If RFK had lived would he have been President?

Would RFK have been president had he lived?

  • No

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Probably not

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Impossible to tell

    Votes: 6 23.1%
  • Almost certainly

    Votes: 11 42.3%
  • Definitely.

    Votes: 4 15.4%

  • Total voters
    26
Dec 2011
3,556
#11
Worth noting that if RFK lived and lost the convention to Humphrey, he would likely have campaigned energetically for Humphrey; he actually liked Humphrey personally.
I'm not sure, you have to figure in personality, I remember the story of RFK telling LBJ he should step aside and let him be JFK's VP whereupon LBJ laughed at him and RFK started crying. Humphrey was very much an establishment figure, even if RFK had supported him would his followers have done the same?
 
Dec 2011
3,556
#12
Hubert Humphrey began closing in on Nixon in polls after he declared his opposition to the Vietnam War. It was said that if election was a week later, he would have won. The war was unpopular and Humphrey showed his independence (from Johnson ) with this belated stance. Since RFK was against the war from the time he announced his candidacy, it seems he would have not fallen so far behind Nixon early in the race. It still it would have been close IMO.
Was the war so unpopular at that stage to be a single issue for the election?
 
Dec 2011
3,556
#13
RFK could have beat Nixon(wouldn't have needed to make any such proclamation everyone knew where he stood). The 68 primaries turned Humphrey into a symbol of a policy he opposed(quite a frustrating way to lose an election) and it wouldn't surprise me if the McCarthy and Kennedy people weren't convinced.

Issue for RFK is beating Humphrey in the primary which was impossible. Democratic nominee could have won and Kennedy would have been a stronger nominee.
Why do you think it was impossible?
 
Feb 2016
4,441
Japan
#14
He came from an established “elite” family. He’d be a good candidate. Wether he would have won or not is harder to call. But he had the credentials and pull factor to have been a contender.
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,109
VA
#15
I remember the story of RFK telling LBJ he should step aside and let him be JFK's VP

Never happened. Nobody, RFK included, thought he should be JFK's VP in 1960. JFK apparently did harbor some doubts about having LBJ on the ticket initially, and sent RFK to see if he could talk him into backing out at the 1960 convention after the offer had been extended. LBJ had no interest in backing out of course, but apparently blamed the whole incident on RFK rather than his brother.



(Phew, talking about those three involves a lot of acronyms)
 
Dec 2011
3,556
#17
Never happened. Nobody, RFK included, thought he should be JFK's VP in 1960. JFK apparently did harbor some doubts about having LBJ on the ticket initially, and sent RFK to see if he could talk him into backing out at the 1960 convention after the offer had been extended. LBJ had no interest in backing out of course, but apparently blamed the whole incident on RFK rather than his brother.



(Phew, talking about those three involves a lot of acronyms)
I think I'm misremembering a documentary I saw on LBJ where they had the confrontation as you say and the witness thought this was RFK's agenda.
 
Jun 2017
2,909
Connecticut
#18
Why do you think it was impossible?
Primaries didn't offer enough delegates for a candidate to win the nomination. 14 states had primaries to decide their delegations the rest were all going to Humphrey. McCarthy ended up with almost all of RFK's delegates(and won the last primaries RFK wasn't in) and combined with McGovern who was RFK's stand in, lost to Humphrey by 1000 votes. The nomination wasn't decided by primaries yet, primaries were just one choice states had to send delegations to the convention and most didn't use that choice. RFK winning every single delegate delivered by primary(which if he had made a deal with McCarthy might have happened) he still loses in the first ballot by about 1000 votes. RFK's death during the aftermath of a triumphant victory gala often gives a "what might have been" feel to the assassination that wasn't there prior. 72, sure he's probably the nominee and maybe the President but in 68 he was done and he would have been done anyway if he'd declared earlier.

The 68 convention outcome was inevitable. Rigged and unfair(hence riots) but inevitable. This is why the 72 primaries worked so differently.
 
Last edited:
Jun 2018
18
Tromso, norway
#19
Well, John's victory over Nixon was only acheived through some dubious trickery. I am not sure if his brother would have fared any better, unless he would ride a wave of sympathy after his brother's death? Nixon, even though a crook, and a mass murderer in Cambodia, had some redeeming features. He wanted to establish a health service, not that different from what Obama attempted. Nixon had been poor, he said, so he knew what it meant to go without treatment.
 
Oct 2017
72
Austin, TX
#20
RFK would have beaten Nixon in 1968 and have become President.


I believe he would have gotten us out of the Vietnam quicker than Nixon, resulting in saving many casualties.


However, I believe that his assassination was inevitable. As JFK's attorney general, he made MANY mortal enemies within the Mafia and in the deep south who would have been determined to get rid of him.
 

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