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The 1980 US Election: A Revolution - But Whose?


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After winning in one of the closest election in US history President Gerald Ford's second term in office is reaching its end. The President has struggled with issues at home and abroad making it abundantly clear that whoever succeeds him will inherit a plethora of issues to tackle. 

The Republicans have lost control of congress and then some, after what will be twelve straight years in office the party is in need of re branding, though maybe the Ford-Dole moderates may be the only thing that can hold together the GOP's current coalition.

The Democrats have hit a wall. In 1968 the centre left and establishment candidate Hubert Humphrey lost to Nixon, in 1972 the New Left darling George McGovern suffered a similar fate and in 1976 moderate Southerner Jimmy Carter saw defeat. With every faction having faced a loss, it's anyone's game.

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A New Kind of Democrat: Jerry Brown for President

Jerry Brown (Coin Toss) | Alternative History | FANDOM powered by Wikia

(Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) announces his second run for President in San Francisco, California)

"My fellow Americans, our nation is in dire straights. Our federal government is bloated, unresponsive, and unable to earn the trust of the majority of Americans. Our economy has stagnated, and inflation is killing the value of the dollar. Our streets are overrun with drug use, homelessness, gun violence, and crime. Our natural environment is being destroyed, and out planet poisoned by out of control corporations. Both at home, and abroad millions of innocent people have been stripped of their human rights, because of their race, or their gender, or their beliefs.

I tell you this not out a sense of misanthropy, nor out of a desire to fear-monger. I tell you this, in order to show you that this great land of ours, can be so much better. I dream of an America where honest, hard-working people do not need to choose between going hungry, and going homeless. I dream of an America, where no little boy must ever be raised without his parents, because of some maniac with a gun. I dream of an America where women, gay, black, Latino, and disabled people, are no longer treated as second class citizens. I dream of an America where we respect our mother-planet, even as we spread ourselves across the milky-way. I dream of an America where our citizens fervently believe in our ability to be the greatest nation on Earth, and trust our government to guide us on that path. I want to turn those dreams into a reality, and that is why, before all of you here today, I am announcing my intention to run for President of the greatest nation to ever grace the Earth.

As your President, I promise to slash taxes on the average American, simplify our bloated welfare state, and make the rich pay their fair share! As your President, I promise that we will protect our environment, kick our oil addiction, and ensure that our children inherit a livable planet! As your President, I will make our streets safe again, by attacking both crime, as well as the causes of crime, we will help drug addicts get clean, get guns out of the hands of criminals, and support out police force! As your President, I promise to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, legalize gay relationships, reform our broken immigration system, and protect out black, and Latino communities from racism! As your President, I promise to reform our broken Washington culture, by making government more democratic, more transparent, more efficient, and more accountable to the will of the people! Now let's get to campaigning!"

Edited by WVProgressive
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Mo Udall launches Presidential campaign in Arizona 


“Friends, we’ve seen a major shift in American politics from 20 years ago, since 1969 we’ve seen Republicans reverse many of the economic accomplishments of Kennedy and Johnson, Nixon claimed he’d end the Vietnam War and bring law and order to the country, but him and his Republican Party have committed numerous crimes themselves, from spying on political opponents, to doing nothing about inflation or our gasoline shortages. Meanwhile Gerald Ford lets himself be boxed in by an increasingly right wing shifting party. Even I can see through this and I have a glass eye! We need to get back into fighting a war… The War on Poverty! We need to return the Democratic Party to the White House.

John Connally announces bid for Republican Nomination 


“I want to make things abundantly clear, I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left not only me, but the proud downtrodden southern man. You know we used to be a major powerhouse in the south but once the Democratic Party more and more has become soft on crime and communism it’s become clear that the Republican Party is the party of the working people. Join me and I’ll stand strongly against these hippies and liberal wackjobs. Join me and send a message to the Democrats and the American people, we need a strong sense of law and order at home and abroad.”

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Senator Lowell Weiker of Connecticut announces his intention to seek the Republican Nomination for the Presidency in 1980 today in Hartford

 The death of Vice President Rockefeller has saddened me greatly. He was a bold spokesman for Civil Rights, Housing for the Poor, and Women's rights. But the causes he championed cannot be let fall to the wayside. I am today, announcing my intention to seek the Republican nomination. I intend to be a President who will keep the Republican party moving forward, who will move past the legacy of the scandals that have plagued our nation and who stay true to the Republican party's legacy of fighting for justice and Liberty. 


