In 1960, a retired postal worker named Richard Paul Pavlick attempted to assassinate president-elect John F. Kennedy. On December 11, he had an opportunity to blow up Kennedy with a car bomb, but balked because Kennedy's wife and children were nearby. He was arrested before he could try again.

What if Pavlick had chosen a different means and successfully killed Kennedy before he was officially sworn in?
 

GeographyDude

Gone Fishin'
. . . What if Pavlick had chosen a different means and successfully killed Kennedy before he was officially sworn in?
I call this a discovered POD, which to me adds depth and immediacy to the timeline.

Yes, this Richard Pavlick character really did plan to assassinate president-elect Kennedy. His reason? Because Kennedy was Catholic.

Fortunately, Pavlick sent postcards from different locales to neighbors in his town in New Hampshire, at times saying they’d soon hear about him in a big way.
 
The Democratic National Committee would meet and presumably declare Lyndon Johnson the Democratic presidential candidate and ask all Democratic electors to vote for him--which with (at most) very few exceptions they will. (After all, by nominating LBJ for VP, the party had indicated that it thought him the most fit man to succeed JFK if the latter were to die after January 20--so they can hardly say he is unfit when JFK dies in December. Besides, a lot of Democratic politicians were actually more comfortable with LBJ than with JFK.)

The question is who they would designate VP candidate. it has to be a non-Southerner, and they would probably want a Catholic. Maybe Governor Pat Brown of California?
 
What's LBJ's stands on policy moves.

I don't see him canceling Bay of Pigs. Seeing it fail, I imagine he'd permit air support. Seeing that fail, would he support sending the Marines and the Army if needed to rescue the Cuban exiles from defeat?

I don't think he would support the anti-Diem coup in South Vietnam. I think in general LBJ liked to keep a simpler and harder line foreign policy towards the third world, with less nuance and tolerance neutrality, although he would not be an opponent of great power summitry at all, and would have his heart in domestic policy.
 
The Democratic National Committee would meet and presumably declare Lyndon Johnson the Democratic presidential candidate and ask all Democratic electors to vote for him--which with (at most) very few exceptions they will. (After all, by nominating LBJ for VP, the party had indicated that it thought him the most fit man to succeed JFK if the latter were to die after January 20--so they can hardly say he is unfit when JFK dies in December. Besides, a lot of Democratic politicians were actually more comfortable with LBJ than with JFK.)

The question is who they would designate VP candidate. it has to be a non-Southerner, and they would probably want a Catholic. Maybe Governor Pat Brown of California?
John McCormack?
 

Deleted member 100761

Pavlick planned to carry this out on December 11th, 1960. The electoral college meets on December 14th. I imagine that they would’ve picked a Vice President for Johnson, then take all the pledged Kennedy votes and move those to Johnson and his running mate.
 
Pavlick planned to carry this out on December 11th, 1960. The electoral college meets on December 14th. I imagine that they would’ve picked a Vice President for Johnson, then take all the pledged Kennedy votes and move those to Johnson and his running mate.
No, the electors voted on December 19. That gives the DNC a little time to deliberate on the vice-presidential choice (LBJ will definitely be the choice for the presidency).

"By the time the electors met on December 19, 1960 ..." https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CRECB-2000-pt18/html/CRECB-2000-pt18-Pg26609-2.htm

" Electors Will Have Final. Word Today," Atlanta Constitution, December 19, 1960. " https://www.jstor.org/stable/40584789?seq=1

"He was elected President on December 19, 1960, by 303 votes over Nixon's 219 . " https://www.americanheritage.com/electoral-college-does-it-choose-best-man
 
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Might be a bit of a dark horse but how about Frank J. Lausche, currently a Senator from Ohio, he was formerly mayor of Cleveland and Governor of Ohio.
Like Pat Brown, he brings a state who voted for Nixon and the catholic support, however what makes him popular among many is his display of bipartisan and independent approach to politics, being known by some as a "Democrat with a small 'd'” People that are worried that LBJ may need restraining in the White House would see Lausche as the guy to do it, having stood up in his first term as senator against Democratic leader Lyndon B. Johnson, by hinting that he might vote for Republican William F. Knowland for Senate Majority Leader in the evenly split congress.
 
No. It will be hard enough for many liberals to swallow LBJ at the top of the ticket, though they will do so. To have the more conservative Lausche as his running mate would cause an outright revolt
Will the Liberals have much of a say?
The election results show that there was only a 0.17% vote difference between Kennedy and Nixon. So the Conservative democrats would argue that the country is more middle ground, and could see Lausche as a compromise to having Harry Byrd nominated having received 15 electoral votes.
 
Will the Liberals have much of a say?
The election results show that there was only a 0.17% vote difference between Kennedy and Nixon. So the Conservative democrats would argue that the country is more middle ground, and could see Lausche as a compromise to having Harry Byrd nominated having received 15 electoral votes.

LBJ himself was a bit to the right of most non-southern Democrats. Lausche was considerably to the right of him--so much so that Eisenhower had considered having him as his running mate in 1956!

