and the Alliance battled for 1st place. While leads initially traded Labour eventually pulled ahead in the last few weeks of the campaign and by election night they would win a thin majority of 1.

Shockingly on the night Margaret Thatcher lost her own seat of Finchley to Labour's Lawrence Spiegel who as a young, long haired, cycling to work Ken Livingstone fan symbolized pretty much the opposite of Margaret Thatcher. The loss was so shocking to thatcher who had already perched herself next to the returning officer on a seat with microphones ready to be spoken in to only to have to move for Spiegel's victory speech.

1985 British Election.png

Later that same year the GLC under Ken Livingstone which had caused so many headaches for Thatcher who wanted to abolish the council altogether won a large majority in London ensuring that the Capital would be molded in his vision. On the list was further centralization of council duties and a rebalanced transport scheme which cancelled roading schemes and reallocated money for transit improvements and for the first time in the City a comprehensive plan for cycling advocated by the LCC which allocated 1% (2 million pounds) a year to cycling resulting in an explosion in bicycle ridership, coupled with a much higher budget from hellish fares on drivers this budget would eventually grow to 7.5% of the annual budget in 1989 equating to 37 Million Pounds. Higher cycling gave the city some breathing room as congestion stagnated slightly while transit was slowly improved as fares dropped and ridership increased.

1985 GLC election.png
 

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
Pronouns
He/Him
Foot In Mouth Syndrome
Whilst interesting I will say that Foot would probably resign in 83’ even if it was a close run thing due to age and tiredness. Even if he did stick it out, I can’t see him being PM for more than a year or two.

Though the caveat would be that Kinnock would be given a firm mandate to PM designate for both good and bad.
 

rosa

Well-known member
Into the Carterverse
Foot In Mouth Syndrome

Ever since the embaessment of the Falkland's and the 1982 election Margaret Thatcher had been on shaky ground with popularity. The faluire of the Falkland's and damaged most things for the UK, national pride, international relations and the economy to name a few. This all resulted in a loss of support for a government that was overseeing high and rapidly rising unemployment, unpopular privatization schemes and a stagnating economy.

With a minority in parliament after an embarrassing motion of no confidence sparked election Thatcher's personality and public perception shifted for the chaotic parliament full of division. Thatcher went from a second monarch to the conservative party to a cruel abusive mother who fought unpopularity with heavy punishment to those around her. She was unkind to her cabinet ministers and many were fired during the parlimentary term.

A lack of majority impeded any agenda the government had as Labour and the Alliance blocked what they could and passed what they could. Eventually it was clear that the parliament could sit no longer and finally an election was called for Thursday the 4th of April 1985.

Labour was in the lead in the polls. While Michael foot was originally branded as radically unelectable Labour's support remained stable, as he was accustomed to an older style of campaign that was seen in Britain up until the 1970s he wasn't a TV darling and his long impassioned speeches only worked best when delivered in person. Foot went on a n nationwide tour to play to his strengths in public speaking. Labour's manifesto was unapologetically radical as Labour had nothing else to fall back on other than socialist ideas while the Alliance sucked up the center. Its ideas included slowly reducing the UK number of Nuclear arms to 0 and to Abolish the House of Lords. It sought to Tackle Gender and Racial discrimination, create an 11 billion Pound "Emergency Action Programme" including investment in Housing and Transport to reverse the unemployment crisis and renationalize Steel and Aerospace industries. It also wanted a second EEC refferendum, a change from their 1982 position of wanting immediate withdrawal from the EEC Public was not in love with Labour but its campaign was somewhat successful. Foots lack of charm on TV did lead to issues however and is credited for the party losing some support.

The Alliance made its second political manifesto together after the massive. Its plan for tackling unemployment included a parliamentary act to further encourage workplace democracy for increased employee participation in companies and increased ownership of shares. It made the ambitious declaration to simply the benefits system in the future by reducing the number of different benefits. The Alliance promoted electoral reform to a proportional system that would ensure a party would only get a majority if it were to achieve 50% of the vote, this idea was opposed by both Labour and the Conservatives. The Alliance accepted the need for nuclear arms. Its centrist posotions often got broad support

The conservatives just campiagned on whatever it could muster, touting a record of success would not have worked very well so it cherry picked some data thought up the best slogans it could, attacked Labour and went on with its day. The conservative campaign machine was well oiled for a tv dominated campaign.