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Former Arkansas Senator, J William Fulbright announces intention to seek the Democratic Nomination for President

During my congressional career, I have worked tirelessly for peace and Liberty at home and abroad. We face a delicate international balancing act after the Nixon-Ford-Kissenger foreign policy direction and that's why I believe I need to run. No man alive has more experience in foreign policy than myself and I can be a steady and experienced hand to guide us through the difficult waters that lie ahead. I have always been straight with the American people, I worked tirelessly to bring forth information that the White House would rather keep hidden.  I pledge to deliver a steady, experienced administration that will always be frank with the American people.


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Barry Goldwater announces that he’s running for President

”Everything I warned you about Johnson, and the Democrats has come to pass. Inflation, fueled by out of control government spending, is killing the value of the dollar. Hundreds of thousands of American boys lie dead in the jungles of Vietnam, and thousands more face serious conditions from a pointless war halfway across the globe. Across America our citizens are no longer represented by an increasingly ossified, and corrupt bureaucracy. I will slash taxes, slash wasteful spending, get the government out of our lives, and off of our backs, and protect our founding principles of Liberty, and Justice For All.”

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George Wallace Announces Fifth Bid for Presidency at Rally in Birmingham, Alabama


Former Alabama Governor George Wallace, perhaps unsurprisingly, announced yet another run for the Presidency today in Birmingham, declaring that his bid is the "last best shot" Democrats have to take back the White House and fight for the "unrepresented majority" of working Americans. Wallace spoke passionately in his announcement address, declaring:

"I look around the Democratic Party today, and I see dysfunction and division. The party of Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt has abandoned its core values and lost every Presidential election for over a decade as a result. No longer do working Americans trust Democrats to fight corruption, keep their communities safe, or defend American values. Instead, those Americans expect nothing more from the Democrats than weak-willed nominees who defend bloated Federal bureaucracy, bend to wealthy donors, and fail to preserve our public safety and way of life. I speak before you today to say that I have had enough. The Democratic Party must be restored to its former glory, and our nation must be wrestled from the grip of corrupt, elitist Republicans like Gerald Ford. If you are an American sick and tired of a system which ignores you as your community is decimated by crime and drugs and as your nation falls further into crisis, I am here to say that I am fighting for you. I would like to announce that I am running for President of these here United States to reclaim the Democratic Party and the White House for the people! All Americans, regardless of race, deserve a leader who will fight for them, and this campaign I am embarking on is the last best shot my party has to take back the White House and represent the currently unrepresented majority of working Americans. I humbly ask for your support, America, so that we may live up to the ideals of the Founders and restore life, liberty, and happiness across this great land. Thank you!"

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John B Anderson launches Presidential campaign in Chicago

Illinois Republican John Anderson, third-party candidate for president ...

"The only path forward for the Republican Party is to show the American people that we are willing to mend fences and build coalitions to bring this nation together. We need to come together in full support of the Equal Rights Amendment and let the American people know that the Republican Party will stand for forward progress and more rights, not for regression. We must let this become a party of ideas, where every man and woman, no matter his color or creed can come together to have their voice heard."

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George McGovern announces President Campaign, will seek the Democratic Nomination

"America it's time we moved past the scandals and years of a failed Presidential administration that has been filled with turmoil and lack of new ideas. The 1980s desrve a President that will be one that will work for all Americans in order to create a more perfect union."


McGovern campaign portrait (cropped) (3x4).jpg

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Former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter Gives the Presidency One More Go! 

How Jimmy Carter Revolutionized the Iowa Caucuses - The Atlantic

The 1976 presidential nominee has decided to throw his hat in the ring again for the nomination in 1980. Carter focused on the economy in his speech declaring his presidency, saying that he would protect agricultural and manufacturing jobs in the midwest and south, while growing the American market at home and abroad. Carter also touched on foreign affairs, signaling that both the US and USSR need to commit to lessening the amount of nuclear warheads in the world - together, not separately. The US will not unilaterally disarm, he says. Carter promises to be a stable leader who can bring the country forward together. 

