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Mon Sep 24, 2012, 06:57 PM

Who would have made an interesting president, but never got the shot?

The first two I think of were Mario Cuomo and Bruce Babbitt. Cuomo was tough, compassionate, FDRish (with a little dash of Adlai), and an amazingly subtle thinker. 1988 was his year and I think he could've womped the hell out of Poppy in the general election. So much would've been different (including, possibly, no Speaker New Gingrich!).

Babbitt was kind of an odd duck. He talked like Jimmy Stewart and had no physical control over the erratic gyrations of his own eyebrows when he was talking. But he was a truly committed, passionate environmentalist of the sort that Teddy Roosevelt could only pretend to be. Whenever I heard him speak, I heard a man with a deep connection to the land and legacy--environmental and political, too--we leave to the next generation. In that sense, I tend to think we'd have a much smaller debt problem today if America had had him at the helm for 8 years.

Who else might've blown our minds via the White House?

43 replies, 3461 views

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Arrow 43 replies Author Time Post
Reply Who would have made an interesting president, but never got the shot? (Original post)
Bucky Sep 2012 OP
arcane1 Sep 2012 #1
Fortinbras Armstrong Sep 2012 #5
bodem1955_om Oct 2012 #15
cdogzilla Jun 2015 #22
ZombieHorde Sep 2012 #2
Fortinbras Armstrong Sep 2012 #6
ZombieHorde Sep 2012 #8
Fortinbras Armstrong Sep 2012 #9
ZombieHorde Sep 2012 #10
Fortinbras Armstrong Sep 2012 #11
ZombieHorde Aug 2015 #28
Name removed Aug 2015 #27
Ptah Sep 2012 #3
jaysunb Sep 2012 #4
bemildred Sep 2012 #7
charlie and algernon Sep 2012 #12
DavidL Oct 2012 #13
JDPriestly Jun 2016 #36
Rowdyboy Oct 2012 #14
JDPriestly Jun 2016 #37
jonpaulprime Oct 2012 #16
left-of-center2012 Oct 2012 #17
danbenbow Oct 2012 #18
YOHABLO Nov 2012 #19
SCALA13 Nov 2012 #20
StevieM May 2015 #21
47of74 Aug 2015 #29
JDPriestly Jun 2016 #38
cdogzilla Jun 2015 #23
cdogzilla Jun 2015 #24
Southern Belle Blue Aug 2015 #25
JDPriestly Jun 2016 #39
boatsnhose Aug 2015 #26
47of74 Sep 2015 #30
Name removed Oct 2015 #31
paul ofnoclique Nov 2015 #32
lastlib Jan 2016 #33
Bucky Jan 2016 #34
aswanson Feb 2016 #35
SheriffBob Jul 16 #40
Rhiannon12866 Jul 22 #43
RedHornet44 Jul 21 #41
RedHornet44 Jul 21 #42

Response to Bucky (Original post)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 07:00 PM

1. I'm going with Eugene Debs

 

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 08:00 AM

5. Debs would have been interesting

But he didn't have a prayer of getting elected.

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 03:10 AM

15. me too

 

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 26, 2015, 02:48 PM

22. First I thought of as well.

Now to check down the list and see if anyone has already mentioned Bob LaFollette, Bill Bradley, Jerry Brown ...

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 07:02 PM

2. Noam Chomsky. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 08:04 AM

6. God, no

Do you (1) think he would be a good administrator or (b) would be able to get anything through Congress or (iii) have any sort of good foreign relationships?

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #6)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 02:54 PM

8. About as good or well as anyone else.

There are other qualities that I consider, such as tone and personal world view.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:54 AM

9. Chomsky's tone is "my way or nothing"

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 09:29 AM

10. That may be what you hear, but that is not what I hear. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 07:50 AM

11. Do you seriously see Chomsky compromising on anything?

If you want to get things done politically, you need to be able to. I do not see Chomsky being able to.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:06 AM

28. Chomsky has said that compromises are necessary.

So yes, I could seriously see him compromising on some issues.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #10)


Response to Bucky (Original post)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 07:04 PM

3. Mike Mansfield

Michael Joseph Mansfield (March 16, 1903 October 5, 2001) was an American
politician and diplomat. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a
U.S. Representative (19431953) and a U.S. Senator (19531977) from Montana.
He was the longest-serving Senate Majority Leader, serving from 1961 to 1977.
During his tenure, he shepherded Great Society programs through the Senate,
but strongly opposed the Vietnam War.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Mansfield

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 08:07 PM

4. Gary Hart...

It would have been an interesting ride.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 01:01 PM

12. Martin Luther King, Jr.

He could have been a fantastic President.

