Accountability: The Fall of Bill Clinton

Forgot about how the long tenure of the Democratic Party would effect the judiciary, be a benefit to them alright. Interesting to see how the 2004 election turned out with the various scandals breaking out against the Republicans. Didn't all of these happen OTL, but around a year or so later? Turned out to be a boon to Gray at least, although the 2008 election should shape up to be interesting, should the recession also be butterflied away.
 
Was Ray Nagin the mayor of NOLA in this timeline when Alt-Katrina made landfall?
Yes I think so.
Forgot about how the long tenure of the Democratic Party would effect the judiciary, be a benefit to them alright. Interesting to see how the 2004 election turned out with the various scandals breaking out against the Republicans. Didn't all of these happen OTL, but around a year or so later? Turned out to be a boon to Gray at least, although the 2008 election should shape up to be interesting, should the recession also be butterflied away.
A big one is also US Attorneys. Chris Christie without the Bush Administration? Some high powered private attorney.

Sexual scandals, in particular abuse or harassment, and higher scrutiny of them is the underlying butterfly of this TL. Both Foley and Hastert were ticking timebombs. Plenty of Democrats still have skeletons as well.

This is most of the TL I had flushed out regarding the presidency - no W., no McCain, no Mitt Romney, no Obama, no Joe Biden, and No Trump are all more or less established by this point.
 
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Ch. 24: 2005 through 2006 Midterms
New to the world stage, President Davis had to prove himself to the Washington establishment and other world leaders. Russian President Sergei Ivanov, also elected in 2004, gained international attention for his aggressive comments and frosty stance towards the United States. Ivanov, known for his provocative statements as Defense minister, defeated Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov in a surprise to some western observers. Since the 2002 Moscow Treaty, the enlargement of NATO and election of a pro-western government in Ukraine had provoked nationalist sentiment. In 2004, President Davis had explicitly ran on a platform to end the War in Afghanistan. Approaching its fourth year, America’s end goal was an open question, especially given the struggle to find or even confirm the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. Insurgent attacks had spread to northwest Pakistan, and al-Qaeda aligned groups were more prominent in north and west Africa. Rather than pulling troops home, new Joint Chief Chairman James L. Jones and President Davis ordered a surge in Afghanistan, to win a war without a goal. Using the loose language of the 2001 Authorization of Military Force against Terrorists, US forces became directly involved in several of these African conflicts as well. Support and training missions were widespread, stretching from Mali to Somalia. Technological developments and practiced mission in Afghanistan had also proved the effectiveness of a new technology – armed “drones.” Flown remotely, these lightweight aircraft could provide hours of overwatch above a location and the ability to strike immediately if a threat was identified, without risking the lives of American servicemembers. It was a powerful tool that was in its infancy under President Gore. President Davis would oversee a significant expansion of its use, including in Pakistan and on African support missions.

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Conservative activist groups and conservative House Republicans, bitter after the Supreme Court fight, surged in a base revolt over the holiday season. Talk radio and Fox News chastised their wimpy Washington leaders. Republican Study Committee Chair Mike Pence decried the past year as a “surrender.” A crisis and opportunity offered salvation. The “Fannie and Freddie” scandal would slowly unwind from 2004 into 2006. As the clean-up from Hurricane Karen continued, the damage from the mortgage crisis would grow. For years, Democratic figures had been rotating in and out of the housing giants, taking big fat payouts as their quality of service and operation declined. This rot had been spreading in the private markets as well. Major names like Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns proved to be engaging in extremely risky behavior, misleading their customers and regulators about their financial products. President Davis’s new administration began to crack down on some of the worst practices, but the markets reacted negatively. Touting his efforts in taking on Enron and Arthur Andersen, the Davis Administration had come in with an undercurrent of holding corporate power responsible. As the weaker institutions struggled to avoid collapse and regulatory scrutiny expanded, loans slowed and housing growth collapsed for the first time since the early 90s. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, when asked about the economic struggles, said he would not apologize for enforcing the law. Federal Reserve Chairman Roger Ferguson was likely a side causality of these economic struggles. Instead of reappointing him in 2006, President Davis elevated his deputy Janet Yellen instead.

