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Old September 1 2013, 04:32 PM   #16
Dick Whitman
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

I have never seen a complete episode but alternate histories fascinate me. Reagan first tried a Presidental run in 1976. He challenged Ford for the Republican nomination. Perhaps in this history he succeeded and became President early. But lost reelection to a fictional opponent.
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Old September 1 2013, 04:48 PM   #17
Gaith
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

IIRC, Sorkin didn't want to reference any presidents after JFK, but Josh mentioned LBJ at one point (though that could have been after Sorkin left, I forget). And the S2 premiere has a Reagan-named building sign clearly visible in the distance, but that was non-intentional. Sorkin also tried not to reference what year it was, but then wrote a discussion about whether 2000 or 2001 is the turn of the millennium.

The more important question is when in their AU major campaign finance reform was enacted, because those characters sure as hell don't live in our big money-infested scene.
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Old September 1 2013, 05:34 PM   #18
the G-man
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
Yeah there is no time when it goes off on it's own, it's always in an AU. I wouldn't worry too much about it because the show plays lose in time and skipped a year.

However I swear they talked about Reagan in an episode….
Could've been a continuity gaffe, I suppose. I didn't watch the show that often so I'm not at all qualified to discuss this beyond noting the real world legal ramifications, or lack thereof, of a resignation.
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Old September 1 2013, 07:07 PM   #19
bigdaddy
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

They skipped a year magically between season 5 (mid term elections were coming up) and the season 6 season opener which had presidential elections coming up, even though it was the same weekend as last episode.

We could say that in The West Wing world there was an issue with Nixon resigning. Maybe Ford was never named VP and instead of following the line to the presidency (which is really screwed up by the 25th Amendment) that they instead had a special election.
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Old September 1 2013, 07:09 PM   #20
Snaploud
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
From what's said in this thread...

Gerald Ford declined to finish off the disgraced Nixon's term.

The then speaker of the house must of as well.

Which forced a by-election.
That wouldn't be enough to force a by-election. It just would have gone to the next person in the line of succession (the president pro tempore of the Senate).

Your scenario would only work if U.S. law were different in the West Wing universe.
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Old September 1 2013, 07:13 PM   #21
bigdaddy
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

Of course US law is different on West Wing, they have elections in the wrong years.

Maybe after the declines that the American people demanded a new election instead of having some person no one can name.

Or better yet right now the Secretary of the Interior is a woman born in the UK. She can't become president, so they skip her and move to the next one.
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Old September 1 2013, 08:59 PM   #22
the G-man
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

bigdaddy wrote: View Post

We could say that in The West Wing world there was an issue with Nixon resigning. Maybe Ford was never named VP and instead of following the line to the presidency (which is really screwed up by the 25th Amendment) that they instead had a special election.
Nothing in the constitution authorizes a special election to fill the vacancy, including the 25th Amendment.

I suppose that it is possible that the 25th Amendment in the "Bartlettverse" provides for a special election, which would put the time divergence at approximately 1967, when that amendment was ratified.
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Old September 1 2013, 08:59 PM   #23
Captaindemotion
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

Dick Whitman wrote: View Post
I have never seen a complete episode but alternate histories fascinate me. Reagan first tried a Presidental run in 1976. He challenged Ford for the Republican nomination. Perhaps in this history he succeeded and became President early. But lost reelection to a fictional opponent.
Did you know that at one stage in the 1980 campaign, the Reagan team toyed with the idea of a co-presidency, bringing back Gerard Ford on a joint ticket? This was because of concerns about Reagan's experience and/or suitability for foreign affairs. IIRC, Ford was approached and did consider it, but I can't remember f he declined or the Reagan team decided against it.

I believe that it was from this concept that Dick Cheney (who was a prominent figure in Reagan and Ford's administrations) had the idea of such a high-profile and influential VP as he would later become.
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Old September 1 2013, 09:31 PM   #24
bigdaddy
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

the G-man wrote: View Post
bigdaddy wrote: View Post

We could say that in The West Wing world there was an issue with Nixon resigning. Maybe Ford was never named VP and instead of following the line to the presidency (which is really screwed up by the 25th Amendment) that they instead had a special election.
Nothing in the constitution authorizes a special election to fill the vacancy, including the 25th Amendment.