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Response to charlie and algernon (Reply #12)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 02:53 PM

13. That's the first name that came to my mind, too!

 

He was well ahead of a time when he could have carried 270 electoral votes, I fear. I was around as a voting adult in 1968. I lived in the Boston area, where schools were still largely segregated by areas of the city. I can only imagine what it was like in the deep South.

People actually talked about him getting into politics, my liberal relatives, at least. But, of course, it was too early for him, and he tragically was shot before a majority of American voters were ready for his wonderful message of unity.

My two cents on the issue.

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Response to charlie and algernon (Reply #12)

Tue Jun 7, 2016, 02:27 AM

36. Yes.

He had the strength of character. In addition, he inspired people when he spoke.

He is the missing president of the 20th century.

He was well educated too. His mastery of the English language and speech were exquisite, just beautiful.

Definitely the missed president.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 12:29 AM

14. Mo Udall was my first serious political hero...he ran in 1976 and finished second to

Jimmy Carter most everywhere by about 1%. Such is the cruelty of history. He was a class act, a western (Arizona) congressman, a liberal Mormon and brother of JFK's Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall. His son Mark is a current senator from Colorado and his nephew Tom is a senator from New Mexico.

He was a Democrat way back when that really meant something. And he's probably one of the greatest presidents America never had, at least in my opinion...

Here's to you, Mo, and what might have been.....

?w=500

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Response to Rowdyboy (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 7, 2016, 02:28 AM

37. Another good choice.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 12:26 PM

16. William Jennings Bryan

Populist. Would've been interesting.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Sat Oct 27, 2012, 03:22 AM

17. Nelson Rockefeller

Governor of New York and Vice President under Gerald Ford.

"Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 January 26, 1979) was an American businessman, philanthropist, public servant, and politician. He served as the 41st Vice President of the United States (19741977), serving under President Gerald Ford, and as the 49th Governor of New York (19591973). He also served in the administrations of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower in a variety of positions. A member of the Rockefeller family, he was also a noted art collector."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Rockefeller

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Sat Oct 27, 2012, 08:48 PM

18. What should have been

 

Al Gore is the most obvious answer to this question..

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 05:00 PM

19. I HAVE TO SAY ROBERT KENNEDY .. JUST IMAGINE

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 04:02 AM

20. Ross Perot,just saying.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Wed May 27, 2015, 07:19 PM

21. At the top of my list of Morris Udall. I don't know whether he would have won the GE if he had

gotten the Democratic nomination in 1976. By the time Election Day rolled around, Carter's margin had crumbled and he had to rely on a coalition of liberal and conservative, southern states--a coalition only available to him. Ford might very well had pulled off the long-coveted Truman-style shocking upset.

But I think Udall was the president we needed back then and would have done a good job.

I also liked Gary Hart and Mario Cuomo a lot and would have been interested in seeing either one of them elected to the White House in 1988.

It's very interesting to think of what would have happened if Al Gore was in the White House after 9/11.

All the examples I gave are ones that realistically could have happened with a couple of minor differences in the way that history played out. Gore could have won in 2000--and many would argue that he actually did. Udall could have won the nomination in 1976, and probably would have if not for Carter's shocking emergence. And he could have beaten Ford in the GE. Hart and Cuomo were both electable in 1988 vs. George HW Bush.

On the other hand, William Jennings Bryan and Adlai Stevenson were never realistically going to win their elections.

I think the most interesting what if is Henry Wallace. What if FDR hadn't dumped him from the ticket and he had become president after Roosevelt died?