Congress began to act as well. Senator Chuck Hagel introduced the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act which was quickly made a priority given the on-going crisis. With Republican control of the Senate, sweeping hearings were opened and Banking Commitee Chair Richard Shelby became a household name. Unemployment peaked above 6% in December 2005. The off-year elections, reflecting the uncertainty of the moment, were mixed results. New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine was reelected and Republican former state Attorney General Jerry Kilgore won the race in Virginia. While the race was national news in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 hijacking, New York Mayor Fernando Ferraro's reelection got little coverage elsewhere.

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Attempting to seize the moment, House Republicans wielded little power in the minority but compensated with a strong media presence. Their messages on good governance were soon undercut. House Minority Leader Tom DeLay stepped down from his leadership position as a wide lobbying scandal was exposed, involving several other members. Orange County Congressman Christopher Cox, as a compromise between John Boehner and Roy Blunt, was elected as interim Minority Leader. Cox had coordinated the Reagan White House’s response to the Saving and Loans Scandals of the late 80s. Cox’s expertise in the field was seen as an asset in an unfolding, complicated crisis. Cox was diagnosis of thymus cancer. He underwent surgery in January and took several weeks to recover, but was given a clean bill of health and the party selected him as leader for the remainder of the term.

As the financial crisis unfolded, there was still movement by the Gang of 8 on immigration reform. Republican National Committee "autopsies” after the 2000 and 2004 elections both pointed to the need for a softer line on immigration by the party. John Kasich had moderated from Elizabeth Dole, but the party platform had changed little. Davis’s wins in Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico were critical to his close victory. RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie’s emphasized the need for temporary worker visa reform as a pro-business move. Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who won his Florida gubernatorial election in 1998 with a majority of the Hispanic vote, and his brother George Bush, now President of the influential Business Roundtable, were leading advocates outside of Washington. Although it was of great interest to President Davis, he was already extremely busy with the surge in Afghanistan, Hurricane Karen recovery, and the mortgage crisis. Vice President Dick Durbin took the lead as a key negotiator. Durbin in 2001 had introduced the DREAM Act, a bipartisan move with Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, which had a framework to provide residency to undocumented immigrants brought to America as children.

Much of the groundwork had already been done prior to the 109th Congress in other proposed legislation, like the DREAM Act. 20 years after Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 was signed February 8th by President Davis. It combined residency for immigrants with specific paths to citizenship, massive increases in border security, pro-business “blue card” visa reform, and labor-backed crackdowns on unfair hiring practices. The Act was a compromise between a mostly Democrat House bill and bipartisan Senate bill. House Republicans were basically sidelined and were vocal with their frustration. The initial reaction applauded the compromise. As the country struggled with declining job numbers, the popular reaction began to turn negative. At town halls across the country, seemingly spontaneous “Minutemen” protests became to form and decry how it was hurting them, even though most of the provisions had not even taken effect. They were made for cable news events, with angry constituents shouting down their elected officials. Republican Senate leaders in particular felt the blowback, misjudging just how unpopular the immigration reform would be. Respected Washington figures, like Orrin Hatch and Olympia Snowe, were suddenly dealing with potential primary challengers. In a backlash to the backlash, pro-immigrant counter protests also sprung up in cities across the country, although many immigration advocates were disappointed the bill did not go far enough from their perspective.