The polls showed that unlike 1982 the conservatives did not make the comeback from behind that they did i 1982 where they started in 3rd and finished in 1st, this time they hovered around the 25 mark the whole election while Labour and the Alliance battled for 1st place. While leads initially traded Labour eventually pulled ahead in the last few weeks of the campaign and by election night they would win a thin majority of 1.

Shockingly on the night Margaret Thatcher lost her own seat of Finchley to Labour's Lawrence Spiegel who as a young, long haired, cycling to work Ken Livingstone fan symbolized pretty much the opposite of Margaret Thatcher. The loss was so shocking to thatcher who had already perched herself next to the returning officer on a seat with microphones ready to be spoken in to only to have to move for Spiegel's victory speech.


Later that same year the GLC under Ken Livingstone which had caused so many headaches for Thatcher who wanted to abolish the council altogether won a large majority in London ensuring that the Capital would be molded in his vision. On the list was further centralization of council duties and a rebalanced transport scheme which cancelled roading schemes and reallocated money for transit improvements and for the first time in the City a comprehensive plan for cycling advocated by the LCC which allocated 1% (2 million pounds) a year to cycling resulting in an explosion in bicycle ridership, coupled with a much higher budget from hellish fares on drivers this budget would eventually grow to 7.5% of the annual budget in 1989 equating to 37 Million Pounds. Higher cycling gave the city some breathing room as congestion stagnated slightly while transit was slowly improved as fares dropped and ridership increased.

This is blessed
 
Into The Carterverse #26 (Assorted Mondale Things)
Into the Carterverse
Assorted Mondale Things

Walter Mondale's campaign was notably short on big policy. His proposals included Eliminating a few tax loopholes that favoured the rich which was easily put in the budget. He promised to increase funding for Social Security and Medicare, with the surplus growing this was also easily done and increases to disability and old age benefits followed as well as better medical insurance coverage and reduced costs for those in need. He promised to not escalate anything militarily, this proved easy and was a safe strategy considering that it seemed the USSR had forgotten about the cold war as they focused on improving themselves and broadly supported another SALT treaty (Nuclear weapons were proving to be expensive investments for both). Basic infrastructure promises to "fix the roads, bridges, damns and waterlines." As well as broad educational improvements such as starting a "Fund For Excellence" to improve the quality of schooling. But overall the Mondale presidency was status quo and overall a bit boring.

It was this promise to keep the peace that got him elected in the first place, but privately Mondale was probably hoping he went a bit bigger. Big policy announcements or progress on such policy gets media coverage and keeps the wheel of political capital turning. But for the first 2 years Mondale basically had free reign on his policy direction without worrying about elections.

Mondale had also been engaging with international leaders, His first trip was to Canada to visit Prime Minister Mulroney who had won a landslide election in 1984 after a disastrous campaign from the incumbent Liberal party. The second was to West Germany for the G7 summit in Bonn followed by a wider visit to other European Countries and their leaders, those being: West Germany and Helmut Kohl, France and François Mitterrand , The United Kingdom and new PM Michael Foot, Spain and Felipe González and finally Portugal and António Ramalho Eanes. The whole trip would last from April 30th to May 14th and would be an opportunity for Mondale to get to know the Western European leaders better.

All of the visits were overall pleasant and Mondale proved quite friendly to all leaders. He took a particular liking to the mildly controversial President Mitterrand in France despite Mitterrand being much more to the left than Mondale he admired the more ambitious policies of his government such as extremely big increases in pensions and big investments into health care and education, the scale of which would never be allowed by the slow nature of US lawmaking. In his French visit he had also scheduled a trip on the TGV high speed rail line from Paris to Lyon as a sort of inspiration session to think about improving the US passenger rail network that had been set up to fail. He enjoyed the experience as he admitted he hadn't been on a train for a long time, especially not one travelling at almost 170mph and asked many questions to the staff that was serving him. The experience would spark a meeting between William Clayton Jr the head of Amtrak to discuss the needs of the US rail system.

His European visits were seen as a success back at home and earned him the respect of European leaders. His visits were also notable for giving vice president Dianne Feinstein increased responsibilities at home giving her a test of leadership (despite not having many pressing issues to deal with).

