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Spaghetti Shenanigans Starring Riley

Into The Carterverse #1 (The San Vincente Car Crash)
  • Into The Carterverse

    The San Vincente Car Crash

    Ronald Reagan was disappointed, Miles away from Iowa in Los Angeles he was being questioned by reporters about his disappointing loss in the caucuses. Despite putting on a brave face the media could clearly tell he was irritated. After his narrow loss in the 1976 primary Reagan felt the sensation of the nomination that weeks ago he thought was assured now slipping away. What was clear now to Reagan was that his hands off approach to Iowa had cost him the contest. If it was repeated, he pondered, what next? First Iowa, then Puerto Rico and then New Hampshire… and then the nomination. Reagan embarked to his Riviera residence, ready to make a few calls when he arrived.

    The closeness of the caucus left Reagan hopeful for victory up until the late reaches of the night. Despite it being close to midnight, being a Monday night there was moderate traffic about. For whatever reason, possibly inspired by the frustration of his loss, Reagan demanded to drive home himself. According to later accounts by Mr. Reagan, just before an intersection between San Vicente Boulevard and Montana Avenue he was battling to keep his eyes open. When he next struggled to open them fully again he discovered he was about to run a red light into oncoming traffic. By instinct he slammed on the breaks but it was too late and as his car crossed the threshold another car coming down Montana Ave. hit Ronald Reagan's car at slightly over the speed limit of 30mph. The car crashed into the drivers door almost directly aimed at Mr. Reagan. Ronald Reagan's older age allowed his more brittle bones to break and the momentum flung him sideways onto the passenger seat.

    Reagan was retrieved from his car shocked but conscious. It was only later in hospital that he discovered from a doctor that the strain that his spinal cord sustained had left him effectively paralyzed from the waist down. A trauma on his head left his train of thought fuzzy and he displayed temporary signs of forgetfulness. His physical condition left him unable to sit up in bed and numb. A subdural hematoma was later discovered and treated alleviating some of the symptoms.

    An outpouring of sympathy from a variety of politicians from all backgrounds. Despite refusal from Reagan for several days for non familial visitors George Bush was finally allowed to visit Reagan in hospital on the 25th of January followed by John Anderson, Howard Baker, President Carter and Vice President Mondale among other visitors as well as a telephone call from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. As the details of Reagan's new condition were revealed speculation swirled over whether he would continue to campaign for the Republican nomination. A late January nationwide Gallup poll had George Bush with a 10 point lead over Ronald Reagan if he were to stay in the race. The deliberation over whether to continue would extend until the end of the month with Reagan still hospitalized. National polls among Republicans showed that a vast majority thought that if Reagan's conditions were not to improve they did not approve of Reagan continuing his campaign. On the 1st of February the announcement was made that Ronald Reagan would reluctantly suspend his campaign for president due to his paralysis and newfound health difficulty.

    The ending of Ronald Reagan's campaign in 1980 would encourage republicans to flock to George Bush en masse after his display of “compassion” following Reagan's car crash, shaping the upcoming 1980 Election in his image as a Pragmatic Conservative leading a united Republican party behind him. He would go on to sweep all contests in the Republican Primary with John Anderson coming in a far second.

    1980 Republican Primaries.png

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    Despite his legacy in 1976 and 1980 Reagan would fade out of the public spotlight of politics over the next 4 years. He would leave hospital in February but he reportedly despised being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. His health complications would eventually lead to his death at the age of 77 on the 8th of May 1988.
    Ronald Reagan.png

    Part 1 (Hopefully)
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    Into the Carterverse #2 (Operation Eagle Claw)
  • Into The Carterverse

    Operation Eagle Claw

    Although the president felt sorry for Reagan he breathed a small sigh of relief. He had been worried about Ronald Reagan's ability to capture people with charisma and humour and if he would have been the nominee it would be difficult to stop his momentum. For now though he was preparing to face off the clear frontrunner in George Bush. Certainly more laid back than Reagan but Carter knew he was still no pushover and with an ongoing hostage crisis and energy crisis Bush had leverage over him. However, due to a rally around the flag effect and Carter's continued efforts kept him in a comfortable lead.

    Divisions in his own party and Ted Kennedy's campaign were giving the republicans fuel, labelling the Democrats divided between Kennedy and Carter. Despite his convincing win in Iowa and Kennedys missteps, cracks were beginning to show with Carter's strategy in Iran. As the months grew on and the inactions impression on voting grew, primary results from the northwest were actually lost by Carter. As April rolled around Carter grew more frustrated and on the 7th of April Carter ordered all relations with Iran be severed, thus started a month of strong armed action on Iran with the final goal to pull off a successful rescue of all 52 remaining embassy staff being held hostage

    As the plans for a rescue mission were set up cartographers were set out on the task of hurriedly completing more maps of Iran from risky aerial photography. The date was set for April 24th. The president's advisors were skeptical about his determinedness to rescue the hostages

    While the 8 Helicopters would meet up with Delta Force at “Desert One” a location near Yazd in the Dasht-e Lut desert, a small valley away from any roads or populous areas. Problems seemed afoot when once landed the Hydraulic Pump on one of the Helicopters was glowing red and the meetup occurring in a desert the sand that was kicked up into the air was disrupting visibility. One of the Helicopters also had to drop out because of impending blade failure. But miraculously 7 out of the 8 Helicopters met up with Delta Force at desert one.

    In the secure location the Hydraulic pump of the affected Helicopter was left to cool down and the Troops were transported from the C-130 aircraft to the Helicopters which would then go on to “Desert Two'' nearer to Tehran. In the early hours of the morning the Rescue raid went as planned, hostages were brought to the helicopters and with the team secure before any of the Iranian air force could respond they were flown to Egypt to later arrive in the USA.

    The successful performance of what was thought to be an impossible mission stunned the world. The pacifist Jimmy Carter had just rescued 52 hostages from an extremely hostile enemy with an extremely dangerous maneuver. After a brutal 2 day operation just in time for the evening news in many parts of the country Americans saw the hostages disembark from the rescue plane from Egypt. Jimmy Carter made a short national address on Television celebrating the release of the hostages and re-iterating what they had been through in Iran. Privately, Carter has said that he was ecstatic and took the first opportunity to meet the hostages the following morning.
    Screenshot 2021-01-23 154546.png
    On April 26th 1980, 2 days after Operation Eagle Claw, President Carter announced further plans to increase the domestic supply of energy in response to the worsening oil crisis. Plans to drastically increase domestic production of oil and gas in places like Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Alaska would be in place alongside subsidisation over the use of Appalachian coal. The US would drastically increase its energy output within the next few months causing minor influxes of wealth into Oil and Coal communities. Privately Carter had major concerns about clean energy but decided that the possible agitation of oil companies may prevent full cooperation. The increased supply of domestic oil led to cutbacks in imports of middle eastern oil. Within only a few months the price of Gas had fallen to about 90 cents a gallon and the switchover where possible from oil to coal had led to better livelihoods for coal miners in states like West Virginia and Kentucky.

    President Carter’s approval skyrocketed to about 65%. He was the nation's hero, The successful operation effectively assured he would win the nomination after Carter won the Pennsylvania primary and Missouri caucus in a landslide Kennedy dropped out and immediately endorsed Carter, Saying that his concerns were now alleviated. Bush’s spouting about Carter’s inaction suddenly stopped at risk of backlash and Carter now enjoyed an extremely large 69% to 29% lead over Bush in a Gallup poll taken the week after the attack. Bush strategists scrambled to figure out what to do as Carter rode high

    May 4th 1980, CBS evening news TV graphic of a poll immediately following the Operation

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    As a sign of the boosted popularity of Carter. A conservative Democrat won the Louisiana 3rd Special Election in a landslide gaining it off of the Republican Party

    Part 2
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    Into The Carterverse #3 (The Conventions)
  • Into the Carterverse

    The Conventions

    Transcript from a meeting between Karl Rove and George Bush, 15th of May 1980

    Rove: Well what if we just left the issue entirely? The president is a national hero at the moment. All we need to say is ‘good job’ as little as possible and then come November people will come around to real issues

    Bush: Karl now you know I appreciate what Jimmy has done but his appearance of leadership should not mean we leave the guy alone for the next couple months. I mean heck, we still have leverage here. Tax Cuts, Conservative Values… After that energy stunt perhaps we can touch on fossil fuels and global warming-

    Rove: Sir, I strongly advise you to lay back on criticism right now and just find your feet. The polls are bad, really bad, 40 points behind nationwide would be a 50 state landslide. We cannot afford to make that worse or perhaps we will never recover. By the time the debates roll round we can practice that kind of stuff.

    Bush: Alright Karl… i'll keep that in mind

    May saw George Bush stick to his guns without mentioning Jimmy Carter much. Polls had Bush between 27 and 36 percent throughout the Month while Jimmy Carter was always above 60% scoring a high of 73% in one poll. Carter's Grand energy plan was already visibly in action as gas prices began to drop and wealth noticeably started to find its way into coal communities. It wasn't until June when on the runup to the 1980 Republican national convention George Bush criticized the drastic increase of coal burning tying it directly to the noticeable drop in air quality and rise in air pollution experienced by the Northern Regions of the US.

    “Now if we believe the President, our energy crisis can be fixed by digging up coal and opening up new drilling sites all over the landscape of this country. But the Whitehouse that has installed solar heaters finds it excusable to let our people drown in smog. Our country needs to look toward the future when it comes to energy, not the past.”
    • George Bush on the campaign trail, June 4th 1980

    The statement was generally popular across the north of the country and drew backlash from miner interest groups and oil companies. The overall effect was a small boost in the polls for Bush closing in Atlantic states but led to Carter's numbers shooting up amongst miners.