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When Eliot Spitzer came to Washington, it was originally as Solicitor General. It was not a natural fit, his background was criminal and corporate prosecutions, not federal constitution debates. The New York media dubbed him the “Sheriff of Wall Street” during his tenure as New York Attorney General. Even in that role he had gained national attention to the point of being suggested as a potential vice presidential candidate in 2004. With the unfolding financial crises, Davis appointed him as Deputy Attorney General under Deval Patrick. While Patrick kept focused on terrorism and general business, Spitzer from 2005 into 2006 was the face of the Davis Administration for investigations into white collar crime, leveraging a masterful use of media relations to apply pressure outside of the courtroom. The drive that possess a man to reach such high profile and high pressure role though often come with other consequences as well. His bank was concerned with recent payments being made were potential fraud perpetrated against Spitzer and reported the matter to the IRS, which was then reported to the FBI in 2005 under the new provisions Davis signed into law the year before. When the findings were clear on March 7, 2006, FBI Director Jim Johnson directly informed Attorney General Patrick of the open investigation and Davis asked for Eliot Spitzer’s resignation immediately. Patrick publicly announced the investigation appointed U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as Special Counsel. The Eliot Spitzer scandal was a juicy story – as Solicitor General and Deputy Attorney General, Spitzer had solicited prostitutes. A panel on the DC Circuit Court upheld Fitzgerald’s appointment and confirmed his appointment as Independent Counsel. The investigation continued to get media attention through the 2006 midterms, much to the chagrin of Democratic candidates. Spitzer’s swift resignation did little to stop the media frenzy around the White House which went into full damage control. But Republican figures did not go unscathed. Louisiana Governor David Vitter, who was getting national praise for his handling of Hurricane Karen, admitted to being a customer of the same service. Vitter had dismissed similar rumors in his 2003 gubernatorial run as dirty politics. He did not immediately resign and asked for forgiveness. Republicans likely did not pressure Vitter further because his Lieutenant Governor was Democrat Mitch Landrieu.

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Positive job numbers had slowly been eating away at the unemployment rate, ticking to 4.9% at the end of October. Wages were down overall and few Americans gained any benefits from the Dow Jones Industrial Average rally. The slow and steady improvements were not great headlines though as the Democratic establishment had been fighting negative headwinds the entire year. From the Minutemen protests to frustration over the never-ending war in Afghanistan, the American voter was seen as reacting against overpromises made by Democrats, and Republicans hailed it as a reaction against big government. Republican majorities would control both houses of the 110th Congress. Christopher Cox was Speaker-in-waiting with a 19-seat majority, swinging over 30 seats. It was a mixed map, but Republicans add two seats to their majority. They were disappointed by Rick Santorum’s loss to Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, and unperformed in the Delaware and Illinois special elections. Appointed Senator Ted Kaufman declined to run in Delaware, but Democrats recruited US Attorney Beau Biden, Secretary of State Joe Biden’s son, clearing the primary field and easily won in November. Republican wins in Missouri and Montana were expected, but the biggest surprise of the night was California, the President's home state. Senator Antonio Villaraigosa admitted to longtime rumors of an affair and that he and his wife would be separating. This news came out after the primary, though, and Villaraigosa remained on the ticket. In a squeaker, he was defeated by moderate Republican Condoleezza Rice, Provost at Stanford University. Even with the Senate race victory, Republicans failed to unseat Governor Cruz Bustamante. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign never materialized when his own marital indiscretions were exposed, which allowed wealthy Congressman Darrel Issa to clear the Republican primary. Despite his massive campaign chest, Issa underperformed compared to Rice and came up short.
 
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Ch. 25: 2007 Kicks Off
Senate
President: Dick Durbin (D)
President pro tempore: Ted Stevens (R)

Majority (Republican) leadership
Majority Leader: Mitch McConnell
Majority Whip: John Kyl

Minority (Democratic) leadership
Minority Leader: Tom Daschle
Minority Whip: Harry Reid

House of Representatives
Speaker: Christopher Cox

Majority (Republican) leadership
Majority Leader: John Boehner
Majority Whip: Roy Blunt

Minority (Democratic) leadership
Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi
Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer

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After the midterm loses, President Gray Davis felt the pressure to make changes. In a postelection press conference, he shared that he saw the election was a “wake up call” and his administration would be “hitting the reset button.” DNC Chairman John Edwards stepped down at the end of the year, and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack was elected, promising Democrats had not forgotten the American heartland. With both chambers gone, Davis was forced to work with an emboldened Republican Congress. Almost two years in the role, Tom Steyer resigned as Treasury Secretary. Davis’s first pick was former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who he tried to get appointed in the lame duck session. Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker-elect Christopher Cox were not content to “live and let live.” McConnell, who had not been asked ahead of time, said the partisan figure was a nonstarter and would likely not even get a hearing. It was a power move that surprised the Davis White House. Congressional Democrats were frustrated they didn’t see it coming and it proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. White House Chief of Staff Susan Kennedy stepped down. Kennedy, like Mack McLarty and Hamilton Jordan before her, struggled to integrate herself into the insular Washington . Leon Panetta, seeing the struggles, finally agreed to return to the role. In an Oval Office meeting before the Christmas recess, Republicans agreed to at least give a hearing to OMB Director Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary in the new session.

The troop surge, after a negative public reception, seemed to getting results as Taliban-affiliated villages slowly but steadily opened to coalition government and IED attacks declined. It had largely faded from the public’s view by 2007. Vice President Dick Durbin was visiting Bagram Airfield when a suicide attack killed 23 people, although the Vice President was not in danger. The Administration was planning a troop drawdown from the peak of 120,000 combined coalition forces. As they looked to draw down in Afghanistan though, American forces were engaging in new theaters. The U.S. forces supporting the Somali Transitional Federal Government directly engaged in combat in January. Defense experts, remembering the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” incident, were wary of engagement in the region. As the Republican Congress began to ramp up to what was becoming a potentially heated budget fight, prospective candidates were announcing their 2008 Presidential campaigns to win back the White House after four losses in a row. President Davis, prepared to wield the veto pen in the upcoming sessions, also started laying the groundwork for his reelection.

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The first announcements were by politicians saying they were not interested in the running. Former Senator John McCain and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, both burned by previous primary loses, declined to run again. Potential first time candidates Utah Governor Mitt Romney and former Senator Bill Frist also declined. An effort to draft retired General Tommy Franks, who had endorsed John Kasich in 2004, into the race fizzled out. One of the first announcements came from California Congressman Duncan Hunter. Like many Golden State Republicans, his profile had been elevated being from the President’s homestate. As the Housed Armed Services Chairman, he was also a visible critic of the President’s Afghanistan strategy. Kicking off his campaign in South Carolina, he hoped to appeal to national security Republicans. His announcement was overshadowed in the state when its Governor, Mark Sanford, announced his own campaign as a budget hawk and social conservative. The south was well represented in the primaries, former candidates Governor Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush also announced 2004 campaigns. Joining them were former Vice Presidential candidate Senator George Allen and former Governor Jim Gilmore, both from Virginia. The sheer number of candidates from the region showed just how solidly Republican the south had become. Outside of the south, Nevada Senator John Ensign and former Minnesota Governor Norm Coleman formed exploratory committees.

As the open Republican contest gained speed, there was a stirring of a primary contest against President Davis from his left. Anti-war Democrats were frustrated by Afghanistan and the expanded actions across Africa. At home, Davis was getting attacks from his left on civil liberties and the expanded security state, the compromises made on the immigration bill, constrained spending on social programs, and a litany of other disappointments depending on who was asked. Former DNC Chairman John Edwards, feeling scapegoated after the midterm loss, and recently elected Senator Bernie Sanders (nominally an independent) were making subtle moves towards a primary race without openly saying so. Reverend Al Sharpton also made moves to potentially challenge the sitting President, saying he had been failing on issues most critically impacting Black Americans. Davis responded by lining up a massive list of early endorsers from Democrats across the board and formally announced his campaign on April 9. Just the previous week, the Supreme Court had upheld a decision that the EPA was allowed to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. Senators Jesse Jackson, Jr., Andrew Cuomo, Bill Bradly, Russ Feingold, and Dennis Archer were all early to reconfirm their support for Davis in the primary. While President Gray Davis was comparably a weak candidate given the state of the economy, incumbency was still a formidable tool.
 
