Hope Is On The Way

John Kerry's Cabinet

President: John Kerry
Vice President: John Edwards
Secretary of State: Joe Biden
Secretary of the Treasury: Jon Corzine
Secretary of Defense: Chuck Hagel
Attorney General: Jennifer Granholm
Secretary of the Interior: Tim Wirth
Secretary of Agriculture: Leonard Boswell
Secretary of Commerce: Ted Waitt
Secretary of Labor: Dick Gephardt
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Jeanne Shaheen
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Shirley Franklin
Secretary of Transportation: Juanita Millender-McDonald
Secretary of Education: Jim Hunt
Secretary of Energy: Maria Cantwell
Secretary of Veterans' Affairs: Max Cleland
Secretary of Homeland Security: Susan Collins
I'm liking this timeline. Kerry timelines don't seem to survive for very long.

I have all updates through October 2005 written and it is planned with great detail up until 2009 with a general outline to the 2020's -- we'll see how long it lasts, but I'm pretty committed.


With the cabinet set it was time to lay out the President's political agenda. The War in Iraq would be Kerry's number one focus and he wanted all combat troops out of Iraq by the end of his first term in office. Meeting with his foreign policy team, he confronted the issue head-on. During the course of the campaign, Kerry was pretty vague on the issue of Iraq. He hadn't set a timetable or proposed a step-by-step proposal. Instead he had stuck to his talking points. Now that he had won the election it was time to lay out a detailed plan for Iraq - it was necessary as the war moved forward. Though the long-term goal was removing all combat troops the President wanted to make sure this was feasible. Secretary of State Biden would travel to Iraq and meet with the nation's leaders. Together they would develop a plan that would work for both Iraq and the United States. After meeting with Iraq, Biden would report back to the President with his expectations.

It was clear the President had to focus on foreign policy. Iraq was the issue that defined the 2004 Presidential Election and, on top of that, while Kerry's coattails had narrowed the Republican Majorities in Congress, it was clear that he didn't have the votes to pass some of the liberal legislation he had hoped for. The only way he was going to get near passing those items would be after being reelected in 2008, and that was too far into the future to worry about at the moment. The President would stick to Iraq and Afghanistan and he planned to focus on getting those issues under wraps. The only other issue that the President may be able to address was the economy, but on that issue odds were the Democrats, not the Republicans, would be road-blocking him.


Since 2003, President Bush and his Treasury Secretary had been working on Congress to stop the growing influence of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It was obvious that something now had to be done, even if it would be too little too late. The incoming Treasury Secretary, Jon Corzine, wasn't optimistic and suggested that President Kerry hold off on any immediate action. Immediately reform GSEs could, he said, cause the housing bubble to pop sooner and that could be a disaster. Kerry wasn't a person to sit around and do nothing, but Corzine was smarter economically and Kerry was forced to take his advice. Still, he asked for around-the-clock updates on the issue. Corzine disagreed and took the position of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, that the issue didn't deserve attention and that the Bush Administration was trying to make it into something it wasn't. While the President wasn't totally convinced, he took Corzine's advice and moved on. While Bush had, to an extent, felt the writing was on the wall, Kerry decided to keep his attention on Iraq and Afghanistan. This, however, would make for a boring first 100 days to Kerry's Administration.


With an overwhelming focus on foreign policy, the speechwriting staff was unsure about what to do with Kerry's Inaugural Address. Once inaugurated, Kerry would be given the chance to address the U.S. Congress during his first State of the Union Address. This speech would be Kerry's opportunity to talk policy, but Kerry didn't want his inaugural speech to be full of empty promises and platitudes. Instead, he wanted to briefly touch on his agenda for the nation. The 2004 Election had given him a mandate to change Washington and he intended to use it.

The road ahead for the nation would be difficult, though no one at the time knew just how difficult it would be. The Kerry team wanted to point to this and make it clear that the nation was right in picking John Kerry to lead the nation forward during would could become difficult times. But Kerry didn't want - no one wanted - the speech to paint an all too grim picture. There was certainly cause to be optimistic, reason to be hopeful. Kerry wanted to accent these points as well. While our troops were overseas, while our nation had endured a terrible attack on our own soil, the strength of America's resilience was strong - much like the strength of those soldiers who weathered the hard circumstances of the Vietnam War.