    The republican National Convention would occur from the 14th to the 17th of July. It was planned to serve as a stepping stone for a closer presidential election. Perhaps the most important speech after the speech of the Presidential Nominee was that of Keynote Speaker Ronald Reagan. After having his image battered by his paralysis Reagan wheeled himself to the podium of the convention without hassle. The organizers had already prepared a series of ramps to allow Reagan to make his way to the podium without assistance and a raiseable platform to raise his shoulders above the threshold of the podium.

    “I will not stand by and watch this great great country destroy itself under mediocre leadership drifting from one crisis to the next eroding our national will and purpose. We have come together here because the American people deserve better from whom they entrust our nation's highest offices, and we stand united in our faith in George Bush to do something about it”
    • Ronald Reagan in his RNC speech, July 17th 1980
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    July 17th 1980, George Bush after his acceptance speech
    Ronald Reagan's speech was overtly supportive of George Bush which helped him immensely. Reagan's projection of George Bush as a saviour of unsatisfactory leadership. George Bush delivered a commanding and well written speech. Polls after the convention showed a Tightening race, 36% to 60%. The real chance to win the election for Bush was the upcoming debates. Carter was notoriously not an incredible debater and Bush felt that if he delivered an astounding performance he would have a good shot. Debate preparation for the September and October Presidential debates would begin early and a Vice Presidential Debate between Howard Baker and Walter Mondale was also planned for October

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    A more colour coordinated wikibox
    To the shock of political pundits the Democratic convention did not result in any bump in the polls as Bush still crept up on Carter in the polls. Carter and Mondale's speeches were thought of as inspiring and uplifting however the momentum carried by the republicans prevented any significant boost in public opinion.

    Screenshot 2021-01-25 124616.png
    After the conventions the race was well and truly on

    Part 3
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    Into The Carterverse #4 (Deceit and Diffusion)
  • Into The Carterverse

    Deceit and Diffusion

    Over the course of August Bush continued to make small gains on Carter as the image of Carter as a national saviour faded out of the public image. The margin narrowed to 20%, 19%, 18% and so on. A Lot hinged on the first presidential debate for both Carter and bush. The Carter camp was having worries that the momentum of Bush may produce an embarrassing result and seeked to affirm Carter as the frontrunner and the safe choice. Bush still tried to paint Carter as a mediocre leader.

    Screenshot 2021-01-26 215627.png

    The first debate took place at the Baltimore Convention center. Questioning over willingness to make unpopular decisions, the strategy over the energy crisis and defense went over smoothly with both candidates making strong statements. Then the issue turned to abortion and Christian values

    Soma Golden: This week, Cardinal Medeiros of Boston warned Catholics that it’s sinful to vote for candidates who favor abortion. This did not defeat the two men he opposed, but it did raise questions about the roles of church and state. My question: Do you approve of the Church’s actions this week in Boston? And should a President be guided by organized religion on issues like abortion, equal rights, and defense spending?

    Mr. Carter?

    Carter: Oh okay I wasn't sure if it was my question. I have before said that I am personally opposed to abortion and that I do not believe Jesus Christ would have supported Abortion, However I also believe that we must respect the supreme court. Now… uh… whether somebody agrees or disagrees with me on that… Pardon me Ms. Golden. In this country it is important that whether we come from a church, synagogue or some other place of worship we should respect each other and listen to each other's opinions.

    Golden: I do not believe that was a clear answer, I will repeat. Do you approve of the church’s actions this week in Boston and do you think a president should be guided by organized religion on political issues?

    Carter: I think it is clear that some religious organizations will have clear views on political issues and they should have the right to but I believe rather than forcing your members into a certain view that we should have open discussions around issues like abortion and the equal rights movement. Just as we had discussions at my local Baptist church.

    Carter's weak answer led to murmurings among Christian voters George Bush took the opportunity to give a much more competent answer which pleased his conservative base. The response threw Carter off leading to an underwhelming final message. A phone poll taken immediately after said that 60% thought that George Bush won while 27% thought that Carter won the debate with the rest undecided. The national margin started to fall under 10% in polls after the debate. The bush camp were thrilled with the results and were determined to ride the wave of momentum to a closer race.

    The very next day on September the 22nd 1980 news broke from the middle east that the Iraqi army had launched a full scale invasion effort into Iran. Iraq launched the war to seize resources, control the Shatt-al-Arab and annex the Khuzestan Province. President Carter was in Torrance California at the time of the incident and chose to make a statement on it during the political event

    “This event may convince Iran that they need peace with their neighbors, that they need to be part of the international community, they need to be able to have a strong and viable economy, they need to get spare parts for their military and so fourth and therefore induce them to calm down on the attacks against our country and our people”
    • Jimmy Carter speaking on the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war, September 22nd 1980

    In private the administration toyed with the idea of aiding Iraq, Although a win by Iran would be terrible for the USA, a strong Iraqi win would give Saddam Hussein a dominance in the region. The US in secret tried to construct an arms deal that would help Iraq but not wipe out Iran, Leading to a balanced peace and quickly.

    The arms deals may have contributed to a fast advancing front by Iraq, The resistance by Iran increased with Iraq still making gains along its entire front. Iraq made a major capture of Ahvaz in late September with the front still advancing into Iran. Peace deals were already being discussed for a border adjustment through only part of the Khuzestan province. With pressure from the USA Iraq offered peace to Iran only to be rejected. The war was still early and Iran still did not feel they were in a bad situation. Iraq in reaction decided to push much more aggressively into Iran Capturing port cities and breaching the Borders of the Province of Khuzestan by early October.

    Back in the USA the vice Presidential debate between Walter Mondale and Howard Baker in Louisville was hosted, featuring questions about ability to lead the country through military conflict and social issues. Baker was seen as too fiery and Walter Mondale was considered to have won the debate, this made no impact on the race.

    “We hope very much for a sensible and balanced peace in Iran and we hope that Iran will reconsider their dangerous rhetoric towards other nations. It is a good thing for all Americans if we stay at peace and that Iran and Iraq sort out their differences”
    • Walter Mondale’s statement on the conflict in Iran, October 2nd 1980

    The United Nations Security Council passed a unanimous resolution for a quick peace in the Middle East on September 28th when Iran again refused to negotiate further Several nations imposed further sanctions on both nations until a peace negotiation began. After further gains made by Iraq into Iran further occupying provinces just under 200 miles away from Tehran in an extremely short time on the 26th of October Iran and Iraq both accepted Resolution 479 and reluctantly began negotiations and ceased fire.

    The US was perhaps a little worried about the large amount of land that they had allowed Iraq to occupy to Intimidate Iran but overall they were very happy about the embarrassment than Iran would suffer by losing coastal territory. Still, the peace came as a general surprise to the American public who had been fed by speculation that the war would not end for many years. The president hailed the peace as a victory of US diplomacy and shifted the dialogue in the face of the upcoming presidential debate in 2 days

    Carter and Bush at the second debate

    The second presidential Debate took place on the 28th of October in Cleveland Ohio. George Bush gave the appearance of confidence but as the debate rolled on it was clear that Carter was the most prepared for the debate. Bush started giving badly connected answers while Carters seemed the most polished by far. Carter defended US diplomacy by claiming that pressure for Peace left the US out of war (as far as the public was concerned) and Iran was weakened due to his leadership. A phone poll by CBS concluded that 65% thought that Carter won the debate and 20% were undecided with only 15% saying Bush won. Due to Bush’s fumbling he didn't engage in much attack leaving 81% of respondents saying that the content of the debate was mostly positive

    As election night came closer the Carter camp opened up a large lead over Bush in the Polls,

    A Graph of 1980 Polling

    Only election night would tell if it was to be the predicted landslide...

    Part 4
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    Into The Carterverse #5 (4 More years)
  • Into The Carterverse

    4 More Years

    As election night began Americans flicked through the channels or turned their tuning knob to find their preferred news provider, most wanted to find results from TV coverage, some from Radio.

    NBC News
    John Chancellor: Good Evening and welcome to NBC News' coverage of the 1980 presidential election. Our team of correspondents, panelists, pollsters and commentators are assembled here in New York and around the country to see if Jimmy Carter will win re-election or if George Bush will make it to the Oval Office.

    We've been polling around the country in the key states, NBC News and the Associated Press, and what we're learning in the key states is that makes us believe that Jimmy Carter will win an astounding re-election tonight, astounding, that's our belief at the moment based on polls in key states.

    We can already say that in Kentucky NBC news can project that Jimmy Carter will win Kentucky, On our map we color Kentucky in Red for those watching in Color and Light Gray for those watching in Black & White...

    ABC News
    ... We project that New Hampshire will be won by Mr. Bush, his first electoral votes on our board, and you can see on our graphic that New Hampshire goes into the Blue Column. Blue is Bush, that's why we picked blue. Although I suppose we could've also chose Cyan for Carter but there you go...

    The NBC map as of 11pm EST

    NBC News
    ... And if you look behind me and Mr. Brokaw you'll see that it is looking like a Jimmy Carter Map tonight, shown in Red.

    Jessica Savitch: Its looking like a Carter inferno has ignited across the Country! *both laugh*

    The election was a bloodbath. George Bush had lost the electoral college just before midnight and had already called to concede to Carter.

    "We claim victory tonight, knowing that our team can take give us 4 more years, 4 more glorious years!"
    - Jimmy Carter in his victory Speech, November 4th 1980

    1980 Us Presidential Elections.png
    Carter won 443 electoral votes and almost 10 million more votes than George Bush, he became the first democratic president to be re-elected since FDR. George Bush stayed under 100 electoral votes. While carter got 5 Million more votes than he did in 1976 Bush got about 5 million less votes than Geral Ford did. Republican turnout was low in key areas leading to a low turnout election. Carter was the first democrat to win White voters in over 20 years while Bush lost some suburban support


    Presidential County map
    Carter won massively in Appalachia for his support of Coal and shockingly won Alaska due to increased Oil exploration. He won every county in Hawaii, Georgia and West Virginia and won a majority of Counties, as he did in 1976.