Mondale asked for a briefing on the state of the US rail system and general information about rail services and infrastructure to prepare for his meeting. He was in the senate when Amtrak was formed in 1971 and remembered that Amtrak was not expected to have survived for as long as it did. Amtrak's ridership started at 15 Million and had now reached about 25 Million with steady government funding but not near its goal of self-sufficiency. Due to the mostly private ownership of the lines a lot of passenger trains outside of the north-east had to yield to freight trains and services often had to switch from electric to diesel locomotives also causing delays of about 20 minutes. Electric trains were desirable considering possible cuts in operating cost, however, a lot of lines had been de-electrified not only by private companies but also bizarrely by Conrail who even more bizarrely did it after the oil crisis. There had been proposals in the last decade to electrify major corridors, Chicago to New Orleans and Chicago to LA being the most significant. In a nation where moving away from Oil was being seen as more and more necessary surely these improvements would be a good investment? And then there was the question over the new technology of High-Speed rail. Americans were satisfied with flying long distances but once again oil was becoming harder to control and prices for flying may increase in the future. Mondale did enjoy the high speed experience but he realized that it would take a lot for such a service to come to the USA, lots of time, and lots of money.

Meanwhile at Amtrak many workers who were passionate about rail who planned services wanted to have their voices heard and hurriedly produced a map that aimed to inspire the president on a possibility of a high speed rail system to rival the interstates. This was the map they produced.

high speed rail to hawaii.png

After seeing the map, Clayton agreed to present it Mondale. The certain map was very optimistic but Amtrak hoped that it could inspire the President to include more funding to amtrak in the 1986 budget. For the proposed system to rival the interstates at a cost of something like 40 Million Dollars a Mile (100 million dollars per mile in 2021) would cost a total of around 1 Trillion dollars (2.4 Trillion in 2021) even spread over 50 years would be 20 Billion a year which would tank the federal surplus for the time being.

Mondale was pleased with the possible map but the possible cost shocked him, It was clear that Inter-City rail and Long-Distance rail could serve a significant purpose in the USA but other than building dedicated corridors over the rockies in the long term Amtrak needed more money to avoid losing lossmaking services. Clayton also advised the president on the issues of railway corridor rights on the existing tracks, not running enough services to make travel practical. Underinvestment in the rail system had put it in a really awkward position where the wider public didnt want to use it because of long journey times, high prices for tickets and services that arrived at inconvenient times.

The president’s experience in Europe had given him hope only for it to be crushed back at home. Meanwhile he had other issues to deal with.

May 30th 1985
Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell Jr. has announced his resignation from the court at the age of 77

Lewis Powell Jr. a key swing vote on the Supreme Court, nominated in 1971 by President Nixon had performed well on the court but due to his age chose to retire. This gave Mondale the opportunity to nominate a justice to the supreme court. After carter chose a more Liberal leaning judge in Shirley Hufstedler, Mondale decided to search for a more moderate judge to reflect the retiring justice. There were a variety of options that Mondale was presented but he eventually picked a favourite. However, his favourite was questioned by his inner circle in the white house.

Janie Shores of Alabama Graduated from Law School in 1959 after being compelled to enter law school due to a conversation with a local lawyer. Shores practiced Law in Selma, Alabama out of her own firm she started to counter the sexist hiring policies of mainstream firms at the time. In 1974 Shores won a seat on the Supreme Court of Alabama becoming the first ever woman elected to the court. She braved attacks from segregationists who aimed to bring scandal on her by claiming she was married to a prominent black lawyer in the state (yuck). She was a trail-blazer for women and strongly in favour of civil rights, but otherwise as a southern democrat she was a moderate on many political issues.

Senator Howell Heflin was the one who suggested her to Mondale who after reading her record gave her a phone call questioning her on her legal positions. She was relatively untested on constitutional law which made many in Mondale's inner circle uncomfortable including the Vice President. Nevertheless Mondale called her and asked her to be the nominee. Honoured, Shores accepted the nomination.

Screenshot 2021-08-08 162230.png
Janie Shores & President Carter, 1978
The hesitancy to nominate somebody with little experience in more national law issues was shared among congress and the judiciary committee. The process of the nomination of Shores to the senate vote lasted about 2 months. The hearings questioned Shores on her views on controversial issues such as the death penalty and abortion. On the death penalty she gave a mixed answer on how she would rule which dampened some support from conservatives.

