Presidential Election TL | 1988

This was a wonderful time line. I totally called Ferraro winning in '88, though I was hoping Rumsfeld might win. Interesting to see Bush has become a non-consecutive serving President, and that Elizabeth Dole is the first VP woman.

What this timeline would be in the future definitely interests me. A shame it ends here.
This was a wonderful time line. I totally called Ferraro winning in '88, though I was hoping Rumsfeld might win. Interesting to see Bush has become a non-consecutive serving President, and that Elizabeth Dole is the first VP woman.

What this timeline would be in the future definitely interests me. A shame it ends here.

I invite you to continue it if you wish :)
I'm going to rewrite this Time Line, it was my favorite and I know there were a lot of people who enjoyed it as much as I did, so get ready!


Governor Dukakis announced last night he was undecided about a presidential bid

At a speech in Boston last night Governor Michael Dukakis announced he was undecided about a Presidential Campaign though a draft movement has been beginning for Dukakis. Most agree the Governor is waiting for three very big candidates: Bill Bradley, Ted Kennedy, and Mario Cuomo to announce whether or not they are running for President. The news is good for Senator Gary Hart who is the current front runner for the Democratic Nomination. Dukakis's past as Governor may prove to be a challenge for a Presidential Bid should he decide to enter the race. With Senators Kennedy and Bradley expected to make announcements in the near future about potential candidacies, Dukakis's mind may be made up for him. Bradley's campaign has been gaining a lot of attention. The Rhodes Scholar is known for his intelligence and the complete reform of the U.S. Tax Code in 1986 which reduced the complicated system down to two tax brackets. If he were to enter the race Bradley would be the only candidate to have the potential at defeating Gary Hart in the primaries. New polling suggests the following:


A Bradley Campaign could end the potential of a Hart Presidency, but sources close to Bradley say he doesn't want the job...yet. They have repeatedly opened the door for a 1992 campaign saying, "Now may not be the best time for the Senator." However Dukakis's potential exit last night could provide both Ferraro and Kennedy with a sizeable boost in the polls, enough to push Kennedy up to the front runner position. Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro is seen as providing Mondale with victory in New York and helping him with the women vote (though Mondale did lose it). Her ability to handle the press in the wake of "TaxesGate" was seen as professional and elevated her to national prominence within the Democratic Party. Though she has since retired from the House of Representatives, Ferraro may choose to enter the Presidential Race and potentially gain enough support to land her another selection for the bottom of the ticket. If Kennedy were to enter, odds are Dukakis would be forced to stay out as two Bay Staters would probably fail to make much headway in the race against Gary Hart.



Vice President Bush held a rally in Houston where he declared his presidential campaign

Vice President Bush announced today that he was running for President of the United States, joining Senator Bob Dole and New York Congressman Jack Kemp. Bush is hoping to position himself as the heir apparent to the Reagan Legacy though many conservative groups have united behind Kemp who claim he is the true heir to the Reagan Conservatism throne. However the help from Newt Gingrich and other key conservatives within the party have yet to help Kemp who remains in third place in the latest batch of polls. Dole is close on the tail of the Vice President, but is finding it hard to set-up a campaign infrastructure nationwide with limited financial resources. Rumor has it that President Reagan himself is weary of the potential of a Bush candidacy for President, feeling that the country may be better served by someone like his close friend Paul Laxalt. However the President has yet to formally comment on the Bush Announcement. Nonetheless the 1988 race on the Republican side is going to be a bore with Dole being the most uninspiring candidate in American History and Bush being seen as unbeatable. Dole did become the first candidate to comment on Bush's entrance claiming that the Vice President is "only good at carrying out the policies of someone else" the Press Release went on to say, "I doubt he could be trusted to create his own policy." The attack is similar to what Jack Kemp used in his response to the Vice President.


However it's important to note that the Vice President continues a commanding lead in polls over both Dole and Kemp. With other potential candidates gaining minimal support, the Vice President has failed to announce a campaign schedule and some close to him fear he may suffer from "Dewey Syndrome" In the 1948 Presidential Race Thomas Dewey seemed to expect the Presidency delivering less than a fourth of the speeches that his opponent, President Truman, gave. His lack of enthusiasm for his campaign dealt the candidate who could've easily won a devastating blow. If Bush were to assume he'd won the nomination it could prevent him from gaining support among voters, but experts point to the lack of another candidate with significant success to present a challenge to Bush in the primaries. Jeane Kirkpatrick is said to be strongly considering a Presidential campaign because she doesn't believe that Vice President Bush is tough enough on communism. Though the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is not viewed as a serious candidate, she may gain enough traction to detract attention from Vice President Bush and clear the way for Senator Dole to take the nomination.