    1980 Us Senate Elections.png
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    The congressional elections resulted in another Democratic Trifecta with substantial gains. A race that could not be called for Months was the South Dakotan senate Election which was the campaign for Liberal senator and former presidential candidate George McGovern to be re-elected

    South Dakota Senate Election 1980.png
    McGovern was finally decleared the Victor with a measly 5 vote margin after challenge after challenge. James Abdnor claimed that corruption was behind McGovern's win and contested the election for years after, never truly accepting the victory. The victory was most remarkable considering McGovern outran Jimmy Carter in South Dakota despite being to the Left of him. He cemented himself as a political player for the next 6 years

    For Carter, with a massive mandate he was well and truly to be the president for the 80s and he was confident his agenda would play out over the next 4 years.

    Part 5
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    Into The Carterverse #6 (1981: Iran Iraq and Downstate New York)
  • Into The Carterverse

    Iran Iraq and Downstate New York

    As 1981 began President Carter started the year comfortably. With approval ratings high and essentially no foerign conflict to embroil himself in he was in an enviable position. Carter famously wasn't heavy on policy, rather stating his personal views during the campaign season rather than an overarching agenda. This felt a bit uneasy to some of carter’s aides but after a controversial first term it was a welcome break for the President.

    George Bush although disappointed with the election result he fully accepted it. His desire for higher political office had been questioned and he decided to retreat back into private life and to focus on connecting with his adult children. Although he'd be asked many times George Bush would never again run for political office.

    George Bush.png

    The programme to increase domestic energy production with Oil and Coal had proved extremely popular, despite the protest of Frank Press, his science advisor. In his position Press was receiving hundreds of letters from nationwide scientists to morph policy in the Whitehouse. The cost of the project was also a point of contention. Republicans especially were worried about the multi billions worth of subsidies for fossil fuel companies due to the cost they represented. Conservationists on both sides were also angry at the policy, Rural California Republicans were drafted by environmental groups to be advocates against the policy claiming disregard for the environment. The biggest critic was that of Northern Republican Senator Robert Stafford the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

    “I understand the regard for the Environment as it is important we conserve our environment for future generations to enjoy, But what we were seeing was unprecedented uncertainty in our energy supply and we decided to take a stand and work towards energy independence”
    • President Carter on energy policy, April 14th 1981

    Overseas although Iran and Iraq had been at peace for some time there was no sign of a peace deal as Iran kept refusing to give up Arab lands. International communities would double down on calling for peace despite more sanctions but the probability of continued conflict seemed to rise higher. Carter was discussing a probability of a Camp David style peace accord. Senator Moiniyhan of New York suggested any such camp be held at Bear Mountain state park by closing the park off to the public for as long as the secret negotiations took.

    Wanting to pursue the Idea, Carter instructed that the Ayatollah of Iran should be contacted and asked about the possible peace accords abroad. Ayatollah Khomeni utterly rejected the idea and said that he felt “insulted” that “President Carter thought that Iran's supreme leader could be wrestled into a position for a political ploy.” Saddam Hussein when contacted thought the idea was “Nice on paper but unworkable in reality” and that Iraq would rather have the diplomats from the two countries meet somewhere more secret without outside knowledge. American diplomats suggested the idea of a peace conference on a Large Ship such as an Aircraft carrier or Battleship in the persian gulf. The Iranian diplomatic delegation were more open to the idea that people at the conference would be flown to the ship in the morning and return in the evening. However as planning got drawn out into August the Iranians got frustrated and simply refused to engage in any future discussions holding out with a ceasefire.

    When the failed negotiations were revealed to the public it resulted in an embarrassment on behalf of senator Moinyhan and president Carter. The failure to set up effective peace negotiations shocked a nation that up until recently was under the impression that their administration had a vast wealth of diplomatic power.

    The USA would pull back in their Involvement in the peacemaking process significantly as the uneasy ceasefire continued for the rest of 1981

    Part 6
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    Into The Carterverse #7 (The Mixed Up Months)
  • Into The Carterverse

    The Mixed Up Months

    Screenshot 2021-02-02 104227.png
    Clipping from Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide​

    “ The scientific task is to help determine the nature of future climatic effects as early as possible. The required efforts in global observations and climate analysis are challenging, but the benefits from improved understanding of climate will surely warrant the work invested. “
    • James Hansen in ‘Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide’ , August 28th 1981
    In August 1981 a study that would change the American outlook on climate change forever was published, straightforwardly named “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” the study by Climatologist James Hansen would garner national attention, Pushing the idea that the effects of climate change would lead to effects, not just in centuries but in most people's lifetimes was shocking to the American state of normalcy. When CNN picked up the study to add into its 24 hour news cycle the projection of a crisis into viewers was so strong it became a national story. Soon the other networks picked up the story. The details of Hansen's projections were detailed in full without debate or commentary. A Poll a Month after the Study’s release showed that 40% of respondents could explain what the projections of the study were out of the 62% of respondents that recognized the Study. 55% of those who knew about the study agreed that ‘Global Warming’ was a serious concern, almost evenly split by party although Democrats were more likely to support it.

    The study would begin to cause headaches for the White House and Congressional members who sponsored the Carter energy policy and voted for its funding package as press field questions about it. Proposals from several congressmembers suggested reinstating laws such as the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which had been repealed to expand mining and having a major funding boost to alternative energy infrastructure and research.

    Discussions continued within cabinet and within the white house whether to pivot further toward the side of Renewable energy. Republicans were divided on the issue, on one hand they mostly enjoyed energy independence a lot of politicians were also tied up in the Oil and Coal industry. Some were Interested in Nuclear options and recontinuing the process on research with Thorium reactors by calling back Alvin Weinberg to help with government research.

    But after many discussions the Carter White House decided to make no comment on the study and wait until after the 1982 midterms to take any steps to ask congress for a funding package.

    Energy and Climate change stayed as the largest issue in the nation through the end of 1981 and the start of 1982. The white house stuck to the mainstream issues like workers rights and social rights. An underlying current in congress headed by fresh congressmembers such as senator Elizabeth Holtzman was seeking to revive the momentum for the ERA after no state had ratified the amendment and were worried that the June 30th ‘82 Deadline would come and go. A proposal to remove the deadline altogether would gain support which would result in a 1982 congressional vote. The ERA only required 3 more ratifications to get to the required 38 states to ratify the amendment and with Florida and Illinois already voting on it the goal seemed to be in reach. Many democrats elected in 1980 to state legislatures were in favour of the amendments and it looked as if states in the south could get the amendment passed in their legislatures.

    A Vote to remove the deadline for the ratification of the ERA passed with bipartisan support by a thin margin. Elizabeth Holtzman's full-throated support for the amendment was credited for the success of the vote and she subsequently became very popular in her home state. Anti-ERA groups were angry at the abolishment of the deadline which presented the passing of the ERA as impossible to subvert, and so it happened. With an extra push of activism Missouri became the 38th state to ratify the ERA and after legal challenges over the validity over the revoked ratifications it was recognized that when Missouri ratified the amendment on March 29th 1982, blowing open a door of legal challenges to remove legal distinctions between men and women. The victory for gender equality was relished by the Left.

    During a casual meeting with Presidential advisors over the issues of the time in April one of Carter's aides ran into the room with a videotape in hand.

    “Who have I pissed off now” Carter exclaimed to the aide. “Which activist or republican is it this time?” the aide caught his breath and then in a hushed tone told “Mr President, it's a senator… a Democratic Senator. You should have a look”

    The Letterman Show, April 8th 1982

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    Senator Pat Moynihan: The challenge we face with the environment is so great and so global that I believe we should set aside nationalism, set aside alliances, and work on this issue together. In that James Hansen paper that we all saw we were confronted with the fact that at our current rate the earth will have warmed three degrees centigrade by the year two-thousand-one-hundred

    David Letterman: Has the president done enough to explore alternatives to coal and the so called “Fossil Fuels”

    Moynihan:... I will not lie to you… no, he has not. And for that I am disappointed at his inaction


    President Carter's eyes were peeled, fixed angrily on the screen. He looked about ready to plan a murder until he suddenly stepped back and sighed with a resigned look. He only muttered one word before walking out, “Shit.”

    Part 7
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    Into The Carterverse #8 (The Falklands)
  • Into The Carterverse

    The Falklands (Mini Update)

    On April the 2nd 1982 an Argentine Military forces landed via sea on the British Controlled Falkland Islands.

    The UK government had had some intelligence of the possible invasion of the Falkland's and the immediate position of Prime Minister Thatcher was that of a full scale invasion.

    Disapproving of the governments aversion to diplomacy although Carter gave the British Governments American Weather Intel the US government explicitly refused any material aide or satellite imagery. Although this soured relations personally with the Prime Minister and the government as a whole Carter refused to let America get too involved in any other armed conflict already concerned with the Middle Eastern crisis that the US was still trying to solve via shuttle diplomacy.

    The British task force started their journey to the Falkland islands. However, they ran into many issues of resources. On their way many vehicles and ships were under fuel restraints and ran out causing them to be stranded halfway in the journey. Due to the American skepticism to help out there weren't any other nations willing to help out with fuel supplies in risk of alienating the US. The slightly limited team had some initial success in retaking South Georgia island as a launchpad to the Falkland's themselves as South Georgia had been less militarized.

    The mission to destroy argentine recourses in the Falklands was less successful due to limited recourses on the British side. Air raids by the British were overpowered by Argentine forces constantly arriving to reinforce the others. Unsuccessful raids lasted until early May, the British force was so low on recourses and so demoralized to their constant lack of success. The prime minsiter was under pressure from all sides to make a drastic change in strategy to either withdraw forces or issue an untimatum to the UKs allies to help in the invasion. Eventually on the 16th of May 1982 the government made its decision

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    Jan Leeming: The Prime Minister today in a press statement has accepted that the Falklands Conflict has "Not developed in an advantageous way" and the government will now work with the United Nations to ensure the right of self determination for the Falkland people.