When the final copy of the speech was finished it numbered just over 3,000 words. It would be one of the longer inaugural speeches, but Kerry was not fazed by this. Instead, he was excited. Excited that in a matter of days he would be taking the Oath of Office as President of the United States. With the nation's eyes on him, it was his moment - his opportunity. The number of words, Kerry explained, shouldn't matter. What Kerry did want to matter was the message those words conveyed. He was content with his speech, satisfied at the tone and the diction, and ultimately ready to take January 20th by storm. When he awoke on the morning of January 20th the pressure came back down on his shoulders and he prepared for the biggest day of his entire life.
I'm going to be speeding up the updates as I've decided to put this timeline into consideration for the Turtledove Awards, the readers benefit, I suppose.
Gaius Julius Magnus said:
Kerry doesn't experience a finnaicial meltdown like Bush did
Agreed, that's inevitable. The question is, does he fall in line with Wall Street & bail out the banks,:rolleyes: or does he wind them up?:cool::cool:

By the sound of Corzine's advice, it's not looking good...:eek:
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Awesome update Nick, I felt you dealt with Kerry's approach to the looming signs of the bubble collapse and its fairly plausible that his team would suggest a "stay the course" policy with the financial institutions. Can't wait to see how the Inaugural and the President's first 90 days develop. Keep it comming:D
i hope kerry can do something for the economy, like it probably is too late to stop the recession happening all together but hopefully can soften the blow slightly when it strikes
Sounds interesting, and the 2006 midterms will see a lot of elections with 6 extra vacancies. Does the Kerry swing help Daschle survive, or even elect Betty Castor to the Senate?
i hope kerry can do something for the economy, like it probably is too late to stop the recession happening all together but hopefully can soften the blow slightly when it strikes

Kerry's best hope is getting a Democratic Senate & House in 2006 and using it to pass an economic aid package in 2007 to help ease the impending crisis. He won't be able to end it, because it's essentially been cooked into the economy for a decade-plus, but he can soften the blow ... or at least postpone most of the agony until after the '08 election.


The motorcade made its way to Capitol Hill. Beside President-Elect Kerry was the outgoing President, George Walker Bush. The man had had a difficult four years in office and would leave office moderately popular. He was no Abraham Lincoln, but his legacy would be far better than those of James Buchanan and Warren Harding. The temperature outside of the vehicle was frigid and there was fresh snow on the ground. It was January 20th and John Forbes Kerry was preparing to become the 44th President of the United States. He was confident in his inaugural address, confident in his ability to recite the oath, and confident about the evening's activities. What he was unsure about was what the next four, and perhaps eight, years would have in store for him.

As the limousine approached the back of the Capitol Building, Kerry and Bush exited the car. "Mr. President, if you'll follow me," and usher said.

A woman standing beside Bush's usher spoke to Kerry. "And Mr. President-Elect, if you'll follow me."

This was where their paths would diverge. Bush extended his hand and shook Kerry's. "Congratulations, Mr. President," he said.

Kerry returned the handshake and smile, "Thank you, Mr. President."


With that the two went in opposite directions. Bush walked to his seat on the podium and met with his wife Laura on the way. It was a rough day. In 1992, when the President's father lost reelection, it was a particularly ugly time for the Bush family. The elder Bush was beside himself, flabbergasted by the fact the nation had chosen someone over him. It was a rough time for little George, watching his father go through the agony of defeat. Now, Bush was preparing to leave office a defeated ex-President as well. Still, Bush felt no hatred towards Kerry, Kerry deserved the benefit of the doubt and Bush vowed not to be an overly-critical ex-President. There was something called the President's Club and it was Bush's duty to honor that code of respect, even if Bill Clinton hadn't been the easiest footsteps to follow in.