Eventually her nomination came to a vote in the senate. Despite being more moderate than Hufstedler it seemed that she had less support among republicans in her nomination. The vote ended in a 78-22 approval from the senate making it the most contested vote for an associate justice since the nomination of William Rehnquist in 1971. Her perceived inexperience caused a few republicans to vote against her, notably all female senators voted in favour of her nomination including Maureen Reagan the most Conservative woman sitting in the senate at the time. Walter Mondale had made an impact on the supreme court for the foreseeable future and Shores joined her fellow justices on the supreme court on the 12th of August 1985 becoming the second woman to sit on the supreme court.

unnamed.jpg
Janie Shores, 1989
 
Into The Carterverse #27 (Muddling with the Metrics in 'Merica)
Into the Carterverse
Muddling with the Metrics in 'Merica

It was reagan who was persuaded to abolish the Metric board so without him the US may have very well lost its unique place in the world as one of a few countries to not make conversion to metric mandatory

The Adoption of the Metric System in the USA had been going okay since the Conversion act of 1975, The Metric Board had been given the resources to deliver pamphlets to many American homes and sponsor educational programmes on the Metric system. Children in schools were starting to understand the system. President Carter had often used the system in speeches and supported a bill to make metric the preferred system of measurement (that bill however, moved too slowly through congress to make it to his desk as there was a large amount of debate around it). However, adoption had been too slow for the liking of its proponents. Its voluntary nature meant that a vast majority of Americans did not use the system everyday leaving the US essentially alone on the world stage. Surveys showed that the figures for people using Metric in everyday life were in the single digits and mainly in scientific, educated and urban communities. For the rest of the country lets take... oh I don't know...

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Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Quite literally in the middle of the country, Residents had no reason to use Metric. Its 4 Local TV Channels all provided the weather in degrees Fahrenheit, as did the many AM and FM radio stations as well as the Western South Dakota newspaper the Black Hills Pioneer, Some used Celsius alongside but it was clear which measurement was preferred. Residents who had recently bought measuring cups may have noticed that it had Milliliters alongside Quarts, Fluid Ounces and Cups, New Scales may have Kgs and Lbs. on them. But really they had no use for the metric because most cookbooks, even new ones, had no mention of the Metric. Governor Bill Janklow had shown some interest in putting metric speed limits alongside M/ph on some roads but was concerned of the cost and the need, as a result the main highways, Interstate 90, SD-34, Route 85 and Route 212 had no K/ph signs on it, not that it mattered, almost every car had no metric speed dial on it. And when they drove around, they would have no opportunity to measure their distance to their destination in Kilometers. A few gas stations across the country had experimented with liters instead of gallons for fuel but there were no such locations in Belle Fourche and barely any in South Dakota. Residents of Belle Forche except for perhaps a handful of people would measure their weight in pounds and their height in inches and feet.

Metrication in the USA was far behind its Neighbor to the north which was still having trouble going the full distance. The voluntary part had made it hard to make the switch. Apart from a few people most of the population was open to it, they just had no reason to. Services were not offered in both and there was absolutely no metric exclusivity. The members of the Metric Board from places such as the chamber of commerce and the ALF-CIO asked congress and the white house for a better effort at conversion. Several proposals that they suggested was...

- A 5 year period (1985 to 1990) for converting all Interstate signs to measure exits in Kilometers instead of Miles and have all speed limits be Dual Miles and Kilometers. After a certain period, perhaps after those 5 years, all new speed limit signs would be required to only show Kilometers.

-Deliver frequent flyers to American households on how to navigate measurement changes in everyday life (Teaching equivalents to MPH for KPH and so on)

-All information provided by states and the federal government when using measurements must use both systems

-Requiring the labelling of products to be in both systems

There was some opposition from some Americans who did not appreciate the system being mandated. The method of converting was an usual tactic for the USA as Americans valued freedom of choice and thought that the mandatory conversion would be in conflict with American values, even if most supported eventual conversion. There were a fair share of Democrats and Republicans who opposed a second metrication bill with deadlines, Senator Folsom of Alabama remarked that

"First we convert Distance, Volume, Temperature and Weight... Not Because we want to but because we apparently have to. The French also wanted to split the day into 10 Hours is that Next!?"
- Jim Folsom