If the GOP nominates Sanford they'll basically be handing the White House over to Davis for another four years, unless his "Appalachian Trail adventures" are butterflied away.
 
Given the circumstances of the Appalachian Trail affair IOTL, it seems that it is likely to happen with the same details with the butterflies. Hard for him to have the same trip to Uruguay and meet the same women. Is Sandford likely to make the same mistakes just given his personality? I’d argue Spitzer was, hence his scandal above.

The real sleeper here is John Ensign, who IOTL slept with his friend’s wife and employee, then tried to cover it up. Crazy story.

That said, from simply a TL story perspective, sex scandals sinking the GOP ticket two elections in a row would probably be bad writing.
 
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Ch. 26: 2007 Struggles
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The 2008 Republican primary contests were looking to be extremely front loaded, with a calendar that awarded almost half of the total delegate count by February 5. That meant the 2007 debates, fundraising, and general politicking was more critical than ever before. Fundraising soon broke record numbers – mostly driven by the heavy hitters Jeb Bush, George Allen, and John Ensign. But with 16 primary debates in 2007, there was also room for other candidates to prove their worth. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California hosted the first debate in May. Almost every candidate referenced President Reagan’s record and compared it with the “disaster” of President Gray Davis. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a repeat candidate, failed to garner the same fundraising levels but his name recognition among social conservative groups like the Family Research Council buoyed him in early straw polls in Iowa and South Carolina. But new faces George Allen and John Ensign dominated the early front-runner stories. Cut out from Washington, Huckabee, Bush, and Mark Sanford struggled to gain national attention. Despite the early campaign fundraising domination, the campaign was struggling with messaging. Other than his family name, why was he running? Florida and 2004 veterans clashed with more recent hires.

Senator George Allen also struggled to gain an upper hand on his competitors as well. Allen’s goal was to basically replicate what John Kasich had done 4 years earlier – use his running mate candidacy as a base to claim ‘heir apparent’ and establishment report. As the vice presidential candidate, Allen as the “commonsense conservative” candidate gained a lot of enthusiasm on the campaign trail. But, just before all hell broke loose in the Foley-Hastert scandals, many political operatives remember the Vice Presidential debate where Dick Durbin “took his lunch money.” It was a similar story that haunted Jack Kemp, who had joined the 1996 campaign to great fanfare but was almost dismissed in 2000. Allen’s low-key “common man” campaign was compared to fellow Senator John Ensign. Ensign had been a powerful Senate communicator and his organization’s rigorous message control helped him in the early months. Ensign’s history as a veterinarian and animal rights advocate also helped him put on a softer image than the cutthroat D.C. politics he was associated with. Ensign also got attention with the mainstream press on the matter of gay rights, saying that if the Joint Chiefs approved of ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, then civilian leaders should not override them.

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Horserace polling vacillated back and forth in 2007. No single candidate had a firm grip on the race. There were also lulls where media attention was drawn to new candidates who floated entering the race. Former New York Mayor Rudy Guliani took full advantage of his city’s dominance in the national media, but never actually jumped in the race. Despite statements that he stood behind his brother 100%, when Jeb Bush was struggled through the summer months, George Bush seemed like a potential lifeboat for pro-business donors. Again, this never materialized and helped to fill the gaps of 24/7 media coverage. This phenomenon was replicated on the Democratic side. John Edwards never filed any paperwork, but somehow was consistently a subject of speculation.