    The result of the conflict was widely ridiculed by those in the UK and there was much debate about whether the conflict was worth it. From now on the best case scenario for the Falkland's would be full independence or a UN trust territory.

    A Motion of No Confidence was tabled against the government on the 28th of May after the embarrassing result in the Falkland's. The vote was not expected to pass until the very end when several very liberal and very conservative members of the Conservative party voted for the motion of no confidence after feeling that the party should have followed their respective paths to victory.

    The snap election was called for the 4th of July leading the election to be known as the "Independence Day Election" after the US celebration. The Conservative party started far behind Labour and the Alliance but the campaign to ensue would see Michael Foot make many gaffes and the Alliance's momentum fade. After leading the popular vote in the polls at the start they fell back into 3rd just before the election and Labour lost their lead over the conservatives a week before the election.

    1982 British Election.png
    Margaret Thatcher was forced to govern with a minority relying on votes from the UUP, DUP and the UPUP with some support from the Alliance on conscience votes. Needless to say, the result in the Falklands lead indirectly to a period of massive political uncertainty in UK politics and lead to a shaky government for the next 3 years.
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    Into The Carterverse #9 (Run-up to the Midterms)
  • Into The Carterverse

    Run-up to the Midterms

    As November approached the Midterm elections started to come into the realm of public intrest. With Large Majorites in the House and Senate it was unlikely that any siezmic shift in power was to occur. ALthough it was not outwardly obvious, with another term of carter the White house was becoming a more socially progressive place and inward pressure for the Democrats and Republicans to have some fresh blood was starting to become impossible to ignore. Some of the more notable races are as follows.


    Incumbent holdover from a segregationist past John Stennis was approaching 83 when he started his 7th senatorial campaign. There were some rumblings amongst both parties of nominating a clear opposition to Stennis. Two former civil rights advocates from both sides used the senators age to advantage in their campaigns

    Charles Evers
    Mayor Charles Evers had slowly started to drift from the Democratic party and Had switched to Republican in 1978, He thought that he could convince the white electorate that Stennis was too old and remind the Black electorate of Stennis' racist past. He would be placed against Political operative Hayley Barbour.

    Marian Edelman
    Founder of the Children's Defense Fund and Activist Marian Edelman took it upon herself the uphill battle to challenge Senator Stennis from the Democratic side. Early on she accepted that her lack of political office and not to mention her Identity which would be unavoidable in a Mississippi campaign would be an issue to a general electorate. However, she got help for her run from the NAACP and other civil rights groups and used a heavy presence of volunteers and a campaign to get out the black vote in the Democratic primary. She ran a campaign focused on Family, Faith and her record on improving the lives of Children with her activism. She made the bold move to challenge the senator to several in person town hall debates to which he refused. Stennis was caught in the middle of the race debate, trying to ballance support between accusing that he was not racist and calling Edelman a "Black Radical." This may have ended up hurting him rather than helping him though with Progressives being driven away and Ultra-Conservative whites deciding to not vote.

    The results of the primary elections would lead to a shock for both parties

    Primary MS.png

    Primary R mS.png
    For the first time ever two Black Candidates would be running against each other for a senate election, in a state with a reputation of viscous racism. There was incredible demand for a third candidate by angry racists in Mississippi but the deadline had passed.


    Incumbent Democratic senator John Melcher received a primary challenge due to his appeared conservatism, Prominent ecologist Mike Bond made an attempt to successfully challenge the senator but was easily defeated. His main challenge was a hotly contested general election

    Larry Williams
    The well rounded Larry Williams who advocated for tax reform, worked as a stock trader and wrote books posed a serious threat to the senator. His conservative positions seemed fresh to Montana voters as he embraced Reagan style economic rhetoric. The polls showed that the Montanna race would be a close one and that the senator's conservatism may have made him too much like a republican, so much so voters may just end up electing one.

    Senator Howard Cannon had been holding elected office since 1946. Politically he was uncontroversial but voters were starting to feel fatigue and in a typically Republican state such as Nevada he was very much in trouble.

    Chic Heict
    Business Advocate Chic Heict had been known in the state senate for working closely with governor Laxalt to create public facilities. He was an unassuming candidate but against Cannon as a fresher face (despite only being 14 years younger) had an advantageous position to win the senate election in Nevada.

    New Jersey
    Held by the retiring Nicholas Brady the New jersey senate election attracted New Jerseys most optimistic politicians but there was one clear frontrunner for the seat that had garnered the most attention

    Millicent Fenwick
    The Progressive Pipe-Smoking Millicent Fenwick had entered the House at the age of 64. She was praised by the media for calling out corruption on all sides of the political spectrum. She favoured a humanitarian approach to diplomacy as evidenced by her meetings with soviet diplomats and used her wit to her advantage. Her work ethic was praised and she was open with the media. Her stellar reputation lead her to be seen as the clear frontrunner for the seat. Her only barrier would turn out to be her age, at 72 if elected she would be unlikely to gain much seniority.

    Frank Lautenberg
    CEO of Automatic Data Processing Frank Lautenberg would win the Democratic Primary and posed as the opponent of Fenwick. His perceived attacks of Her age were deemed cruel by voters and would end up dampening his support.

    New York
    Originally it was assumed the New York senate race wouldnt be remotley close but after senator Moyinihans flub ups in the national spotlight over Iran and Iraq and splitting the party in New York over Climate he seemed Vulnerable. The Republican Primary was mainly between two low profile candidates which was positive for Moynihan but they both reckoned that the potential of name recognition would get them in a positon where they could possibly win

    Florence Sullivan
    Screenshot 2021-02-06 173551.png
    Assemblywoman Florence Sullivan had a background in Teaching and Law and posed as the Humble mother from Bay Ridge who had served her community well and now wanted to serve New York. The Jump from the assembly to the Senate however was seen as a large step one that would be dealt with differently by her opponent

    Muriel Siebert
    Sibert was a stock exchange trailblazer. She was the first woman to own a seat on the NYSE. She was outspoken in her support of Diversifying her industry. As a stockbroker make no mistake, she was part of an industry reliant on conservative interests and she advocated heavily for conservative economics and less government regulation. She also seemed to be supportive of trickle-down theory advocating large upper class tax cuts. Trickle Down had its supporters and opponents within the republican party but with her more powerful, out-there brash campaign she won the support of the party and would end up facing Moynihan in the most contested senate race in the country. Her personal connections to wall street lead to her receiving extremely high personal donations from wealthy friends, something she would have to defend in the campaign

    These were not the only contested races but these are some of the more notable ones. There was an expectation in the '82 midterms that due to an incumbent Democratic president that republicans would find success. It was not set in stone but Democrats had to work hard to fight against the assumption.

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    Into The Carterverse #10 (Midterms '82)
  • Into The Carterverse

    Midterms '82

    The midterms started to ramp up with various congressional leaders running around the country vying for their respective candidates. Carter had a lot of senate campaigning to do, He was notably involved in campaigning for Marian Edelman to get Democrats on her side, as well as campaigning around the Midwest and a bit in California and Nevada. However, although asked many times Carter did not do much campaigning in the Atlantic for senator Moynihan especially. He did visit New York briefly but left quickly for New Jersey.

    New Republican house leader Phil Crane was a particularly active campaigner around the country, he enlisted the help of Gerald Ford and Howard Baker to campaign for senate and House Candidates. Having a democratic president incumbent Republicans were hopeful for an injection of momentum.

    82 Senate Election.png

    82 House Elections.png

    Governor 82.png
    Of the two senate elections particularly of Interest the specific results were as follows

    Missisppi 82.png
    In Mississippi which was predicted to be a close win a convincing win from Edelman ended up occurring. Carters campaigning had allowed her to gain a majority of White Voters and her targeting of Urban black voters gave her a large win in Jackson propelling her to a pretty big win. Evers gained a Majority of the Black Vote mainly from small towns and rural regions, the Republican label hurt him with traditionally Democratic voting whites despite the identity of both candidates. The Win of Edelman was one of many firsts: First Black senator from the south since reconstruction, First Black democratic senator, First Female Black Senator and first Female Senator from Mississippi. The race was extraordinary from the start and many voters ended up not voting out of protest at the candidates. Edelman accepted that a strategy to gain re-election in 1988 may not end up working and pledged to be nobody but herself in the senate.

    Cal Senate 82.png

    Reagan surprisingly won the Republican Primary in California beating out the likes of Pete Wilson. Although it may be assumed that her campaign had a connection to Her Father Ronald Reagan, he remained firmly politically inactive and didn't support his daughters decision to run for weeks after her announcement. The race in California was predicted to be close but Reagan won the election by about 15% in the end.

    New York 82.png
    Muriel Siebert would pull off a close win on election night defeating Moynihan. Strong support from upstate and closer than expected margins in NYC gave her a slight edge. Siebert's win also meant that New York became the first state with two female senators serving concurrently. The result was an upset as the polls gave Moynihan a decent lead going into the election...

    Jimmy Carter Interview 1994
    Interviewer: Looking back, why did you essentially leave Pat Moynihan for dead in the 1982 midterms?

    Carter: Because I knew he was right, I knew he was right on the environment. I wanted to agree with him and take his accusations up with honesty. But if I were it would be a flip-flop. I think we all knows what happens to politicians to flip flop. The scandal associated with such a thing would've lead to massive losses in those midterms, by standing my ground I appeared strong. I admit it was wrong and I apologize profusely to Pat."

    The 1982 midterms saw a large amount of Women elected to the senate. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) and Nancy Kassenbaum (R-KS) were joined by both Marian Wright Edelman (D-MS) and Muriel Siebert (R-NY) as well as Maureen Reagan (R-CA) and Millicent Fenwick (R-NJ). Fenwick won her New Jersey Election in a Landslide beating her opponent by 20 points.

