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1968 - A hypothetical

Old 12-10-07, 02:29 AM
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1968 - A hypothetical

I watched the History Channel's "1968" and it got me to wondering. If Bobby Kennedy didn't get shot after winning the California primary how would the democratic landscape have been broken down between Kennedy, McCarthy, & Humphrey? If Kennedy had pulled ahead and gotten the nomination, would the riots at the 68 DNC still have taken place and without the riots would the lack of backlash against the anti-war movement swung the election in the Dems favor? What do those of you who were around for this time frame think?
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Old 12-10-07, 06:42 AM
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We don't deal in hypotheticals on this forum. We only deal in realities.

Humphrey would have been the nominee.

LBJ would have seen to it - regardless of what he had to do.
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Old 12-10-07, 07:37 AM
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I thought LBJ didn't like Humphrey?
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Old 12-10-07, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
I thought LBJ didn't like Humphrey?
I think he liked Robert Kennedy even less.

Oh and we deal with hypotheticals all the time here.
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Old 12-10-07, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
I thought LBJ didn't like Humphrey?
Personally - he had nothing against Humphrey. I don't believe he thought Humphrey's political (philosophical) views were based in realty. He did tell some of his associates that Tricky Dick would make a better president than Hubert. He might even have voted for Nixon for all I know.

He hated Bobby Kennedy. However, Bobby Kennedy, hated him 'first.'
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Old 12-10-07, 08:29 AM
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Just think of all the trouble they would have saved if the Kennedys had just let Lyndon bang Marilyn, just the once.
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Old 12-10-07, 08:35 AM
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He did bang Jackie, didn't he?
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Old 12-10-07, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
He did bang Jackie, didn't he?
So who didn't?

Oops, I forgot. Anybody without money.
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Old 12-10-07, 12:34 PM
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I would have liked to known who Bobby would have picked for his VP if he had gotten the nomination.
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Old 12-10-07, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Personally - he had nothing against Humphrey. I don't believe he thought Humphrey's political (philosophical) views were based in realty. He did tell some of his associates that Tricky Dick would make a better president than Hubert. He might even have voted for Nixon for all I know.

He hated Bobby Kennedy. However, Bobby Kennedy, hated him 'first.'
But if Kennedy had still been in the race, or for that matter if McCarthy hadn't basically stopped campaigning, Humphrey would have had to have rebel against Johnson's war policy much earlier to keep the anti-war movement happy. Do you think that would have affected Johnson's support for him?

Last edited by NORML54601; 12-10-07 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 12-10-07, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemdog
I would have liked to known who Bobby would have picked for his VP if he had gotten the nomination.
Eugene McCarthy would be my guess.
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Old 12-10-07, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by NORML54601
But if Kennedy had still been in the race, or for that matter if McCarthy hadn't basically stopped campaigning, Humphrey would have had to have rebel against Johnson's war policy much earlier to keep the anti-war movement happy. Do you think that would have affected Johnson's support for him?
Why would he have to rebel?
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Old 12-10-07, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Why would he have to rebel?
Well he ended up doing it when he had no serious contenders to his left, it seems logical that he would do it with 2 anti-war candidates running.

Last edited by NORML54601; 12-10-07 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 12-10-07, 07:05 PM
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JFK would have leaped from his grave and slapped Bobby if he chose Eugene McCarthy.

I have no idea who he would have selected - maybe J. Edgar Hoover. They were buddies.
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Old 12-31-07, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
JFK would have leaped from his grave and slapped Bobby if he chose Eugene McCarthy.

I have no idea who he would have selected - maybe J. Edgar Hoover. They were buddies.


Anyway, I think the world would be a far different (and better) place if RFK had not been assassinated. He would have stood a far better chance of beating Nixon, and definitely have pulled the US out of Vietnam sooner than what actually happened. America would have been a far more liberal place than it is today. Without Watergate, it's not clear that Ronald Reagan and the conservative movement would have found the ground as fertile within the GOP -- maybe the right-wing would have formed their own political party, with the moderates in the GOP sticking with the pro-business line. And the Democratic Party would maybe have stayed progressive, instead of veering off into no-man's land.

As for a VP candidate -- interesting. My hunch is, just as his brother turned to his primary rival, LBJ, to fill out the party ticket, so too would Kennedy have asked Humphrey to run with him in 1968. I've never been convinced that Humphrey truly wanted to be President, so that would been a good fit. Humphrey would have solidifed the party's rallying behind Kennedy, especially on the right and on the hawkish side.

Failing that... who knows? Maybe we can ask history to spare us two assassinations, and Kennedy could have run on a ticket with Martin Luther King, Jr. RFK/MLK... it could have happened...
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Old 12-31-07, 10:45 AM
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I'm not sure how much more liberal the US would be today. Do you realize just how liberal the Nixon presidency was?
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Old 12-31-07, 10:56 AM
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The US is a lot more liberal now than it was pre-1960. There has been a conservative backlash against the liberalization movement that took place in the 1960's and 1970's, but the changes that took place were far reaching and are still with us today.
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Old 12-31-07, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
The US is a lot more liberal now than it was pre-1960. There has been a conservative backlash against the liberalization movement that took place in the 1960's and 1970's, but the changes that took place were far reaching and are still with us today.
I guess some want a far reaching even more liberal federal government.

I mean hell, if all you want is spending, look what we got with Bush!
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Old 12-31-07, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
I'm not sure how much more liberal the US would be today. Do you realize just how liberal the Nixon presidency was?
Pretty liberal -- so now imagine if Robert Kennedy had been President within the same progressive environment. It's not like Nixon was known as a lifelong lefty, Red Dog; on the contrary, he represented the hardline anti-Communists, "We Like Ike" pro-business wing of the GOP. But in the early 1970s, there was considerable societal pressure to do something about poverty in America. Nixon, the consummate politician, responded to that pressure.

RFK, on the other hand, would have lead the progressive call.
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Old 12-31-07, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
It's not like Nixon was known as a lifelong lefty, Red Dog; on the contrary, he represented the hardline anti-Communists,
As did both the Kennedys. The Kennedys and McCarthyism.
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Old 12-31-07, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
I guess some want a far reaching even more liberal federal government.

I mean hell, if all you want is spending, look what we got with Bush!
I was thinking more along the lines of social issues, rather than tax issues, but we know where your emphasis is little Miss Less Government.
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Old 12-31-07, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyronin
As did both the Kennedys. The Kennedys and McCarthyism.
Yeah, but their support of McCarthy was far more a personal matter. Robert Kennedy especially began his career as a true red-baiting anti-Communist, a key member of the McCarthy investigative squad, but he turned away from that. As he grew older, as his experience deepened, Bobby Kennedy changed, growing more open-minded, more liberal as he saw injustice around him. He still defended Joe, but he famously differed on the ways and means of his mission.
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Old 12-31-07, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
I was thinking more along the lines of social issues, rather than tax issues, but we know where your emphasis is little Miss Less Government.
"And that's when the whores come in. Men laying their trick-money down. Twenty dollars to pay the rent? Maybe not. Maybe instead I'll spend it on the whore. Whores running around, doing their little behind-shake for the men folk... "
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