The speculation around a legitimate primary challenge against President Davis certainly spiked during several round of heated budget and authorization bills. Most public were the arguments over the Defense and State Department authorization bills. President Davis vetoed both bills produced by Congress, leading to political grandstanding about how the President didn’t want to fund American soldiers, or as the Democrats argued the President was still the Commander-in-Chief. Disagreements over the State Department came to a compromise conclusion. Since Ambassadorgate, Republicans had been hammering the drum against Democratic political patronage through executive appointments. Republican House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen managed to negotiate a compromise on State Department funding. Effective 2009, there was a drastic reduction in the number of State Department positions the President could directly appoint where the appointee did not have experience as a Foreign Service Officer. The negotiation got deep down into the minutiae – if the UN Ambassador was exempt but not others to international organizations, for example. Defense authorization was a higher stakes struggle. The Republican Congress wanted to write into law that the President had to formalize an anticipated “end of mission” date. The AUMF in Afghanistan had just been reauthorized for another 3 years in 2006, but this was way to force the President to go on record that there was no clear end in sight. With media coverage turning against him, Davis signed the bill and denoted the AUMF’s expiration as America’s targeted withdrawal date.

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Jeb Bush reset his campaign staff in August. Steve Schmidt, who had steered Senator Condoleezza Rice’s victory in 2006, was brought on to manage day-to-day operations. It was fortunate timing. Rick Davis, George Allen’s campaign manager, resigned after news stories broke about his extremely profitable contract work for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Any associations with the organizations, now under federal stewardship, were toxic this campaign cycle. Allen also struggled to step away from Jim Gilmore, who continued to raise Virginia specific issues at every debate. Originally considered a long shot campaign, Duncan Hunter won the Texas Straw Poll in early September. But his coverage was eclipsed by another House member – Ron Paul. Running as an ideological libertarian, Paul positioned himself as the candidate best positioned to oppose “big government” Davis. His strongest support and fundraising came from online organization, setting a single day fundraising record in October.

While there were still lingering doubts about liberal support for President Davis, he got a boost in October. House Republicans, left out of the negotiations last year, passed a 2008 appropriations bill that included a delay of the reforms in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act. The Senate was unable to pass anything close to the House bill without destroying the filibuster. Already dead over judicial and executive appointments, McConnell knew killing it for all legislation was a bridge too far for his caucus. President Davis said any bill that delayed the hard won reforms would be vetoed. On October 1 and without a continuing resolution, the federal government shutdown for the first time since 1996. Ironically, efforts to lessen the damage done by a shutdown by increasing the number of “essential” workers probably made a shutdown more likely since it was less widespread than the shutdowns of the 90s. Speaker Christopher Cox knew he could pass a budget to match the Senate bill with a Republican minority and Democrat majority, but it would potentially cost him his gavel. Trying to call the bluff of conservative members, led by Joe Barton, Cox did not anticipate they would take it to the point of shutdown. Senator Allen was particularly concerned about the shutdown, which impacted thousands of workers in northern Virginia. He also got hit for missing key budget votes while on the campaign trail. In a closed-door session, Cox laid out the options on the table. He would bring the Senate proposal to the table to an open floor vote. If there was a leadership challenge, he would not step aside and any challenger would split the Republican vote and allow Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to win the Speakership. Their bluff called, the House passed the Senate proposal with Democratic and Republican votes. Davis swiftly signed the budget and ended the 12 day shutdown. Pundits who claimed this victory secured Davis’s reelection forgot how long an election can last.

The Iowa caucuses were just around the corner on January 3.
 
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Good updates so far, was quite surprised to see Rice reappear, really is interesting to see how different the career paths can go alright, as well as her potential future. Am I write in thinking there's a bit less partisanship at the moment? Doesn't seem quite as divided as of yet, but then again, we're still in the mid-2000's.
 
Also was wondering how are other countries doing?
I've gotten bogged down in the weeds of TLs before with trying to capture all of the international comings and goings.