    The Number of women in the senate jumped from 2 to 6 in one election signaling an upcoming shift in the congressional gender balance over the rest of the 80s.

    Part 10
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    Into The Carterverse #11 (A New Assosicate Justice)
  • Into the Carterverse

    A New Associate Justice

    The new congressmen and women of the 98th congress were sworn in on January the 3rd 1983 entering into a new political year. With a presidential election only a year away it seemed as if 1983 was going to be a relative calm before the storm of the 1984 election cycle. Carter was relatively lucky to have a democratic trifecta throughout the entirety of his presidency. The Carter agenda seemed mostly exhausted for the time being. The nation seemed in relatively good shape. Unemployment was only around 5%, a far cry from the peak of the energy crisis. However, that did not mean Carter was not having some regrets. After increasing funding for green energy in his first term he was purportedly becoming restless about his 1980 shift in energy policy to rapidly reduce development on middle eastern oil by using Fossil Fuels.

    After the 1980 election Carter had picked Harley Orrin Staggers as the new Energy Secretary due to his views on de-regulation which was crucial in expanding coal production. Carter figured that the conservative working class Staggers would outwardly support the coal direction and indeed he did but with Carter starting to have large amounts of regret he was privately planning something drastic. He had been in private talks with former representative Ken Helcher. Helcher had been instrumental in the Coal Mine Health and Safety act of 1969 which set a limit on the amount of coal dust allowed in a coal mine. For a West Virginian politician he was very pro coal regulation and in the talks with Carter he had been supportive of expanding renewable sources and researching alternative fuels if he were to be Secretary of Energy. Carter was slowly working up confidence to ask Staggers to resign so he could nominate Helcher. But before he could Carter encountered a fresh political issue in his administration.


    Tom Brokaw: Associate Justice Potter Stewart has announced today that he will retire from his position after over 23 years on the supreme court. Appointed by President Eisenhower he took office on the 14th of October 1958. Potter said about his retirement that he wanted to spend more time with his Grandchildren and admitted that after some recent doctors visits he decided he wanted to leave the court in good health. Questions now begin to mount around who the President will choose to replace him, some are even saying that it may now be time to have the first woman on the supreme court.

    Carter, who had been preparing to leave office with the legacy of never having appointed a supreme court justice, was excited to hear of Stewarts announcement. The passage of the ERA months before the election meant that there were calls for the First Female Associate Justice on the supreme court to be nominated. The clear runaway favourite was Shirley Hufstedler the Secretary of Education. Although she was a cabinet Secretary she had been in lists of potential court candidates since the 1960s and many thought that she was by far the most qualified to take up the position regardless of the role her identity would play in diversifying the court. The only other possible nominee could have been Charles Kirbo who had had a personal history with Carter when Carter lost the primary for a state senate seat, Kirbo was the one who proved that the results were fraudulent allowing jimmy carter to win the Primary and the General election. The nomination was put up as a contest between Hufstedler and Kirbo but the eventual nominee was more or less obvious.

    EHEnG49XYAAlbFk (1).jpg
    Shirley Hufstedler and President Carter, 1983
    Reception to the appointment was overwhelmingly positive although there was some concern among conservatives whether Hufsedlers views would persuade her too much in interpreting the constitution. A few senators publicly stated that they would need some convincing of her ability in the hearings. These statements came from Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Don Nickles of Oklahoma. The two were critiscised for the statements as they were accused of insticetivley doubting Hufstedlers qualifications because of her sex.

    Pundits thought that Hufstedler’s nomination hearings which occurred over 3 days lead to an excellent performance by Hufstedler. She was relatively uncontroversial with no major question of conduct arising in the hearings. The senate held a vote on her nomination on the 12th of May 1983 which resulted in a near unanimous approval 99-1 with no absent senators. The sole dissenter was Strom Thurmond of South Carolina who was accused of being bitter over his treatment by the media for questioning Hufstedler's ability to serve.

    Strom Thurmond Sucks.png

    With the passage of the ERA in the previous year the Supreme Court removed references to justices as being only men and rather started using a gender neutral term “Justice” in all further publications. Hufstedler was considered a Liberal Leaning judge from the beginning and it was not doubted that she would be a liberal voter voting for things such as protection of the right-to-choose for women and enforcing the ERA.

    Shirley Hufstedler court photo.png
    Portrait of Justice Hufstedler

    Part 11
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    Into The Carterverse #12 (A Crowded Field)
  • Into The Carterverse

    A Crowded Field

    apologies, im not in the writing mood today so just a quick freshener
    As was common in the 1980s the primary contest for the 1984 election started immediately after the midterms. The political capital needed for a presidential run took a long time to build up and candidates that announced later were assumed to have a lower chance of winning.

    The Top 10 Candidates for the 1984 election that announced during 1983 were as follows

    Walter Mondale

    Gary Hart

    George McGovern

    John Glenn

    Fritz Hollings

    Jesse Jackson

    Bob Dole

    Howard Baker

    Jack Kemp

    Pete Du Pont

    Pat Robertson

    The first Debates would soon begin and campaigning for the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire Primaries would start. But the attention of the nation was still mostly on the current administration.

    There was a lack of serious political issues at immediate concern to the nation, rumours of carter wanting a New Energy secretary were starting to be detailed to the media. Shirley Chisolm had been unanimously confirmed as the next secretary of Education after agreeing to be nominated by Carter as a token of her influence on the Democratic party. The carter administration was still working on a permanent peace agreement between Iran and Iraq as Iran was considering resuming the war after being allowed time for their military strength to heal.

    Part 12
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    Into The Carterverse #13 ("Energy For the '80s")
  • Into The Carterverse

    "Energy for the '80s"

    While the primaries for 1984 were revving up the expectation was that carter had very little left to do in office. Although his first term was widely viewed as mediocre he had had a popular second term and with perfected skills of convincing congress he had been able to get almost everything through the democratic controlled congress. But secretly in the halls of the white house tension was building about Carters personal regret for the energy policies that had got the US closer to energy independence. Air pollution was much worse than in the 70s, smog from coal burning in the east had cut visibility in The eastern seaboard and New England. Americans were generally happy with falling gas prices because of domestic oil production in Alaska and workers and companies were happy with the extra economic growth. But as was becoming clearer the idea of global warming/climate change had been coming to a scientific consensus, it was real and caused by man. President Carter had become increasingly interested in alternative energy and wanted to use his remaining time in office to explore more clean energy investment.
    After Months of hesitating President Carter had finally come to a decision. He had invited Secretary of Energy, Harley Staggers, for a private meeting to discuss his plans to change energy policies. Staggers came in in an pleasant mood meeting with carter outside of the oval office. According to Carter in a interview later in his life, he very simply thanked him for his service and then launched into a seminar like speech on his personal conflicts with the white house's energy policy. When he was finished Staggers looked at Carter for awhile and then nodded a discussion of the energy policy of the administration then ensued and when told about his possible replacement with Ken Helcher he was supposedly pleased. Staggers agreed to resign rather than be fired to save political face.

    "It is clear now to me, that in order to move forward in energy policy our leadership needs to take action. As we approach the 21st century it is vital we embrace the new opportunities of energy with a open mind. I look forward to the efforts by the carter administration to take a new approach to energy in this country"
    - Harley O Staggers, May 29th 1983

    Carter nominated Ken Helcher for Secretary of Energy shortly after, Ken Helcher was not a massive green energy advocate, his career was more focused on protecting workers. However, Helcher had been persuaded to embrace the clean energy cause. Most Notable, when asked about the possible impact on existing coal and oil workers Helcher responded.

    "I favour a energy strategy that protects the workers renewable energy would impact the most. Lets offer job opportunities in solar and wind in Appalachia before we harm the coal industry. There is massive potential for Wind and Solar in Appalachia, one estimate puts the amount of energy harnessed by solar in Appalachia at 1500 Megawatts and I certainly think that is worth investing in!"
    - Ken Helcher, June 20th 1983

    The move was not without criticisms, plenty of Republicans and Democrats alike ridiculed the sudden shift to "renewables." However, polls showed that most Americans were concerned about environmental protection and with 55% were "concerned" about Human emissions warming the planet, On the climate change issue Carter said...

    "What I am seeking to do here is prepare the United States for the future of energy. In a few decades things will be different, this is not scary, this is not life changing. We will continue to use energy and recourses the same way we always have. The difference is that our energy usage will not be detrimental to the environment. 3 years ago we took a stand as a nation ready to power itself, now we stand as a nation ready to sustain our production of energy. We must start our process of producing energy for the '80s now, we will either lead, or fall behind."
    - President Carter, June 23rd 1983

    Ken Helcher was confirmed by the senate 83-15 with 2 non voting. With the confirmation of Helcher Carter began once again urging congress to take action on energy by increasing federal funding for wind and solar energy with a goal for the technologies to eventually be economical to choose solar and wind over coal and other energies. After some research and some conversation with nuclear physicist Alvin Weinberg Helcher became a fan of the idea of Thorium reactors eventually replacing uranium reactors due to material efficiency once costs could be managed appropriately.

    With the confirmation of Helcher the Carter presidency entered its final stage. President Carter for the first time in years would finally feel confident in his cabinet for the first time in years.
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    Into the Carterverse #14 (The Debates)
  • Into The Carterverse

    The Debates

    Before the end of the year and in the run-up to the Iowa Caucuses for both parties (21st January for Republicans 20th February for Democrats) there were 3 debates scheduled for both parties.

