DBWI: Kennedy and Nixon swap fates

(DBWI) Do you think Kennedy should've won 1960?

  • I think he'd be a better president

    Votes: 6 16.7%
  • I think it's good Nixon won, despite what'd happen to him

    Votes: 26 72.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 11.1%

  • Total voters
    36
1960 was one of the closest elections in U.S history, and certainly one of the most iconic. John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson proved tough opponents, but ultimately Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge were victorious. Sadly Nixon would be assassinated during his first term, and he remains one of the higher ranked presidents due to his pragmatic and realist approach. Kennedy was able to make a comeback and win the 1968 election. While it seemed like he would run for a second term, serious allegations of adultery (something he would eventually confess to and work to be more faithful post-presidency) and the reveal of a number of health issues come a near-death experience during November 1971 led him to choose not to run for a second term. Surprisingly he lived almost a decade after his term had ended.

Well, that's the long story short. My what if is to ask what would've happened if John F Kennedy won the 1960 election with Lyndon B Johnson, only for him to be assassinated in his first term. Then Nixon made a comeback in 1968, though he still only serves one term for whatever reason you think makes most sense. You could have him serve a second term but resign, but I'm not sure how realistic that is
 
Well I don't think Nixon would have to worry about the Watergate Hotel or audio tapes.

The recordings of JFK's dalliance there with Miss Maryland sunk his Presidency.
 
America (an in the early 1960s needed a strong president to remind the crazy Ukrainian in the Kremlin that the USA is not to be trifled with. I don't think JFK would have the spine needed to quickly and decisively intervene in Cuba. Had Cuba remained communist it might have become a soviet satellite state like the rest of the enslaved members of the Warsaw Pact, and probably end up hosting soviet military including nuclear forces.
 
America (an in the early 1960s needed a strong president to remind the crazy Ukrainian in the Kremlin that the USA is not to be trifled with. I don't think JFK would have the spine needed to quickly and decisively intervene in Cuba. Had Cuba remained communist it might have become a soviet satellite state like the rest of the enslaved members of the Warsaw Pact, and probably end up hosting soviet military including nuclear forces.
Maybe but Kennedy would have actually helped south Vietnam rather then letting it die like Nixon did.
 

Eparkhos

Banned
America (an in the early 1960s needed a strong president to remind the crazy Ukrainian in the Kremlin that the USA is not to be trifled with. I don't think JFK would have the spine needed to quickly and decisively intervene in Cuba. Had Cuba remained communist it might have become a soviet satellite state like the rest of the enslaved members of the Warsaw Pact, and probably end up hosting soviet military including nuclear forces.
Nukes? In Cuba? Kruschev would just as soon shoot himself, that would've been crazy to the point of global suicide.
 
Nukes? In Cuba? Kruschev would just as soon shoot himself, that would've been crazy to the point of global suicide.
It would have been less of a risk if the US had a more inexperienced and seemingly weak president at the time, just less enough that perhaps Khrushchev might take it, but still crazy enough to potentially make the Cold War gone hot.
 
Well, of course JFK would have to resign because of the infidelity. His VP was Wallace the conservative. Yeah, Johnson in '60 was a southerner and probable segregationist but at least Johnson hadn't made his name as an active crusader against desegregation and more broadly the 1960s as a whole.
 
The U.S. might get universal healthcare , or at the very least medical care for the poor and elderly, in the 1960's as opposed to 1985 like in OTL, assuming Kennedy would use LBJ's knowledge of the Senate to his advantage, or if God forbid Kennedy suffers the same fate Nixon did and LBJ rams legislation through left and right as President. I also wonder what the ramifications would be if a Democrat, be it Kennedy or Johnson, pushes and passes Civil Rights as opposed to Nixon and Lodge. Would a Conservative Third Party emerge the way the Dixicrat Party did in 1971 (headed by VP George Wallace, who resigned the Vice Presidency after the 1970 midterms) did in the early 70's after President Kennedy came out in support of Civil Rights in September 1970 OTL? Would the Conservative wing of the Republican Party, which was discredited in OTL, after the landslide losses of Barry Goldwater in 1968 and Ronald Reagan in 1980, ascend and dominate the GOP after eight years of JFK/LBJ and have a Republican dominated south?