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Response to StevieM (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 10:56 PM

29. I think 9/11 would have just been another Tuesday.

Gore wouldn't have sat on his ass when the reports started to come in about terrorists wanting to use airliners as weapons long beforehand. 9/11 would have just had been another late summer Tuesday.

Even if something had happened on 9/11 with Gore in charge you would not have had the Iraq war, Gore would have gone after the responsible parties and brought them to justice.

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Response to 47of74 (Reply #29)

Tue Jun 7, 2016, 02:30 AM

38. I was never a 9/11 conspiracy theory, but I am rethinking my attitude in light of additional

information about Saudi Arabia's links to the event.

But I agree that Gore would have handled it far more wisely.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Fri Jun 26, 2015, 02:50 PM

23. Bob LaFollette (nt)

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Fri Jun 26, 2015, 03:05 PM

24. Bill Bradley

Bradley was an incredibly compelling candidate. He was for universal health care, increased gun control, and campaign finance reform ... and the thing I probably would take greatest issue with him on as a lefty would have made him more palatable to centrists and tax-hating crowd. (I'm not a fan of the TRA of '86.)

I guess it says something that his personality didn't outshine Al Gore's But, W. had a good ol' boy personality and look where that got us.

Back in the day, I used to visit this page quite a bit: http://www.kevincmurphy.com/billbradley0.html

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Sun Aug 9, 2015, 07:05 PM

25. Henry Wallace

 

We'd be living in a much more peaceful world if he'd replaced FDR instead of Cold Warrior Truman.

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Response to Southern Belle Blue (Reply #25)

Tue Jun 7, 2016, 02:34 AM

39. Good one.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Tue Aug 11, 2015, 12:27 AM

26. Al Gore

I am very curious as to how the country would be today if Gore had actually made it to the white house.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2015, 11:30 AM

30. Paul Tsongas

I remember prior to Clinton the name Paul Tsongas seemed to come up the most in the year before the 92 election.

If Clinton hadn't pulled off his comeback I wonder if Paul Tsongas would have gone on to win the nomination or if it would have gone to Jerry Brown? Would his policies (which were criticized for being closer to Republican policies than Democratic ones) have brought about the same levels of economic activity that Clinton did?

Also Tsongas had non-Hodgkins lymphoma in the mid 90s that he died from in 1997, so I wonder if that would have come in to play during his Presidency and if he would have died in office? Would that have been an issue in a 1996 Tsongas campaign? Would he have run for political office then?

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Response to Bucky (Original post)


Response to Bucky (Original post)

Wed Nov 4, 2015, 07:00 PM

32. Joe Biden

 

'nuff said!

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2016, 05:15 PM

33. Think how different our recent history would have been....

...if Hubert Humphrey had beaten Nixon in 1968.

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Response to lastlib (Reply #33)

Sun Jan 24, 2016, 06:13 PM

34. A Humphrey-Kennedy ticket (if Bobby hadn't been murdered) would've been stronger

Not sure Bobby would've taken the #2 spot. I'm pretty sure Humphrey would have beaten Kennedy for the nomination. Not enough delegates were going to Chicago based on primary votes and the caucuses in the 60s were still very much controlled by party bosses. Speaking of Chicago... that would have been a VERY difference convention without Robert Kennedy's murder. The tone of desperation that that assassination brought on had a huge impact on the zeitgeist.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Sun Feb 7, 2016, 11:10 PM

35. Interesting Almost President

 

Al Gore

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 02:51 PM

40. Robert Kennedy

But he was shot. Sickening.

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Response to SheriffBob (Reply #40)

Fri Jul 22, 2016, 04:12 AM

43. I absolutely agree with you on that one, he had so much to offer, and the temperament, too.

I believe he would have gone down as one of our greatest in history. Such a waste.

Welcome to DU, SheriffBob! It's great to have you with us!

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 21, 2016, 03:24 PM

41. Who would have made an interesting president, but never got the shot?

Ralph Nader. He would have kept corporate power in check and would have enacted or supported legislation for businesses at the state and municipal levels and community institutions.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 21, 2016, 03:30 PM

42. Henry A. Wallace

There would have been no cold war. No race riots and prosperity for the working man. He was also a very practical politician.

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