    1st Republican Debate 26th March 1983 Detroit, Michigan

    Due to the early entry of the republican candidates for president the decision was made that as the opposition party a debate must be held early to introduce the candidates to the nation. There were two moderators, one Republican one Democrat. The debate was staged as a several hour long forum for the candidates to bounce their ideas off each other and off of leadership from Republican and Democratic parties. This debate style gained great interest and it gained a large viewership of about 11 million. The debate was very long, running about 3 hours but the style stayed fast paced to cover an immense amount of issues: Foreign, Domestic, Economic, Social and Political. Dole was holding a small lead in the polls over senator Howard Baker. Howard Baker's skillful answering made him the winner of the debate, Representative Jack Kemp and Evangelist Pat Robertson who appealed to conservative Christians.

    1st Democratic Debate 5th June 1983 Des Moines, Iowa

    Walter Mondale was initially far and away the favourite to win the nomination even before he announced. Most people expected Mondale to run after being a popular and congressionally involved Vice President under a popular Administration. Mondale's job in the first debate was to defend himself against the different ideas of the Democratic Party that were being promoted by John Glenn and Gary Hart. The debate didn't make a large impact on public opinion but it did allow the smaller candidates to make a national stage for themselves. Gary Hart especially found himself running over time limits which led to him having the most speaking time, Mondale came a close second while John Glenn came third in speaking time. Gary Hart had a very slight increase in support while Mondale's slipped.

    2nd Democratic Debate 3rd July 1983 Concord, New Hampshire

    The second democratic debate was held in New Hampshire. Being the first Primary it was assumed that a large amount of reward in the form of momentum. The debate was promoted as crucial to deciding whether the primaries would be a coronation or a competition. Mondale appeared to stump his competitors on various issues until the topic of energy came up. While Glenn and McGovern gave convincing answers on the subject, when Mondale had further questioning on the subject he appeared to have a hard time holding middle ground between President Carter's record and his own policy. Straw polls taken after the debate saw Glenn as the winner of the debate. His Poll numbers improved while mondales decreased and the more minor candidates saw increases in popularity too.

    2nd Republican Debate 15th August 1983, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    With Howard Baker closing in on Bob Dole in the polls the debate in Cedar Rapids was decisive for the republican party. In the debate Bob Dole seemed less energetic compared to the other candidates, Baker, Kemp and Robertson scored some decisive points against Dole leaving him flustered. Robertson used his unique style to his advantage. Kemp made a bold move by accusing both Howard Baker and Bob Dole of being a losing candidates

    "In 1976 Bob dole was the losing choice for Vice President and just under 3 years ago Mr. Baker was the losing choice for Vice President, I cant seriously see us winning this time by making either of them our frontman"
    - Jack Kemp, August 15th 1983 in the Republican debate

    3rd Democratic Debate 25th September 1983 Burlington, Vermont
    Glenn had been unable to capture the momentum he got from the 2nd debate and wished to make another attempt this time around. But it was mostly a last ditch effort for Gary Hart to make national traction as a candidate. During Harts outlining of his vision Walter Mondale mocked the lack of specifics by saying "Where's The Beef" based off of a recent Wendy's ad campaign, media coverage on the remark was too much for the Hart campaign to spin despite his arguably positive performance in the debate. Hollings got a small boost in the polls after increased TV ads in the south position Hollings as a candidate for Conservative Democrats.

    3rd Republican Debate 17th October 1983 Des Moines, Iowa

    With Howard Baker as the new frontrunner and poll numbers seeming volatile as the final debate of the year, Des Moines was set to be an important showdown. The league of Women Voters as with the Democrats kept the candidates sitting in hopes of a calmer debate. This stayed true of A grueling campaign left Dole noticeably distant and tired. After Dole made a gaffe on Foreign Policy Kemp won the night by quipping back with "Did you screw your head on properly this morning Bob?" which was met with an eruption of laughter from the audience and left Dole with a frown for the rest of the night.

    1984 Republican Debate.png

    The debates of 1983 shook up the polling landscape considerably


    Screenshot 2021-02-22 102952.pngScreenshot 2021-02-28 142421.png

    The nation scrambled to make sense of it all just weeks out from the first caucus

    Part 14
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    Into The Carterverse #15 (Iowa)
  • Into The Carterverse

    Just before the end of 1983 the republican party sponsored a straw poll as there was in 1979 to tell the possible levels of support for the republican candidates, The poll revealed something shocking.

    Screenshot 2021-03-04 191323.png
    Televangelist Pat Robertson had garnered enough grassroots support with his highly religious rhetoric won the straw poll based off his heavy in person campaigning. His style of campaign was extremely unusual for the time due to how outwardly religious his rhetoric was.

    "I want a time in America where husbands love their wives and wives love their husbands. And when men and women together raise law-abiding god-fearing children as citizens of the greatest nation on earth"
    - Pat Robertson, 13th January 1984
    Jack Kemp embodied classic conservatism with socially libertarian values by supporting Women, Minorities and Workers. This proved to be a popular coalition which allowed his support to grow. This clashed with Robertson's Christian Conservative wing but with a growing socially progressive wing due to embracing the ERA by key senators such as Millicent Fenwick and Muriel Siebert this was also a strength for Kemp.

    No Such similar poll was taken for the Democratic Party but because of Mondale's upbringing on the border of Minnesota and Iowa alongside the image of Mondale being a Midwestern candidate it was assumed he was going to do well, with Glenn's support declining to McGovern and Jackson it was a race for Glenn to place well in Iowa to keep his campaign alive, Gary Hart also did some major campaigning focusing on Iowa instead of New Hampshire where Jackson was doing minor campaigning. Fritz Hollings was pre-occupied in the south and did not visit Iowa.

    Two polls by the Des Moines register with a small polling sample attempted to paint a picture of the Night to come

    MONDALE 40%
    GLENN 22%
    McGOVERN 20%
    JACKSON 12%
    HART 5%

    MONDALE +18

    BAKER 35%
    KEMP 35%
    DOLE 25%
    DU PONT 7%


    APPROVE 60%

    APPROVE +32
    Both Caucuses were on the 20th of February and as voters gathered into precincts to announce their vote the news networks were along for the ride to get a glimpse of presidential politics after Carter

    Screenshot 2021-03-04 185403.png



    Dan Rather: "Good Evening, in the first in the nation Iowa Caucuses the first results are in tonight from real live voters making real live choices and we have results from both parties to report. First the Democrats, CBS estimates now projects that Walter Mondale is the 1st choice by far. Running second, a distant second, but a second that will please the candidate nevertheless Senator George McGovern of South Dakota. And a sigh of relief as John Glenn makes it to the top 3 but perhaps by a lesser vote than predicted. Coming in quickly now here's how the results translate into candidate strength."

    Iowa Dem Cacuses 1984.png
    It was a good night for Walter Mondale and also a good night for George McGovern. A Disappointing night for John Glenn however lead to swirling speculation around his purpose in the race as the "Candidate for the Centre"

    Mondale had a triumphant victory speech

    "First of all, I want to thank you all for this incredible victory tonight, Because of our performance I have full confidence that we are racing full speed toward victory and the White House. You voted because you cared about the issues of a safer world, and a more competitive nation. With your vote tonight you secure America's future"
    - Walter Mondale's Victory Speech, February 20th 1984
    Rather: "As for the republicans well, we might be here a little longer to declare a victor, It is tight tight tight between Jack Kemp and Howard Baker right now with Pat Robertson sitting in 3rd, above Dole. With more even support for candidates its taking a bit longer than the democrats but here's what we've got."

    Iowa Rep Cacuses 1984.png
    More than Expected support for Kemp Baker and Robertson pushed Dole into 4th place. The lead between Kemp and Baker switched a few times that night with them both declaring victory

    "Together we can make America strong again, we can make America rich again and we can make America grow again, thank you and god bless you!"
    - Jack Kemp's Iowa Speech, February 20th 1984

    "Iowa said it tonight, now lets show the rest of the country that unity in the face of our challenges can solve our problems!"
    - Howard Baker's Iowa Speech, February 20th 1984

    With Robertson being a bit more... on the nose.

    "Tonight is the beginning of the end of evil democratic tyranny over god's kingdom!"
    - Pat Robertson's Iowa Speech, February 20th 1984



    MONDALE: 44,074 (55.35%)
    McGOVERN: 18,824 (23.64%)
    GLENN: 9,428 (11.84%)
    JACKSON: 4,706 (5.91%)
    HOLLINGS: 183 (0.23%)
    UNCOMMITED: 2,412 (3.03%)

    KEMP: 22,278 (34.84%)
    BAKER: 22,150 (34.64%)
    ROBERTSON: 12,194 (19.07%)
    DOLE: 7,622 (11.92%)
    DU PONT: 338 (0.53%)

    PART 15
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    Into The Carterverse #16 (A Developing Picture)
  • Into The Carterverse

    A Developing Picture

    The results of Iowa's crucial caucus had set up the course for things to come. A wide rejection of centrism and moderation in the Republican party in favour of more unusual and populist types. And on the democratic side the popular president had rubbed off on a popular vice president.

    The unusually late start of the republican primaries and caucuses meant that there was much chaos in the aftermath of Iowa as contests got pushed into the same date. Pat Robertson edged out a win in New Hampshire as his brand became more and more well known across the nation. Bob Dole was relegated to pockets of support in the Midwest with small margins of victory but even these were stating to become difficult to upkeep for the campaign. Pete du Pont saw that he had little to no influence over the campaign trail and despite an okay showing in New Hampshire he dropped out shortly after. Baker slipped into 3rd place behind Robertson by the middle of the campaign.

    Robertson had gained significant support in the south from his religious rhetoric, however, competition with Howard Baker in the region was keeping him behind Kemp in the delegate counts. Robertson tried to extend his campaign to the west and found limited success in gaining enough delegates in second place to narrow the lead of Jack Kemp quite a bit. However his unpopularity among the Northeastern (and Mormon) republicans trapped him in a disadvantageous position. Jack Kemp's success morphed his rhetoric to be more mainstream but it did signal the end of bob dole's campaign. Howard Baker performed well for a candidate in 3rd place and ended up winning 4 contests.