At a press conference on April 13th Ted Kennedy announced he was entering the Presidential race

Shocking many in the political establishment, Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy announced a campaign for President. Nearly twenty years after the assassination and failed campaign of his brother, Kennedy has entered the thin field of candidates for the Democrats in '88. With Kennedy and Hart fighting it out for the nomination, rumors are swirling about the potential for Kennedy's candidacy. Polls in New Hampshire show Kennedy with a decisive lead over announced candidates, but should Mario Cuomo decide to enter things could shift for Kennedy. However a Kennedy campaign might make Cuomo think twice about risking it all on a 1988 bid. Kennedy is hoping to use the significantly weakened, but existing infrastructure from his 1980 campaign against Jimmy Carter.

As for other potential candidates, Senator Bill Bradley was in Iowa the other day fueling speculation about a potential presidential candidacy. Most notable was former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro who flew to Minnesota to meet with former Senator Walter Mondale and though we're unsure of exactly what was discussed it seems that this could be an attempt to gain Mondale's endorsement in a potential presidential bid. After her high-profile meeting with Mondale Ferraro flew to Washington, D.C. where she met with Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil which was again the subject of potential presidential aspirations. What Ferraro can do that Bradley, Kennedy, and Hart can't is devote her time to campaigning. She has no "day job" and after the roaring success of her 1985 Memoir Ferraro: My Story she has plenty of personal wealth to devote to a campaign. She's appeared in several sit-down interviews and seems to be taking all the necessary steps to assume a role as Presidential Candidate.

Today, two days after Kennedy's announcement, Governor Michael Dukakis released a press release announcing he would not be running for the Democratic Nomination. Many feel this is a direct result of Kennedy's announcement to run. Also announcing he would not be a candidate was Arkansas Senator Dale Bumpers which left Senator Al Gore of Tennessee to announce a candidacy as a dark horse contender. With the entrance of Gore and the exit of Dukakis and Bumpers recently released polling suggests that Kennedy may have an easier path to the nomination than expected:


The newest polls reveal that Ferraro's efforts are working as she continues to gain media attention. Kennedy has also experienced a sizeable bonus in the race and is expected to maintain the edge over Senator Hart. Those close to Bill Bradley are making whispers that the senator will not be a candidate, which could sway Mario Cuomo to make an announcement. Polls show that Kennedy is the only Democrat beating Bush in a general election match-up while all the Democrats in the second poll who place over 10% of the vote (except Jackson) are beating Senator Dole in a potential match-up. Kennedy will likely try and capitalize on the elect ability issue to sway over undecideds.
APRIL 26, 1987


Today Congresswoman Gerry Ferraro of New York officially announced her candidacy for President of the United States. The announcement is not all that surprising to those who have been following the 1988 Election closely. Ferraro's choice in 1984 was seen as merely symbolic in an attempt to protect Mondale from a 50-state loss in November. Initially things were off to a very rough start for the 3-term New York Congresswoman when reports of alleged mafia ties were brought to the surface. However those reports quickly faded when there were rumors (which soon became solidified) that Ferraro never reported her husband's tax returns. Breaking a promise to her husband, Gerry released John Zacarro's tax returns and put the issue to rest immediately. Throughout much of the 1984 Campaign Ferraro was a rockstar, attracting larger crowds to her events than Mondale, Bush, and Reagan. Women were inspired by her stunning 1984 Convention Address in San Francisco and they were clearly energized to help the Mondale/Ferraro ticket. A victory in the Vice Presidential debate over Bush would help Ferraro solidify her importance on the national stage. On Election Night Mondale carried a total of 66 electoral votes, but experts were unanimous in agreeing that without Ferraro states like New York and Rhode Island would've easily gone for Reagan and they crowned Gerry as a rising star in the party.

Now unemployed since her departure from the House of Representatives, Ferraro wrote a book and left for an extensive tour across the nation to support it. The captivating memoir was a best-seller and once again put Ferraro under the spotlight. She spent 1986 campaigning for Democrats in the Mid Term elections and bettered her national image. With Ferraro now a household name, she began to expand her power by appearing in several high profile interviews as well as setting up campaign infrastructure in New Hampshire, Florida, California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania among some of the states. Then, in December 1986, Ferraro announced she would launch a second book tour that would take her through all 50 states (yes, even Alaska and Hawaii). Ferraro set out and by the time she was finished in March 1987 she had established herself as a serious contender for the 1988 Democratic Nomination. The only problems in her way were Gary Hart and Ted Kennedy. However Ferraro didn't let that stop her, announcing today that she was running for President.