Russia - most commented on here, Putin was passed over for Prime Minister in 1999. Yevgeny Primakov becomes President in 2000 and appoints Putin Prime Minister then, but he's dismissed after the Kursk disaster. He might be back in the Cabinet of President Sergei Ivanov.
Iraq - Saddam is in power, UN reports have shown that while they're toying around stuff, no real development towards weapons of mass destruction (as was true IOTL)
Sudan/Somalia - as hinted to in some posts, without Iraq, the US likely has a larger deployment and backing of UN missions in the Horn of Africa
North Korea - agreed to the Nuclear Framework (which IOTL we were progressing to in 2001 before the Bush Administration scrapped it) and is probably better off with lessened sanctions. Still not a happy place
China - a little behind OTL in development, took longer for US to establish favored nations trade status
Mexico and South America - more manufacturing business with the US due to less production moving to China
Pakistan - coup didn't happen until 2000, mostly status quo with maybe less tensions with India
Iran - less tense, no Axis of Evil, but still pursuing nuclear technologies
Saudi Arabia - less direct ties and more frosty relations without Bush administration history there
Israel/Rest of Middle East - unclear but ripples of no Iraq War would be interesting
Balkans - 1999 Yugoslav NATO strikes never happened, United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo still established and most other events probably occurred along OTL
United Kingdom - Labour and Blair probably in a better position than IOTL without the Iraq War, but earlier mortgage bubble popping in 2006 probably just rippling overseas in 2007
Canada - no idea

Good updates so far, was quite surprised to see Rice reappear, really is interesting to see how different the career paths can go alright, as well as her potential future. Am I write in thinking there's a bit less partisanship at the moment? Doesn't seem quite as divided as of yet, but then again, we're still in the mid-2000's.
It is a mixed bag. Without the Iraq War, there is less grassroots protest movements on the left. Climate protests and then pro-immigration movements are probably the most visible. With regard to extremism, there is still the low level anti-abortion protest/crimes and conspiratorial xenophobia that persisted in our 00s, but with a smaller War on Terror, remains more visible. Institutionally, the Senate has killed the filibuster for all appointments. There is a smaller 'status quo' reversion to were Republicans are still extremely influential, but there is a mindset of "wow, we're really bad at winning the White House." This is akin to Congressional Republicans in the 80s through to the Contract for America, where in those years there was an institutional mindset that Congressional majorities were basically out of reach, so they had to work within the parameters of power. LGBT rights have progressed further in Democratic politics (mostly due to more Democratic court) and the parties are probably further apart on this than IOTL. The concept of "Wall Street Democrats" is probably more entrenched also, without the activism of the Iraq War more Third Way politics continue to prosper until at least 2005/06. Less partisanship does not always mean "better" over all.
 
Thanks for answering appreciate it
Sure thing. Feel free to offer any input. Major international butterflies are no Iraq War and earlier but smaller housing recession. Probably other tertiary butterflies, but was trying to avoid too many choices because didn’t want to get bogged down in the weeds.
 
Sure thing. Feel free to offer any input. Major international butterflies are no Iraq War and earlier but smaller housing recession. Probably other tertiary butterflies, but was trying to avoid too many choices because didn’t want to get bogged down in the weeds.
Maybe climate change and energy policy would be more significant in TTL?
 
With seven years of Al Gore as president you'd think that both of those issues are far more front and center than they were in 1996-2004.
I reckon so, especially if stuff like the Enron Scandal happens or if the Gore administration has reason to suspect fossil fuel companies of questionable actions
 
@Whanztastic this TL is amazing :).

I think that Gov. Bush is going to win the Republican nomination and the Presidency. Also, I was thinking that this Supreme Court is going to be very good for everyone, especially regarding gay rights (getting an early Obergefell v. Hodges would be nice) and campaign finance (I can see Citizens United v. FEC going the other way). And outside the United States, what's going on in Latin America? I can see butterflies in Argentina (if support for Néstor Kirchner is weaker, perhaps causing him to end third in the 2003 Argentine general election) and Venezuela (with Chávez getting defeated in the 2004 recall referendum) ITTL.
 
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