But eventually in mid 1985 Congress approved of the Metric Conversion Act of 1985 approving of new funding to replace road signs. Tv Adverts telling Americans to "Think Metric" followed soon after. As there were many Americans who did not have metric odometers TV ads drilled the equivalents of MPH for the new speed limits similar to what Australia had done and slowly 55 signs became 90 signs and 30 signs became 50 signs. In the act it also raised the national Maximum speed limit to 90 kmh as the previous law had the limit set at 55 Mph which was exactly 89 KMH making a 90 KMH sign Illegal with some exceptions. Although there was growing opposition to the National Maximum speed limit law from the Republican party and it was clear that if they had the change they would also have speed limits of 95 - 130 KMH in some places.

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An Example of dual MPH/KMH signs in Florida, sometime in the 80s

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An example of a purely metric speed limit, optional to make before 1990 and mandatory after [Michigan]
 
Into The Carterverse #28 (The Mondale Cabinet)
Into the Carterverse
The Mondale Cabinet



(If any of these sound unrealistic its because they probably are but just go with it)

THE MONDALE CABINET

President: Walter Mondale


Vice President: Dianne Feinstein


Secretary of State: Dick Clark



Secretary of Treasury: Alice Rivlin


Secretary of Defense: Thomas McIntyre


Attorney General: Bella Abzug


Secretary of Interior: Arthur Link


Secretary of Agriculture:
Bill Nichols


Secretary of Commerce:
Wendy Gramm


Secretary of Labor: George McGovern



Secretary of Health and Human Services: Jesse Jackson


Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Katherine Peden


Secretary of Transport:
David Gunn

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Secretary of Energy: Ken Helcher


Secretary of Education: Shirley Chisholm




Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Russell Long


US Trade Representative: Arthur Hartman


UN Ambassador: Sargent Shriver
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National Security Advisor: James Woolsey Jr


CEA Chair: Alan Blinder
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The cabinet was a big mix of people. Experts in their field, Former politicians and Activists, people from the left wing to the right wing. The cabinet had its fair share of controversial choices as well as choices that flew past congress. But whether people were happy with their influence on policy or not these people would be (for now) in the presidential line of succession. Economist and Wife of congressional candidate Phil Gramm Wendy Gramm's presence as half Hawaiian had some sources citing her as the first "native American" in cabinet although the classing on native Hawaiians as American Indians is rejected, she was certainly the first native Hawaiian however.
 
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New Zealand 2023 Election
The 2023 New Zealand General Election was held on the 21st of October 2023 to elect members to the 53rd parliament.

The Labour party won the 2020 election in an unprecedented Landslide being able to Govern alone despite the nature of the MMP proportional System. Despite not needing to the Labour party made a deal with the Greens to keep them close throughout the next parliament. The Green Party co leader Marama Davidson formed a close friendship with the two Māori party members of Parliament forming a relationship between the two parties as the Māori Party swung further to the left in the recovery from their coalition with National from 2008 to 2017.

Despite assumptions that the awful result for national would spell the end for the National leadership both Leader Judith Collins and party president Peter Goodfellow both survived challenges. Judith Collins managed to maintain just enough support within her caucus and beat down the members who opposed or embarrassed her leading to reshuffle after reshuffle. Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee was replaced by Dr Shane Reti the quiet but competent former representative from Whāngarei.

ACT went from 1 seat to 10 brining in some other personalities alongside David Seymour. Brooke Van Velden the former leftist turned libertarian appealed to the Youth and urban vote and Nicole McKee who strongly opposed the gun regulations of the government after the Christchurch terrorist attack against Muslims (note that this opposition came from ACT saying that the regulations were irrelevant to the tragedy and that better action could have been taken).

Through the Next Year Judith Collins appeared to lean into Right-Wing populism and engaging in what those on the left called dog whistling around Labour's plan for a new Māori health authority and the increased use of the word Aotearoa to refer to the country, a hundreds of year old term that started becoming popular around the 1980s. Nationals support slowly increased from 25 to 30 over the course of 11 months but Act continued to soar into the teens. The greens moved toward Left-Wing populism with an increased liberty to oppose the government. At the head of this criticism was MP for Auckland Central Chloe Swarbrick a twenty-something unabashed socialist, environmentalist and supporter of Māori land rights.