Kerry followed his usher to the inside of the Capitol Building. He paced, nervous about what was next for him. His attitude had changed drastically since he and Bush had driven to the Inauguration together. Then, it was coming; now, it was nerve-racking. He turned and saw the Vice President-Elect, John Edwards. The two shook hands and exchanged a few words before John and his wife Elizabeth were called to the reviewing stand. Minutes later, Kerry and his wife Theresa exchanged their last moments as Theresa left to join Elizabeth, the two would walk out together. After that, Johnny Reid Edwards, Vice-President-Elect walked onto the stand. Moments later, after outgoing President George Bush was on stage, Kerry was called out.

The band boomed and Kerry worked the edges of the aisle, shaking hands and greeting dignitaries. The first to be sworn in, after the musical performances and glad-handing, was John Edwards. Justice John Paul Stevens administered the Oath of Office as Edwards replaced Dick Cheney as Vice President. It was a momentous occasion for Edwards, especially because his career was only seen as going up. If Kerry served eight years, as most people assumed he would after just having a one-term President, Edwards would be the prohibitive front runner for the 2012 Democratic Nomination, despite the fact that Hillary Clinton already seemed to be bracing herself for a future in national politics. That didn't matter now, though, because Hillary stood behind her husband, the former President, and watched as Johnny Reid Edwards became the nation's 47th Vice President. And then the moment everyone had waited for. Introduced by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Kerry was called to the podium as was Chief Justice William Rehnquist for the oath.

"Mr. President-Elect, please repeat after me," Rehnquist instructed. "I, John Forbes Kerry, do solemnly swear..."

Kerry took the deepest of breaths, "I, John Forbes Kerry, do solemnly swear..."

"...that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States..."

"...that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States..."

"...and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

John Kerry was a man that had seen the most gruesome aspects of combat during the Vietnam War, but this moment was more humbling than anything he had ever experienced the nation looked to him as he began to end of the oath, "...and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

"So help you God?"

"So help me God!"


That was it. The 35 words were over and John Kerry was now President John Kerry. The nation had a new President and the people below the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building erupted into fervent applause. Kerry waved and turned to shake several hands, including the now former President George W. Bush, and then returned to the podium to address an anxious nation. The sun was bright, the wind harsh, and the people below eager. With that, the new President began his remarks:

"Vice President Edwards, Mr. Chief Justice, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, President Bush, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, my fellow Americans:

"Today marks an end as well as a beginning. Today marks, once again, the peaceful transition of power from one president to the next. From one administration and one vision to a new administration with its own vision. Today marks one of the greatest aspects of American democracy and of our nation as a whole. For the peaceful transition of power is a cornerstone, the very foundation, of our electoral system. And though, on the campaign trail, we had our differences, I am proud to take the Oath of Office today and to stand here as your President.

"I want to thank President Bush for all he did for our nation. His four years were not easy, and he led our nation during one of the most difficult parts of our nation's history, for that he will always have my thanks and our entire country's admiration.

"And while today marks the end of his presidency and the start of mine, it does not mean the absolute dissolution of our problems. The issues that our nation faces still exist - from two wars to poverty to partisan divide - the problems staring-down our country remain. While these problems are large and may certainly seem immovable, they are not invincible, and while they do not offer an easy way out that does not mean I shrink from the responsibilities prescribed to me."

Kerry's address continued, outlining what he felt the nation faced and how he planned to get the nation there. John Edwards, George W. Bush, and others looked on as the new President took his time - clearly articulating his message. He did well and the speech, despite its length, was successful, a great start for a new President who hoped to make a firm first impression. Upon the conclusion of the address Kerry and others left the stand and Theresa Heinz Kerry, the new first lady, and John Kerry, the new President, escorted George and Laura Bush to a waiting Marine One, which would take them to Air Force One, which would eventually bring them to Crawford, Texas: home. Just outside the roaring propellers of the helicopter, the Kerry's and the Bush's extended hugs and bids of good luck. Bush and Kerry embraced, signaling the potential for cooperation in the future. Despite a hard and bitter campaign, the two men were cordial and polite. It was a moment to remember - a moment, as Kerry said, that marked one end and another beginning.
Now I cant stop thinking of all the possible Republican candidates in 2008 :(:D

Romney, Huckabee, McCain, Powell, Crist, Sanford! Oh I'm excited!