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George H W Bush announces a campaign for President:

"My fellow Americans, we face daunting challenges as a nation that will test the mettle of American leadership and seek to challenge the values and principles that built this country. It is in times such as these that we need proven leaders who can provide a steady hand on the wheel as we navigate these challenges. I have served in the halls of Congress, I have served overseas, and I have served as Director of the CIA and with your support, I believe we can work together not only to meet these challenges, but to overcome. Thank you!"

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Hats Off to Bella Abzug - Village Preservation

Former Representative Bella Abzug formally declares her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in New York City.

New York. I'm proud to call this city, this state, my home. And this state has been the birthplace of many of our nation's fiercest fighters for the American dream. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt fought to bring this country back from the brink of economic ruin. Senator Bobby Kennedy led the fight in the civil rights movement. President Teddy Roosevelt fought to break up the big corporations and monopolies that threatened the wellbeing of every man, woman, and child in this country. This city has produced some of the most influential men and women in our history. It's been the birthplace of liberty, equality, and everything that we as a nation should represent.

Let's cut straight to the chase. There is a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party. And it's going to be settled in the presidential nomination.

We've heard from the segregationists who swear they've really changed this time. 

We've heard from the establishment that hasn't delivered on real, fundamental change time and time again. 

We've heard from politicians who, while I believe to be very fine men, have failed to truly advocate for women in their campaigns for president before because it wasn't "safe" to do so.

What you're hearing today is a promise from me. A promise to run the same campaign I've run my entire life. I am announcing that I will be seeking the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, and I'll fight for what's right for our country no matter what. I'll continue the fight for women in the workplace. I'll continue the fight for more welfare for those who need it the most. I'll continue the fight for the millions of Jews both here at home in America and in Israel in standing up against anti-Semitic rhetoric. 

No matter who you are, I'll be fighting for you.

Thank you.

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Former Labor Secretary Peter Brennan formally announces his bid for the Republican nomination. 

Peter J. Brennan declared his intent to succeed President Ford in New York City. 

Secretary Brennan, despite having a relatively short tenure under Presidents Nixon and Ford, is known for one thing: his relentless advocacy for the American worker. When he left the cabinet in 1975, he returned to his union post. He negotiated significant raises and employment benefits for countless workers and has continued to be a leading pro-labor voice in an increasingly business-friendly Republican Party. With the failure of President Ford to implement meaningful wage increases or anti-discriminatory measures, Brennan's platform points to one cause of the economic stagflation as poor labor policies. 

While labor is the focus of his campaign, Brennan's campaign announcement generally placed him as a more liberal Republican in a crowded field of Republicans.

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Brown made a strong announcement. The young Governor of California has a lot going for him, name recognition from his 76 bid and a nice Kennedy-esque tinge of youth. Still, Brown's usual eccentricity shows and the presence of other strong candidates make this a harder fight than it could have been.


Udall gave a solid speech to announce his bid for the Presidency, however, something about the Congressman seemed... Off. He stuttered and stumbled slightly through his speech, luckily, the fatherly tone associated with Udall shone through.


Fullbright is on the scene! After his retirement in 74 no one expected to see Fulbright on the political stage again, yet here he is! And he may be just what the Democrats need, an old hand, an experienced Senator from the Democrats' golden age.


No one expected this. George Wallace has announced a bid for the Presidency with fiery reception. The former Alabama Governor has reformed, speaking of working for every American of every race and hiring an African American campaign manager. This George Wallace has dropped race to focus on class... And it might just work.


He lost to Nixon in a landslide in 72. Oh how you wish you'd voted for him now. George McGovern had this feeling around him as he announced his bid for the nomination. But, did he focus on it? No! McGovern came in holding the views he championed in 72, while considered "out there" back then, with the struggles of America now, it could be what's needed.


Riding a similar wave to McGovern, you wished you'd voted for him now. Jimmy Carter has reentered the race carrying with him a surprisingly strong rhetoric! Carter was the first to win in the new primary system, and so he enters the race with a kind of experience no one else has. But not only that, the mild mannered former Governor has found himself a strong platform to set out his redemption bid on.


Abzug's announcement fell short of a bang. While her passion was clearly seen and praised, she seemed to have shot herself in the foot by targeting other darlings of the left. Much of the new left is all for hitting George Wallace, but McGovern and Brown not so much.