The Covid-19 Pandemic had been absent from New Zealand for a long time, there was no community transmission and therefore absolutely no restrictions on social life with festivals and sporting matches and concerts all occurring while also being safe to attend. But in August 2020 a returnee from Australia brought the Delta variant into new Zealand plunging the country back into lockdown [Split between reality and fiction here] National and ACT kicked up a stink regarding the inability for parliament to sit but yet refused the opportunity for the parliament to sit virtually. Labours handling of lockdown and getting rid of Delta over the course of a month and a half lead to National crashing back down to earth after its slow rise. ACT stagnated and the Greens and Labour rose.

For the second time in a year it seemed as if Judith Collins was poised to be rolled, A Leadership challenge from the more Liberal wing of the party was launched after being demoted time after time in the party standing with Chris Bishop as the alternative leader. Although the vote was a challenge for Collins she had cemented her leadership enough in Caucus to get a good vote and defeat Bishop. But public confidence in the Nats continued to worsen as ACT kept rising and the left got stronger.

National could only try to appear stable and bring about a slow rise in popularity as the nation recovered from covid.

By the time of the 2023 election Collins had managed to survive the constant leaking and undermining of her authority and was closer to a position to be able to govern with ACT with National around the Mid 30s and Labour in the mid 40s. A good campaign could bring down Adern.

Judith Collins tried her best but as happened in 2020 she was not popular enough with the public to capitalise on any momentum. Adern had a star power on the campaign trail that was hard to overcome and the famously mean Judith Collins just was not inspiring in Comparison. The campaign unlike 2020 did not centre on covid but instead went back to the old issues of the Economy, Healthcare and Infrastructure. Labour had to fight off allegations that if they went into collation with the Green party they would be forced to agree with ideas such as a Wealth Tax, Capital Gains tax and more income taxes. The Greens had made a transition over the past 20 years from environmentalism to full on left-wing populism and ACT's brand had changed from Centrist and Libertarian to having hints of Right-Wing rhetoric in it. The debates were a contentious issue with the main channels refusing to host the traditional 1v1 debates that had always been held with the major leaders as ACT was close to National in the polls instead hosting only multi-party debates which since 2008 National and Labour had skipped out on. Adern and Collins were forced to debate alongside the other parties leading to a loss of spotlight and a boost in popularity for the other parties.

By the end of the campaign any hope of a National government had been lost and on election night 2023 National suffered its worst defeat... ever. While as the 2020 campaign had simply been the second worst as Bill English won national a measly 20.9% of the Party vote in 2002 Judith managed to score 20.4%. Labour lost a bit of support bringing them down to 60 seats, just one shy of a majority forcing them to negotiate with the Greens and Māori. While Act doubled its vote and doubled its seats bringing an incredible 20 people into parliament rivalling National's seat count.

Judith Collins resigned as leader soon after and Jacinda Adern entered into a formal coalition agreement with the Greens.
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Into The Carterverse #29 (Kenny's New Toys)
Into the Carterverse
Kenny's New Toys

(I suppose this post may give away one of my hobbies)
The Labour controlled GLC with a shiny new labour government was ready to do some more policy under the guise of Ken Livingstone. Their plan from their first term to reduce public transportation fees had been shot down by a court challenge after the Bromley Borough council claimed that because there was no tube access for them that they were subsidising a system that they couldn't get the full benefit from. The GLC wanted to have another crack at reducing fares as they had further increased since the rollback of fares fair and with a more supportive government and council they could get something done about it, but while this was happening another transport miracle was occurring on London streets.

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Crossing between Bridge Avenue, Hammersmith Bridge Road and Bridge view under the Hammersmith Flyover circa 1985. An example of cycling infrastructure by the GLC of the Mid 80s.
Cycling infrastructure (now taking 30 Million pounds out of the transport budget a year) had increased in popularity significantly and Cycle journeys were becoming more popular. The London Cycling Campaign or LCC was spearheading these changes and had successfully persuaded Ken Livingstone to support the cause of increasing cycle journeys. Cycling was a cheap and healthy alternative to public transport and motor vehicles but life on 2 wheels had become hectic in busy areas with Cyclists having to share the road weaving in and out of multiple lanes on big scary roundabouts such as the one in Elephant & Castle making it undesirable despite it being the only option for poorer residents who could not afford much in regards of transport and children.