    The 3 way competition had an awkward side effect of giving no-one a majority of pledged delegates in the long run. Because of Kemp's lead it had just kept being assumed that eventually he would gain a majority of 1205 delegates as Robertson was trapped in second. But at the end it was clear that the convention would be brokered. Most assumed Kemp would win a ballot vote from Dole and Baker's delegates but Robertson's success was cemented well throughout the course of the primaries and there was no dispute he now wielded a large amount of influence over his base.

    Robertson was toying with the idea of demanding the vice presidency for himself or demanding a certain candidate, If not Robertson could certainly attempt another run if Kemp's was not successful. Robertson's harsh religious rhetoric was certainly not widely beloved and the Republican party was now split over whether to allow it or discourage it. The 1984 RNC was being set up as a face-off between two different visions of the future of the republican party.

    84 Republican Primaries.png
    Glenn's embarrassment in Iowa didn't relent, contest after contest he underperformed and underperformed again. Within television coverage of the primaries he was often reduced to a quick "Glenn, who again has failed to make the top 3" as his support gave way. John Glenn would end up suspending his campaign. Mondale stayed in front but it was almost as if McGovern and Jackson were nipping at his heels. While Gary Harts lack of national recognition killed his campaign.

    McGovern's campaign wasn't too much different from his 1972 campaign in its positions and rhetoric and his good campaigning gave him decent levels of support in the northeast and Midwest. Jesse Jackson's campaign was more racial justice focused than McGovern's earning him high levels of Black and Minority support leading him to wins in the south and Hawaii. Fritz Hollings ended up winning his contest in South Carolina very narrowly which ended his campaign quickly leaving Mondale as the "Centrist Option."

    Despite the best of efforts from the Left of the party McGovern and Jackson lost out by quite the margin to Walter Mondale who secured the nomination solidly by the end of the primary season, saving himself from embaressment as the sitting Vice President. He was open to the ideas of McGovern and Jackson after the primary season however and there were talks about a female vice presidential candiate in celebration of the ERA and the increasing amount of democratic women winning congressional primaries. Who the candidate was to be would have to wait until the DNC however.

    1984 Dem Primary.png
    Coming out of the primary Season Republicans looked significantly more divided than the democrats (due to all the hushing of the southern conservative democrats by the congressional leadership). A Popular president and a united party was making democrats gutsy, but the true race for election '84 was only just developing. Perhaps the democrats confidence was misplaced...

    PART 16
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    Into The Carterverse #17 (The Curious Case of Al Gore and the Compact Disc)
  • Into The Carterverse

    The Curious Case of Al Gore and the Compact Disc

    Warning: This installment contains lots of boring talk about audio and Al Gore, proceed at own risk

    In 1979 Phillips and Sony had teamed up to produce a digital audio format that would render all conventional record and tape systems obsolete. After delay from financial restraints release came in Japan and Europe in late 1983 with plans to release in America in early 1984. But one thing stood in the way, the RIAA.

    The RIAA was sceptical about the launch of CD in the United States. Unlike Records and Tapes the format was lossless and did not degrade over time. After hearing reports that recordable CDs were in the works the RIAA were immediately worried about the possible future of record sales.

    “You in Japan make wonderful technologies that produce brilliant sounds. But with your disregard for the decency of the record market impedes the creators of those sounds.”
    • President of the RIAA, Jay Berman

    But what did this all have to do with politics? Well there was a race heating up in the democrats for the 1984 vice-presidential nominee and a few knew about their consideration for the role. It was said in the party higher ups that they wanted the eventual nominee to pick a woman (To celebrate the ERA) or a southerner (To shore up southern support and balance out a potentially liberal ticket.) One of the names brought up was Tennessee Representative Al Gore.

    Gore was a southern moderate and the son of a former senator and recently had gotten invested in the record industry. Tipper Gore had gotten their daughter Karenna the self titled album from the staple of the New York Club Scene Madonna for Christmas 1983.

    “I originally thought it was a fun dance album from New York and I thought Karinna may enjoy it, but this song “Burning Up” started playing and the lyrics of “Do you wanna see me down on my knees Or bending over backwards, now would you be pleased?” which I think is totally inappropriate for any child to hear. There were no lyrics in the fold out either. How are parents supposed to know what their children are listening to!?”
    • Tipper Gore regarding Music Censorship Law, April 14th 1984
    Tipper Gore at the record Store.png
    Tipper Gore holding a copy of Madonna (1983)
    What started as a household conversation of listening material had evolved into representative gore getting invested in the drama of the RIAA and bringing the issues of music recording and ratings on music attention in congress. The CD finally launched in early 1984 in the USA and immediately the RIAA was asking congress to diminish sales by way of import taxes or ban the format in preparation for a recordable version of the format.

    Representative Al Gore decided to take it upon himself to use the issue to propel himself onto the national scene which would help with his future image within the party and would give him an issue to campaign on in the upcoming 1984 Tennessee Senate Race against the presidential candidate Howard Baker.

    Gore managed to gain congressional support from senators Sibert and Reagan and the eventual bill that was to be voted on formed to be a full ban on the format was planned for a vote in July.

    Brought to a vote on July 15th, the Digital Audio Recording Replication act

    The proposal to amend the bill to specify Lossless digital recordings came to fruition later in the year, a bill that Al Gore was notably not involved in due to the embarrassment of the previous legislation. It amended copyright law by specifying the maximum bitrate that a digital recording could be made at. Compact Disc used a 44.1khz sampling rate so lawmakers (After some listening tests) decided that the maximum sampling rate equipment sold in the US (for home use) could record at was 38khz. Although the copy was slightly muffled, it was enough to get the RIAA to shut up.

    Because of the national embarrassment Gore would lose the primary election eventually to Jane Eskind allowing her to be the Democratic nominee against Baker in 1984 just as she had been in 1978. The attempt to ban the Compact Disc from the USA was seen as a complete overreaction and supposedly made consumers more prone to recording music. Congressional support for the RIAA collapsed. However, Tipper Gore would eventually successfully campaign for as part of her action group for rating stickers to be put on music covers similar to the MPA rating system, the difference being there were no purchasing limits for G PG and R for anyone under 15 , rather they were just suggestions, but for the rare X rating would require adult permission.

    Phillips and Sony both ran into issues with a directly recordable CD format and decided that a digital tape based format would work best for the time being. Philips’ DCC and Sony’s DAT both began development immediately planning for a future format war.
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    Into The Carterverse #18 (The Search for a Vice President)
  • Into The Carterverse

    The Search for a Vice President

    As expected, Jack Kemp would give concessions to Pat Robertson to gain the nomination in a brokered convention. Notably, Pat Robertson didn't endorse Jack Kemp until after the convention and republicans still took a few rounds of voting to nominate Kemp. For a vice president Pat Robertson wanted a hardline Christian conservative, although he wasn't exactly a hardline conservative this candidate ended up being Mississippi senator Thad Cochran.

    Thad Cochran won election only in 1978 with a 3 way race. He worked well with democrats on elderly care legislation. He was not overtly Conservative but he was a little more to the right than the centrists in the senate. But he was southern and it was hoped he could connect well with voters in the south which would be crucial to Jack Kemps performance in November.

    84 Rep Convention.png
    It was no secret by now that the Democrats were wanting to have a Woman or Southern Vice Presidential pick on the ticket, the southerner part was simply to solicit southern votes but a Woman candidate was also in celebration of Jimmy Carter and the Democrat's support of the ERA. Candidates included Lloyd Bentsen, Sam Nunn and Bob Graham in the southern Category as well as Geraldine Ferraro, Elizabeth Holtzman, Dianne Feinstein and Martha Layne Collins (the only southern woman in consideration)

    Nunn, Graham, Holtzman and Collins all were eventually pulled from consideration for various reasons for example, Elizabeth Holtzman wanted senate seniority rather than the vice presidential job.

    The favourite candidate to emerge ended up being Geraldine Ferraro, while she was a womens rights pioneer she was also strongly opinionated in the areas of workers rights and related very well to working class conservatives in her seat. In her house election she ran on the slogan "Finally, a tough democrat" and had found prominence in the house caucus.

    But when Walter Mondale asked Geraldine Ferraro she said no. There was to be a senate election in New York in 1986 and Geraldine Ferraro told Walter Mondale that she intended to take the seat from Muriel Siebert and that going through the course of a vice presidential campaign especially if Mondale were to lose could interfere with her true wants and needs for the future of her career.

    Walter Mondale moved on to his next two options, Mayor of Los Angeles Tom Bradley and Mayor of San Francisco Dianne Feinstein. After a week of discussions he made the decision to ask Dianne Feinstein to be the Vice Presidential candidate to which she gladly accepted.

    The reasons for Feinstein's acceptance of the role may be accredited to her further political ambition, she had considered running for governor and for senate before and decided that the vice presidency would be suitable for herself. Dianne Feinstein had dealt with the assassination of Harvey Milk in San Francisco and under her mayoralty she had overseen the restoration of the San Francisco cable car system. However, she was in a bit of a strange position, she was unpopular among the left for disregarding socially progressive legislation but was seen as a San Francisco liberal by the moderates and the south. She was a moderate, a notable exception was the issue of guns where she was a large advocate for banning several weapons. It was worried that she would not be as popular of a pick compared to the likes of Geraldine Ferraro but Mondale was confident that she could navigate herself and gain the favourability of voters as a collected and pragmatic Mayor and Politician.