Her entrance into the campaign is unique. She could either seriously hurt fellow New Yorker Mario Cuomo and Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, or their presence in a potential match-up could prevent her from gaining the attention she'll need to grow her campaign. Nevertheless, Ferraro isn't letting that stop her: announcing a campaign schedule for the rest of the month and May that will take her through Iowa, New Hampshire, and Minnesota. She has also been seen courting former Senator Walter Mondale as well as close friend and Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill. Her campaign is in drive and with the advantage of no day job Ferraro has already promised to devote hours to meeting voters. The only other candidate who can devote that much time to the trail is Reverend Jesse Jackson whose support is largely confined to the Deep South and limited nationwide. Her ability to campaign hard will be a major boost for Mrs. Ferraro.

MAY 10, 1987


Mario Cuomo, the Governor of New York, is receiving intense pressure to run for President of the United States. Cuomo became the second Democrat to beat Vice President Bush in hypothetical match-ups between the Vice President and Governor, but Cuomo insists he is committed to New York. However the rising star of the Democratic Party, Geraldine Ferraro, may be what's giving Cuomo second thoughts about a Presidential campaign. New polls show that Ferraro has passed Gary Hart in nationwide polls among the announced candidates for President and she has passed Cuomo in terms of potential candidates. Ferraro's rising numbers may prompt Cuomo to sit out and wait until the 1992 Presidential Election. Even in 1996 the Governor would be 64 years old, not young, but certainly not too old to run. Rumor has it that the Governor's closest political advisers are urging him not to run for fear of embarrassing himself in front of the nation and losing any chance at a future Presidential race.

However all the rumors are just that, rumors. Governor Cuomo was in New Hampshire a few days ago where he gave a speech criticizing the Reagan/Bush system of governing and calling their administration "disastrous" as he hit the President for "leaving the next generation a mountain of debt" but fresh off the heels of a very successful reelection campaign in the 1986 New York gubernatorial election, Cuomo could capitalize on his success to make a presidential campaign. Not so fast, says some of CNN's analysts. One argues that Cuomo owes his 1986 reelection to Congresswoman Ferraro and it would be a sore mistake to turn on the Congresswoman now. Others argue that Cuomo should just wait it out with the odds of him being overshadowed by Senator Kennedy, Mrs. Ferraro, and potentially Senator Bradley simply too great to defy. As one expert explained, "You don't want to risk wasting all your political capital now - wait it out and good things will come."

Though they wouldn't share any votes the intense speculation about Cuomo's possible entrance are foiled by Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton who is also rumored to make a Presidential Campaign announcement in 1988. A Southern Governor, it is unlikely Clinton would draw from the same votes as Cuomo but a Clinton entrance would overshadow Cuomo's name recognition and focus and would likely hurt the New York Governor as he tries to break out from the crowd. "Democrats," one political analyst explained, "have a very strong field in 1988 and it would be a big mistake for Cuomo to not wait it out when he looks 10 times better by comparison." There are heavy rumors that Cuomo will make an announcement by July, especially because there is reason to believe he has begun the process of internal polling across the nation to test his weak areas and strong suits. In order to win the primary Cuomo would need to shatter the reputation of Senator Kennedy which would be difficult to do, especially because any mention of Chappaquiddick would likely backfire on the opponent who attempted to use it.

MAY 12, 1987


Jeane Kirkpatrick, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is running for President. The former Democrat made the announcement in her home state of Maryland where she announced, "I am running because George Bush isn't going to stand up to communism like I will!" One thing is for sure: Kirkpatrick will not be the next Gerry Ferraro. She's running to be a spoiler in the campaign and detract enough support from George Bush to throw the election to one of the other candidates, most likely Bob Dole. Kirkpatrick will probably run a solely negative campaign, but her willingness to do so is nerve-racking for Vice President Bush who cannot afford to have an Anti-Bush in the nomination battle - especially because Kirkpatrick is hitting Bush on the fact that he's "soft on communism" In her announcement speech earlier today Kirkpatrick declared, "The next President has a potential to end this cold war and bring about the dissolution of the Soviet Union - George Bush and his soft-on-communism stance will prevent that from happening." Her speech electrified the crowd of 3,500 people who gathered to hear from the diplomat. One problem for Kirkpatrick is that she was a Democrat until 1985, but when one reporter asked her about this she said, "Well Ronnie Reagan was a Democrat until he was 51 years old - it won't be an issue."