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Many of the Democratic electors from northern and western states were a bit to the left of JFK, a bit more to the left of LBJ, and hardly considered Lausche a Democrat at all. Why should they vote for him? For the presidency, there was the fact that for liberals LBJ was a lesser evil than NIxon. But why support Lausche against a progressive Republican like Henry Cabot Lodge? Party loyalty? Lausche himself sure didn't show much of it, refusing to support Stephen Young's successful candidacy against John Bricker in 1958! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1958_United_States_Senate_election_in_Ohio

This is just absolutely out of the question. The Democrats don't need to attract Byrd electors. If they had enough southern electors in OTL to easily elect John F. Kennedy, surely they had enough to elect LBJ and a somewhat liberal Catholic running mate--provided he isn't too strident on civil rights. I mentioned Pat Brown as one possibility. Another would be Eugene McCarthy--in those days considered not an ultraliberal maverick but an ally of LBJ. (Indeed, McCarthy's eloquent speech nominating Stevenson at the 1960 Los Angeles convention was considered by the JFK forces an act of cynical brilliance--McCarthy wanted to stop Kennedy so that the convention would nominate LBJ who would then choose McCarthy for his running mate.) In 1964, James Eastland urged LBJ to choose McCarthy rather than Humphrey as his running mate, considering McCarthy less identified with civil rights...

No, a center-left party, which is what the Democrats outside the South were in 1960, is not going to nominate a ticket consisting of one centrist and one conservative! (The very narrowness of JFK's victory in 1960 in many northern states showed the necessity of having liberals, labor, and African Americans--some of whom had at first had reservations about him--get out and vote for him, as they eventually did. ) You might as well talk about the Democrats nominating a Joe Lieberman-Zell Miller ticket in 2004.

If Lausche is ever going to be nominated for VP, it will be by the Republicans.
 
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LBJ himself was a bit to the right of most non-southern Democrats. Lausche was considerably to the right of him--so much so that Eisenhower had considered having him as his running mate in 1956!

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Many of the Democratic electors from northern and western states were a bit to the left of JFK, a bit more to the left of LBJ, and hardly considered Lausche a Democrat at all. Why should they vote for him? For the presidency, there was the fact that for liberals LBJ was a lesser evil than NIxon. But why support Lausche against a progressive Republican like Henry Cabot Lodge? Party loyalty? Lausche himself sure didn't show much of it, refusing to support Stephen Young's successful candidacy against John Bricker in 1958! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1958_United_States_Senate_election_in_Ohio

This is just absolutely out of the question. The Democrats don't need to attract Byrd electors. If they had enough southern electors in OTL to easily elect John F. Kennedy, surely they had enough to elect LBJ and a somewhat liberal Catholic running mate--provided he isn't too strident on civil rights. I mentioned Pat Brown as one possibility. Another would be Eugene McCarthy--in those days considered not an ultraliberal maverick but an ally of LBJ. (Indeed, McCarthy's eloquent speech nominating Stevenson at the 1960 Los Angeles convention was considered by the JFK forces an act of cynical brilliance--McCarthy wanted to stop Kennedy so that the convention would nominate LBJ who would then choose McCarthy for his running mate.) In 1964, James Eastland urged LBJ to choose McCarthy rather than Humphrey as his running mate, considering McCarthy less identified with civil rights...

No, a center-left party, which is what the Democrats outside the South were in 1960, is not going to nominate a ticket consisting of one centrist and one conservative! (The very narrowness of JFK's victory in 1960 in many northern states showed the necessity of having liberals, labor, and African Americans--some of whom had at first had reservations about him--get out and vote for him, as they eventually did. ) You might as well talk about the Democrats nominating a Joe Lieberman-Zell Miller ticket in 2004.

If Lausche is ever going to be nominated for VP, it will be by the Republicans.

Oh, yes, and "During the [1956 Senate] campaign, the two candidates appeared to agree on more issues than they disagreed. Lausche had managed to avoid discussing his differences with Adlai Stevenson in the campaign until the Lausche-Bender debate on 10/27/1956. In that debate, Bender got Lausche to admit that he did not support Stevenson's military or foreign policy proposals. Lausche also stated that if his vote would determine control of the Senate in 1957, he would vote to organize a Republican Senate. " [my emphasis--DT] https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=27807 This is simply not a realistic prospect for a Democratic ticket.
 
No, the electors voted on December 19. That gives the DNC a little time to deliberate on the vice-presidential choice (LBJ will definitely be the choice for the presidency).
The DNC makes a logical choice for the ticket. Aren't there states that prohibit electors for voting for anybody else than the one pledged? Could that affect the vote counts?
 
The DNC makes a logical choice for the ticket. Aren't there states that prohibit electors for voting for anybody else than the one pledged? Could that affect the vote counts?

Some faithless elector laws specifically exempt death-of-a- candidate situations. Others probably would be interpreted as implicitly doing so. And in any event in 1960 most faithless elector laws were pretty much toothless: they did not invalidate the elector's vote but at most theoretically could subject to the elector to a small fine.

Also note the recent US Supreme court opinion in Chiafalo v. Washington:

"The Electors contend that elector discretion is needed to deal with the possibility that a future presidential candidate will die between Election Day and the Electoral College vote. See Reply Brief 20–22. We do not dismiss how much turmoil such an event could cause. In recognition of that fact, some States have drafted their pledge laws to give electors voting discretion when their candidate has died. See, e.g., Cal. Elec. Code Ann. §6906; Ind. Code §3–10–4–1.7. And we suspect that in such a case, States without a specific provision would also release electors from their pledge. Still, we note that because the situation is not before us, nothing in this opinion should be taken to permit the States to bind electors to a deceased candidate."

 
This is just absolutely out of the question. The Democrats don't need to attract Byrd electors. If they had enough southern electors in OTL to easily elect John F. Kennedy, surely they had enough to elect LBJ and a somewhat liberal Catholic running mate--provided he isn't too strident on civil rights.
Fair enough. As stated it was a dark horse candidate.
One sure thing is Robert isn’t in this cabinet, does he run for his brothers former Senator seat.
 
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