I suppose that it is possible that the 25th Amendment in the "Bartlettverse" provides for a special election, which would put the time divergence at approximately 1967, when that amendment was ratified.
Yes it's a fictional TV show, anything is possible.
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Old September 1 2013, 09:59 PM   #25
MacLeod
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

Maybe the point of divergence is WWII, maybe the 1944 election never happened and the election was delayed until WWII over. Given that it ended in Aug 1945 allowing time for primaries etc.. perhaps 1946 would be the earliest date they could hold it.
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Old September 2 2013, 02:12 AM   #26
the G-man
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
Dick Whitman wrote: View Post
I have never seen a complete episode but alternate histories fascinate me. Reagan first tried a Presidental run in 1976. He challenged Ford for the Republican nomination. Perhaps in this history he succeeded and became President early. But lost reelection to a fictional opponent.
Did you know that at one stage in the 1980 campaign, the Reagan team toyed with the idea of a co-presidency, bringing back Gerard Ford on a joint ticket? This was because of concerns about Reagan's experience and/or suitability for foreign affairs. IIRC, Ford was approached and did consider it, but I can't remember f he declined or the Reagan team decided against it.
According to this it was more or less mutually rejected:
  • Reagan had realized that getting Ford on the ticket probably wasn't worth giving up so much autonomy, and Ford had concluded that such an arrangement probably wouldn't work anyway.

    In the end, of course, the Reagan camp chose George H.W. Bush to fill out the ticket...Like Ford, Bush would help give the ticket geographic balance and provide valuable experience in the federal government. Unlike Ford, he wouldn't want to become a co-president.

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
the G-man wrote: View Post
bigdaddy wrote: View Post

We could say that in The West Wing world there was an issue with Nixon resigning. Maybe Ford was never named VP and instead of following the line to the presidency (which is really screwed up by the 25th Amendment) that they instead had a special election.
Nothing in the constitution authorizes a special election to fill the vacancy, including the 25th Amendment.

I suppose that it is possible that the 25th Amendment in the "Bartlettverse" provides for a special election, which would put the time divergence at approximately 1967, when that amendment was ratified.
Yes it's a fictional TV show, anything is possible.
Yes, but it's often as, if not more, interesting to either have the reason for divergence explained or give the viewer enough clues that he or she can make some plausible guesses.
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Old September 2 2013, 09:54 AM   #27
Venardhi
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

Alternate possibility: Reagan was the VP for Nixon's second term instead of Ford. this gives him the rest of that term and possibly one other, while still leaving room for the 2 or 3 fictional presidents before Bartlett.

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Maybe the point of divergence is WWII, maybe the 1944 election never happened and the election was delayed until WWII over. Given that it ended in Aug 1945 allowing time for primaries etc.. perhaps 1946 would be the earliest date they could hold it.
Add in an amendment and this works.
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Old September 2 2013, 11:58 AM   #28
TheGodBen
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Maybe the point of divergence is WWII, maybe the 1944 election never happened and the election was delayed until WWII over. Given that it ended in Aug 1945 allowing time for primaries etc.. perhaps 1946 would be the earliest date they could hold it.
That's an interesting theory, but there's one problem with it (aside from the legalities of suspending an election, which I'm unqualified to comment on). FDR's Vice President between 1941-1945 was Henry Wallace, but FDR decided to replace him on the ticket with Harry Truman in the 1944 election. We know from a conversation between Debbie and Walken that Truman was President in the WWverse in 1945 and ordered the nuclear attacks on Japan. So for this theory to work, Truman would either have had to have been on the ticket in 1940, or FDR would have had to have gone out of his way to get Truman elected VP via Congress in 1944.
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Old September 2 2013, 11:31 PM   #29
IndyJones
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
I was going to suggest that it was always different because elections were off by two years, but the Nixon resignation as an explanation could work.

We know Andrew Jackson was President, at least
I'm not sure if you know this, but Andrew Jackson had a big block of cheese.
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Old September 2 2013, 11:40 PM   #30
J.T.B.
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Re: West Wing timeline divergence?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Maybe the point of divergence is WWII, maybe the 1944 election never happened and the election was delayed until WWII over. Given that it ended in Aug 1945 allowing time for primaries etc.. perhaps 1946 would be the earliest date they could hold it.
If we could hold an election in 1864, I think we could hold one in 1944!
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