Kirkpatrick has laid out a small schedule for the short-term, hired a small campaign staff, and purchased a bus for the campaign. She'll be taking the bus all throughout Iowa and New Hampshire, she says, in attempt to woo voters over to her cause. "Who knows," one CNN analyst said, "maybe she's interested in the bottom of the ticket." While Kirkpatrick attempts to detract attention from George Bush, Senator Bob Dole is doing the same by fighting hard in New Hampshire where he is starting to catch up to the Vice President's numbers. In response the Vice President has announced several events in Senator Dole's home state of Kansas where Dole is only 3% ahead of the Vice President.

The entrance of Kirkpatrick is unlikely to have an effect on other potential candidates such as Donald Rumsfeld and Howard Baker, and Kirkpatrick admits her candidacy is a long shot. In a sit-down interview with Charlie Gibson Kirkpatrick said, "I'm running to prove a point and that point is the goal of the United States - our number one priority - must be defeating communism. If that means that we must support authoritarian dictatorships, okay. The problem is you're forgetting these dictatorships will be led to democracy by the example the U.S. sets." Kirkpatrick is seen as a Conservative Goddess who poses a serious alternative to Reagan supporters who just want to vote for Bush for lack of a better option.

MAY 21, 1987


In an attempt to revitalize an already dying campaign, New York Congressman Jack Kemp announced he would be running for President in hopes to defeating the moderate George Bush. "What we need is a conservative voice and that's why I'll be touring all 99 counties in Iowa - to spread my message." His message is reduced to two words: small government. Kemp believes in trickle down economics, supports lower taxes, and is hoping to make himself the fiscal conservative in the campaign. Unfortunately his libertarian social positions could hurt him with the conservative vote. Kemp is hoping that gaining a lead in Iowa could help him pass Dole nationwide and position himself as the anti-Bush candidate for the party. However Dole's name recognition may be too much for the Congressman to overcome, despite the fact the media credits him with being a man of real ideas and solid solutions. The problem for Kemp is his complete lack of name recognition and when he introduces himself as Congressman Kemp voters are turned off, assuming there is a lack of experience. In some sense they're right, the last time a member of the U.S House was elected directly to the Presidency was James Garfield, but Kemp claims, "My title doesn't matter, it's what I do with my office that matters."

Kemp will be visiting all 99 of Iowa's counties between May 21st and July 18th in hopes of spreading his message to the people of Iowa. Along the way he'll cross Televangelist Pat Robertson who is also trying to position himself as the conservative candidate for President. Kemp, however, is using the fact he's a policy wonk to his advantage talking about specific proposals he'll initiate as President, but Kemp has a tendency to bore his crowds and that could easily backfire if his supporters aren't enthusiastic about supporting a Kemp presidency. The New York Congressman will need to find a way to excite his audiences to turn spectators into supporters and supporters into voters. The problem Kemp is facing right now is his complete lack of charisma and as a former campaign aide to John Anderson's 1980 Presidential Campaign points out, that can sometimes be the death of a candidate.

The Republican Campaign is not expected to be as interesting and exciting as the Democratic Competition, but that won't stop candidates like Kemp from putting their own unique spin on the election process this season. Look for candidates like Kemp to use their own style to grab new supporters. And while Kemp devotes his time to Iowa, Vice President Bush will continue spending time in Kansas to chip away at Senator Dole's minimal lead there. Losing Kansas in February 1988 would basically end Senator Dole's chances at winning the Republican Nomination as a loss in his home state - a state he's represented in the Senate since 1969. As Senate Minority Leader Dole has a prominent spot nationwide and a chance to effect the congressional agenda, to a certain extent which could help him shore up support in his home state if the need were to arise. The Republican race, much like the Democratic campaign, is just getting started.
IDK really, the ending was horrible and even with my version of Reagan's Alzheimer's disease I still think Bush would've run

I also find it a bit curious that Ron Paul did not seek the Republican nomination for President here. IOTL, he ran as a Libertarian. He resigned for the Republican Party in February 1987, but maybe he doesn't here.
I also find it a bit curious that Ron Paul did not seek the Republican nomination for President here. IOTL, he ran as a Libertarian. He resigned for the Republican Party in February 1987, but maybe he doesn't here.

why wld he run in the GOP? he never did In real life