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An example of conditions faced by Cyclists in London, circa 1985
While in the Netherlands there had been a massive grassroots movement to make the streets less car-centric on account of the tiny streets it would be hard to make such schemes work in London. London was a city of 7 Million while Amsterdam a tenth of that. It was clear that for any scheme like the Dutch scheme to work in London it would take much more money and resources. Still Ken Livingstone was determined to reduce car traffic. A Congestion charge had been implemented in central London which had let car traffic stagnate but It wasn't enough to force people out of cars, for the change to be brought about the GLC had to offer solutions. Therefore the plan they came up with was this

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To be built over a number of years just over 1130 Miles (1820 Km) of fully protected bicycle routes were to eventually link every population centre in London to each other with a safe route for cyclists to use. The construction of these would come alongside general improvements to the surrounding road for Pedestrians and Cyclists alike as well as restricting access to private vehicles by making some traffic lanes bus lanes and narrowing the already space strapped roads. While main routes would have a dedicated path, on roads where there was no option motorists would be instead be encouraged to share the road. As wonderful as this plan was to people on a bike the eye watering cost of £800 Thousand per mile (£500 thousandish per km) leading to a cost of about £905,000,000 in total (£2,800,000,000 in 2020) lead to plenty of criticism. The conservatives predictably opposed it wholeheartedly calling it wasteful and ridiculous with GLC conservative leader Shirley Porter claiming that "It would destroy London more than the Blitz." The conservatives advocated for giving the rights of road construction down to the boroughs to avoid this sort of thing happening. The Liberals also didn't really like it much calling it unneeded and way over the top to cater to cyclists. They generally supported better pedestrian infrastructure instead. And there were a fair share of sceptics within Labour too. Support came from Environmentalists and Prime Minister Michael Foot spoke favourably about it.

With London's population expected to grow most Councillors agreed that cycling transportation was a good investment for money but the logistics of building over 1 Thousand miles of protected cycle lanes was bound to cause trouble and would take a long time to complete. The treasury also wasn't happy about the Cost of rearranging the hundreds of intersections and making the thousands of signs and the millions of litres of paint and pounds of bricks. The cost to build sufficiently noise, proofed cycleways next to Motorways and elevated alongside motorways... It was going to have to be a long project. But to use the existing annual cycling budget would take almost 30 years to complete the project so realistically there was going to have to be some tough decisions made on where the money would come from. The decision was made to further cut the section of budget for motor traffic and go into debt and by a thin vote the plans passed the GLC causing outrage from the council and the public.

The London cycleway scheme was pretty unpopular to start with. The first cycleways took a few years to be built first popping up in central London and radiating out. One of the first areas to change was Hyde Park corner where the roundabout was removed and most of Duke of Wellington Pl was pedestrianised only leaving motor access to Constitution hill. This formerly hazardous interchange became much safer to cross and the amount of people cycling the route exploded. In only a few years after construction had started with only a small portion of the routes finished cycling in London made up about 10% of all journeys and that number was increasing rapidly. Congestion had increased temporarily with motorists having to rush to find alternatives to work. More households became car free saving money and road space. And overall the public changed its tune about the cycleways rather quickly. One downside was perhaps that the costs had actually been underestimated and that the scheme had increased about 50% in cost but support from the government alleviated that pressure. The conservatives would continue to be furious about the cost and in a campaign the cycleway cost would likely become a liability but overall Red Ken was pleased and London became a starting point for inspiration for cycling infrastructure across the English speaking world in cities big and small.

Disclaimer: I make all of these claims about the increased popularity of cycling based on the fact that the GLC had full control over the roads and if Thatcher had not abolished it a scheme like this inspired by foreign trips from councillors may well have happened, London being massive and English speaking would have introduced cycle infrastructure early as being a thing not just for liberal soyboy cities like Portland but as a cost effective mode of transport for everybody. Overall expect to see more cycling in carterverse.
 
Into The Carterverse #30 (fABBAulous)
Into the Carterverse
fABBAulous

Under Attack is the 9th studio Album by the Swedish pop group ABBA. Growing personal differences between the band members had made recording the album a long process with considerations of splitting up. However, the strong performance of their previous album The Visitors kept the group going and improved morale within the group finally allowing them to finish the album after having a liberal amount of space from each other during the process of making it.

The album captures the moment in time when the members of ABBA were having a breakdown in personal relationship but shows how their long history as a pop group kept them together despite the grievances.