Connally has hit the campaign trail with a flop. While no doubt a strong candidate the former Governor of Texas seemed to start his campaign off on the wrong foot, Connally has begun his campaign targeting "Liberal whackjobs" rather than trying to set out a way he would tackle the issues that are dominating the US.


Weiker's announcement has fallen by the wayside. While no doubt a strong speech, it came across as more of a eulogy for former Vice President Rockefeller than as a Presidential announcement. Weiker has just missed the mark.


Another old hand has announced a bid for the Presidency. Goldwater has kept to the beliefs that he has espoused all of his career. While some stand back, skeptical of him after his 64 trouncing, others think that the Senator who has sat outside of the current Republican administration may be the one to back.


Anderson comes out with a strong proposition: Rebranding the GOP and building a new coalition. While this may be what the party needs to pull past the wounds of the old administration, Anderson's radical new vision makes things that bit more difficult.


Bush emerges as a steady pair of hands. His announcement touts his experience and preaches that he will being stability. However, he reflects this slightly too much, with the candidate of experience and stability coming across a bit too plain.


Sadly, the pundits put it perfectly right, The Republican Party is becoming more and more pro business, there's little room for a pro Union candidate. If Anderson's plan is ambitious then Brennan's is something else. But a man can dream.

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Fmr Sen William Fulbright

Stunned and pleased by the warm reception to his announcement the former Senator will reach out for the endorsement of former Senator from North Carolina, member of Fulbrights Foreign Policy committee and the man who lead the Watergate committee- Sam Ervin.

1:Fulbright will host a fundraising dinner in Little Rock, he will tell donors that the important thing about the campaign is getting a Democratic nominee with a "sane and reasonable" foreign policy

2: Let's be Bold, Fmr Sen Fulbright will host a Q and A session at Harvard University, while they might not be warm to a former segregationist, Fulbright has Dove bone fide's and his debating skills should be enough to win some admiration (and maybe some volunteers) 

3: Fulbright will give a Speech in Des Moines talking about the need to expand World Trade and open up new markets for American exports

Senator Lowell Weiker

Well, it could have gone worse, the Senator will hope that his eulogizing will have at least have endeared him to the former VP's protege, Henry Kissenger, and will ask for his endorsement (and assure him if he were to win that he could stay on as Sec of State). 

1: Let's praise the Ford administration for its excellent foreign Policy work in Washington D.C 

2:  Sen Weiker will host a fundraising dinner in New York, he will talk up his admiration for former VP Rockefeller and pledge to continue his economic and social policies forward. 

3:  Sen Weiker will see if he can get an interview with the NY times or Washingon Post to lay out his policy propsals and why he's running, get some more name recognition out there.

Edited by Murrman104
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Mo Udall

Endorsement: Ted Kennedy 

1. Udall will take a page out of Jimmy Carter’s book and zero in on Iowa, he will hold town halls across the state getting to know voters. He will primarily focus on Farm Subsidies. “Nixon and Ford have no idea the struggles of the average farmer. We need to help our farmers with federal subsidies and help drive the pain of inflation down.”

2. Udall will go to Iowa University seeking to boost youth turnout for his campaign. “I want everyone here today, go find one friend and take them to the Iowa Caucus, young people can drive this campaign to victory!”

3. Udall will lastly make a stop to New Hampshire where he will tout his maverick credentials. He will talk about his moderate views on firearms.

John Connally 

Endorsement: Ronald Reagan 

1. Connally will campaign in South Carolina where he will talk about his conservative values along with willingness to work with both sides.

2. Connally will tout his support for gun rights in Iowa.

3. Connally will blast the Democrats in South Carolina as “Far left radicals and a segregationist!”

Edited by Sean F Kennedy
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1. Brown goes to Iowa, and tours the rural communities, talking about how important protecting the environment is for agriculture based economies.

2. Brown goes to New Hampshire, promising to replace the current income tax system with a flat tax, where the lost income would be replaced with a tax on wealth, increased corporate taxes, and new tariffs on manufacturing.

3. Brown goes to Boston, Massachusetts where he talks about his dedication to ratify the ERA, amend the civil rights act to protect homosexuals from discrimination, and pass an Americans with Disabilities Act

Endorsement: Jerry Brown asks actor, and liberal activist Christopher Reeves for his endorsement.

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