Nixon and Lodge pushing for Civil Rights, and Lodge eventually signing the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law, as well as President Kennedy coming out in support of Civil Rights as well as passing expanded Civil Rights legislation, on top of the imploding of the Dixicrat party in 1984, forced the South to come to terms with Civil Rights and become a swing region of the country that votes on a whole host of issues as opposed to bitter grievance like they did in the 60's and 70's.

I think had they switched, Kennedy would be slightly better remembered than OTL, while Nixon would be remembered worse, as while adultery had a lot to do with Kennedy not running again, the economy had a weak recovery from the 1969-70 recession, which helped Nelson Rockefeller defeat George Wallace and Vice President Terry Sanford (Wallace's successor) in 1972, thus I think Nixon would be undone by the economy.
 
Maybe a Nixon would become bitter and paranoid with defeat leading to him being super corrupt. There is a tl about that here on this sight.
 
It would have been less of a risk if the US had a more inexperienced and seemingly weak president at the time, just less enough that perhaps Khrushchev might take it, but still crazy enough to potentially make the Cold War gone hot.
It would make america have a full blown paranoia about leftist govts in US hemisphere, resulting in US sponsoring a coup in places like say Brazil, about where The recent classified document considered couping goulart there but cooler heads prevailed.
 
So, any thoughts on the Lodge Administration which succeeded Nixon after his assassination?
He (as well as Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson) deserve credit for making Civil Rights and Voting Rights a reality and he also deserves credit for some environmental legislation that was passed. That aside, he was largely a caretaker President. He more or less coasted after 1966 and lost control of his own party, leading to his decision to not seek re election in 1968.
 
In fact here's how I'd rank the Presidents since 1961 from Best to Worst:

1. Walter Mondale (1981-1989)
2. Reubin Askew (1989-1997)
3. Bernie Sanders (2017-Incumbent)
3. Nelson Rockefeller (1973-1978)
4. Colin Powell (1997-2005)
5. Henry Cabot Lodge (1963-1969)
6. Richard Nixon (1961-1963)
7. Mitt Romney (2009-2017)
8. Paul Wellstone (2005-2009)
9. John F. Kennedy (1969-1973)
10. Ronald Reagan (1978-1981)
 
How would Kennedy have handled Vietnam and the broader Cold War in Southeast Asia (Laos) in the 1960s? Or, heaven forbid, had Kennedy been assassinated in an all too 'one-the-nose' parallel with OTL, how would Johnson have handled it.

We all saw there was quite a discontinuity in approach after the Lodge succeeded to the Presidency and won a term in his own right in '64. Whereas Nixon had basically pursued seamless continuity with the Eisenhower administration's pro-Diem policy, and support of the rightist Laotian factional government, just raising aid quantities to meet Diem's needs to face the rising Viet Cong tide, Lodge took a new approach.

Lodge quickly tired of Diem and his family, their repression, corruption, sectarianism, and lack of reform, and he let coup plotters in South Vietnam know they could count on US support. To Lodge's disappointment, the situation actually got *worse* under Diem's successors, and Lodge ended up having to send even more aid, a major bombing campaign against the north, and over 250,000 Marines and soldiers to embed with the South Vietnamese Army's Pacification program via the Combined Actions Platoon program.

By the end of his administration, Lodge was dogged by conservative, and some liberal, hawkish critics in his own party and among the Dems, including a conservative primary challenge, and by liberal and isolationist critics mostly aligned with Democrats and New Left (and the occasional idiosyncratic western Republican curmudgeon) for being military involved in Vietnam at all and not resolving the crisis diplomatically or by walking away.

JFK's campaign, and his talk of a 'secret plan' to resolve the conflict with honor brilliantly allowed both sets of critics to see him as an improvement in the '68 campaign.

[Support for this here: Henry Cabot Lodge | Encyclopedia.com]
 
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