The most successful song on the album was the song "Under Attack" reaching number 1 on the British charts and number 4 on the American charts. The other singles from the album all made it into the top 10 on the British Charts.

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Into The Carterverse #31 (Shakeup in South Dakota)
Into the Carterverse
Shakeup in South Dakota



(I thought it was a bit silly to have a activist in the position of a secretary so i've retconned a bit resulting in President Mondale nominating George McGovern as Labor secretary as an olive branch to his primary challenger)
Senator and 1972 presidential nominee George McGovern was approached by president elect Mondale just weeks after his election asking whether he wanted to be the secretary of Labor. After a close race in 1980 and a possible Republican wave in '86 McGovern knew that his time in the senate may be coming to an end sooner or later, and despite his desire to change the Democratic party by stealthy legislation pushing for policies he liked his ability to do so was next to impossible. After much deliberation McGovern accepted the role as Secretary of Labor and resigned as senator the day before he ascended to the office after a confirmation vote. As secretary he would further encourage the involvement of unions in employment disputes and generally built upon the legacy of Ray Marshall with more progressive flavour.

The vacancy in the senate took the democrats down to 60 seats after governor Janklow controversially appointed republican and former Marlboro Man, Clint Roberts, in his place. Clint Roberts had run for a seat in the house and the governorship but had never won an office, He had ran in South Dakota's at-large district against Tom Daschle in 1982 and narrowly lost.

Representative Daschle was a frontrunner for the senate special election in 1985, he was more of a moderate than McGovern which seemed to be more in touch with what the state wanted after McGovern. He had mixed views on social issues contrary to the national party. but unknown to him McGovern was planning something of his own to keep influence over the senate...

Eleanor McGovern: You've got to be kidding me George, after all we have sacrificed over the years shouldn't we call it quits!?

George McGovern: C'mon Honey, I know you care about the same things that I do. I think they'd love for you to be their senator.

Eleanor: What about what I think? I'm quite happy doing what I do day by day. If I were a senator I'd be dragged into a world of politics, it'd kill me!

George: Eleanor, you've got more guts than most of them. You've always cared about people, why not bring that to the senate?

Eleanor: You just want me there so you can cling on to a job that you don't need anymore!

George: I thought you wanted to lead a life of your own instead of following me around!

Eleanor: Not like this you fucking moron!

George: Okay so you'll think about it?

Senator McGovern wanted his wife, who had flirted with politics in the past and continued work regarding Children's issues to run for his spot in the senate as they agreed on most issues. However, Eleanor was not sure about running against Tom Daschle.


Secretary of State Alice Kundert decided to run with the support of some of the more moderate and liberal wings of the party against Clint Roberts who wasn't proving to be a brilliant senator after McGovern. Kundert distanced herself from governor Governor Janklow's appointment.

Eleanor McGovern eventually gave in to the pressure from her husband to run for the senate election to the dismay of representative Daschle as Eleanor McGovern was a popular figure in the state and had respect from most politicians as the senator's wife but as well as a child welfare activist. She would win the primary with a healthy margin.

Roberts vs Kudnert was a closer race. Kundert's campaign was more policy oriented and focused on messaging around Family and Community. Roberts focused around Conservative economic and social rhetoric, more of a "fighting back" style campaign against the policies of Mondale. Eventually Alice Kundert won the nomination.

McGovern looked to be the favourite to win for some time, but her clear hesitancy to be senator and the accusations of influence from her husband which she could not defend herself against. Kundert's focused campaign ended up pulling ahead. Further discussions of policy and supporting certain policies in senate votes also revealed some differences between the McGovern's on subtle policy issues that the media had researched vigorously.

The result was a substantial victory for Kundert of about 35,000 votes and a big disappointment for the democrats. The McGoverns were well and truly out of congress for some time unlikely that Eleanor McGovern would ever run for office again after the strain the senate run put on her and her marriage. Kundert became a instant hit in the senate among republicans and fostered old connections to Maureen Reagan to build a friendship between her and Reagan and work her way in to the Republican leadership.

Eleanor McGovern would go back to activism. She would later strike down accusations that she was not fully supportive of her own campaign for senator saying that despite her early scepticism she became more comfortable with the idea over time and by the time she was in the campaign she was in it to win it.
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