    " I looked for the best vice president, and I found her in Dianne Feinstein"
    - Walter Mondale's statment on his vice presidential pick, July 1st 1984

    84 Dem Convention.png
    Both conventions translated into a large boost in the polls for both candidates. The poll boost for the democrats was the biggest, much different to 1980 when they shockingly didn't receive any. But any boost by the convention would not last until the actual election. The Polling after both conventions had worn off had Mondale ahead of Kemp by about 5%. The next step in campaign '84 would of course be the debates...
    Into The Carterverse #19 (A Soviet of her Peers)
  • Into the Carterverse

    A Soviet of her Peers

    In 1982 soviet General Secretary Leonoid Brezhnev died, a conservative stabilizing force in the USSR who had increased the soviet nuclear arsenal and lead since 1964 died of a heart attack. He had struggled to hold onto power for months before his death but the governance of the nation in the early 80s had really been in the hands of a group of soviet officials.

    Leonoid Brezhnev and Jimmy Carter engaging in a socialist fraternal kiss after signing SALT II, June 18 1979
    There had been much discussion regarding his successor and there were a few heavyweights in the CPSU that were determined to be it. For one the Aging Mikhail Suslov had been part of leading the USSR for several months and had ambitions to share his ideas for introducing collective leadership and having been described as a "Nationalist" he was opposed to anti-Soviet moves by the eastern bloc while simultaneously voting against military action. But at the age of 79 he would die before Brezhnev. The new secretary general of the Soviet union would end up being the 67-year-old Yuri Andropov who was seen as being in opposition to aspects of Brezhnev's Premiership

    The media coverage of Andropov's ascension was mostly negative and not a lot was known about him to western audiences. He did oversee some firing of officials previously close to Brezhnev. The carter administration's friendliness to the Soviet Union lead to increases in trading with the United States with grain after Andropov agreed to reduce the scale of the soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The two nations became increasingly interested in mutual reduction in military budget as in the USSR it made up about 250 Billion Dollars and in the US 315 Billion Dollars.

    In February 1983 Adropov had suffered total Kidney Failure and would end up in hospital in August 1983 where he would remain for the rest of his Life. As this occurred his heath was slowly deteriorating and CPSU were starting to have deja vu as they searched for the best leader who would eventually replace Andropov. There was contemplation over the direction of the nation as after a long period of stagflation the ability of the government to still maintain the USSRs superpower status was of great concern. The ideal candidate after the health issues of Brezhnev and Andropov would have to be younger and be a strong personality to lead the USSR. Older candidates were ignored.

    One person who was a possible general secretary was Mikhail Gorbechev. Early on he was anti-stain supporting the reforms by Nikita Khrushchev and Gorbechev had carried the reformist spirit of destalinization with him. He had a record of being pro-equality as he had gone out of his way to appoint female city and district leaders when he was the First Secretary of the regional Kosmol. He was committed to preserving socialist ideas in the Soviet Union and he was skeptical about international intervention. He floated ideas of democratisation which was controversial within the city.

    The other main contender was much more well known in the USSR but not because of Politics. Valentina Tereshkova had cemented her place in history as the first woman in space. She had joined the communist party in 1962 and was pushed in a political direction against her will. She had held a variety of political offices after her space career and in 1974 she became a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Politically she was not-surprisingly a fan of the space program. She was orthodox and believed strongly in Russian culture and identity. She supported democratization of the soviet system to some extent but overall supported a strong party influence and leadership. She was not supportive of war and was open to increased positive relations with the United States. Her Mix of ideals clashed with the traditional ideas of communisim and overall she may have been described as part of a Conservative wing.

    Due to the preference within the party for a more authoritarian rule of the country The Central Committee chose Valentina Tereshkova as the general secretary of the Soviet Union. The process of picking a new leader had shown ideological divisions in the party to the world and to the public.

    In the succeeding election the next month the CPSU lost seats to Bolshevik aligned independents as a newfound variety of politics inspired people to go to the extra effort of filling out a ballot the elected independents were still a minority but the CPSU had the smallest share of seats in the Supreme Soviet it had ever obtained. The independents included a few hardliner socialist and communist politicians and activists. The election also saw more female candidates be chosen by the CPSU as candidates at the demands of Tereshkova herself.

    Screenshot 2021-04-02 142552.png
    In the west the achievement of the first female General Secretary was noted on and a surprising amount of congratulations was given to Tereshkova from western leaders but internally with the power she had Tereshkova was slowly starting to wield the power she had been given forming the beginning of what would become one of the strongest cults of personality around a leader in the Soviet Union, portraying her as a saviour that would bring stability and prosperity to the Soviet Union. Only time would tell how it was to play out.
    Into The Carterverse #20 The End of the Campaign Trail
  • Into The Carterverse

    The end of the campaign trail

    After an Uneventful period of campaigning succeeding the conventions Americans were treated to a peaceful election period. The polls did a bit of fluctuating but Mondale would generally hold a lead over Kemp. Being vice president to a popular president was a constant help on the trail, the selection of Dianne Feinstein was shown in polls to help Mondale with female voters but perhaps not as much as expected. One group that was showing improvement for Kemp were white voters which jimmy carter had won in 1980 but were generally trending republican, especially in the deep south. Democrats had never won the presidency without Texas which influenced them to focus on the state while states like Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee were going to be closer than 1980, that's if Mondale even won them.
    Carter 84 Olympics.png
    Jimmy Carter at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, July 28th 1984
    Before the debates the polls had shown kemp with a slight lead after some crucial campaigning,

    1984 Debates.png
    Mondale challanged Kemp to 3 debates which were argeeed to and arranged, he thought that more debates would be better for his campaign. The vice presidential debate was renewed again.

    Mondale vs Kemp.jpg
    Kemp and Mondale at the first Presidential Debate, September 30th 1984
    A Series of quotes from the 4 debates are as follows on various issues:

    Environment (Debate 1)
    "Over the past 4 years the Carter administration has prepared America for an environmentally sustainable future and I am excited about the future opportunities that can arise from a more environmentally focused future, things like less pollution and cheaper energy are things we can all agree on"
    - Mondale

    "I am at heart an environmentalist, a kemp administration would be interested in supporting the development of these technologies and eventually when they are economically profitable putting in the provisions to cut coal from the national energy diet. I will remind Americans however, that its this democratic party which once significantly increased our carbon emissions in an overblown kneejerk reaction to an energy crisis."
    - Kemp

    While Mondale's response was seen as measured, Kemp's alienated Appalachia by directly mentioning coal and criticizing the popular handling of the energy crisis was unpopular.

    Taxation (Debate 1)

    "We have the oppotunity to make sure that those who have the corporate power have the left over resources from tax cuts to further invest in the rest of society, I think there has been much scaremongering from the democrats on this. We're in surplus at the moment [1] and we can responsibly cut taxes from our revenue because of it. A rising tide lifts all boats."
    - Kemp

    "It would be irresponsible in our pretty good position to consider any major cuts to taxes, the verdict from economists is too varied and the Republican plan focuses on cutting from the rich rather than the working class which just seems weird. And just to add to that just a reminder, Mr Kemp for a long time has been supportive of ideas such as a flat tax which is blatantly unfair on the working poor of this country. "
    - Mondale

    Kemps statement reaffirmed his support of economic theories such as "supply-side economics" which at the time was relatively untested but somewhat popular among the public. Mondale's blunt attack against Kemp's economics was seen as harsh but did did encourage voters to look into kemp's economic history.

    Women's Rights (Debate 1&VP)

    "I am proud to have a woman on my presidential ticket but most of all I am proud to have Dianne Feinstein on my ticket, we should not degrade the choice of her down to her sex because doing so would be reducing her to being only a woman when in fact she is a well versed mayor with leadership skills that America needs from a Vice President"
    - Mondale

    "A Kemp administration would do all in its power to protect the status of women in our country, I have strongly supported women's rights over my career as a part of personal liberty."
    - Kemp

    "I'm really happy that women now have extra legal protections thanks to the ERA and that they're slowly having a bigger role in government but I think some Americans are concerned that we are pushing too radically for progress at the moment which may lead to a breakdown in a societal structure that has served us for generations"
    - Cochran

    "I won't pretend im not proud to be the first woman on a major party ticket as well as the first woman mayor of San Francisco but I echo the words of Walter Mondale when I say I wish to run on my record as a mayor rather than my record as a woman."
    - Feinstein

    Thad Cochran's comments were shocking to women voters and actually minorly hurt Kemp's polling numbers after the debate. Kemp's comments however did annoy a few hardline conservatives as he emphasized his Libertarian views on social issues. Feinstein's response was uninspiring to women's groups but was broadly met with support.

    The Application of the ERA to Gay Rights (VP Debate)

    "As Mayor I vetoed the legislation for insurance rights for homosexuals because it was plainly a badly written and vague bill and I just could not accept it passing. I'm unsure about whether there is a legal argument for extending these rights to homosexuals for now that is an issue for the courts, but I urge Americans to treat one another with respect and an open mind."
    - Feinstein

    "If the ERA is expanded to include homosexuals America may see things such as Homosexual Marriage which I do not think most Americans will accept. It concerns me that the sanctity of marriage is suddenly under question by some. Until recently we were told that it was a mental disorder so what's changed?"
    - Cochran

    Thad Cochran's views echoed those of the religious right in America and differed a lot from Jack Kemp who supported some rights for Gay Americans. Walter Mondale's position was pretty unclear compared to Dianne Feinstein who managed to alienate the high Gay population of San Francisco in her mayoral term, it was rumoured at the time that she was not sympathetic to the cause of Gay Rights.

    Overall the debates fared well for Mondale which lead to him opening up a lead over Kemp, his lead would dramatically shrink just before election day after the effect of the debates had worn off. All of a sudden the race was once again close. Democrats hadn't won 3 elections in a row since FDR and history looked like it was stacked against them as presidential control between the two parties had varied every 8 years since the 1960 election. But after the popular Carter presidency, Mondale had a shot of breaking that streak.

    1984 Polling.png
    [1] The budgets of the otl carter presidency predicted surplus by 1981 or so, this would have been set back by the aggressive strategy in the energy crisis but it would probably eventuate by 1984
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