Alternate History

Edmund Muskie (Dewey Defeats Truman)

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Edmund Muskie
38th President of the United States
Assumed office:
January 20, 1973
Left office:
January 20, 1981
Vice President: Henry Jackson
Preceded by: Nelson Rockefeller
Succeeded by: Henry Jackson
United States Senator from Maine
In office:
January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1973
Preceded by: Frederick Paine
Succeeded by: George J. Mitchell
64th Governor of Maine
In office:
January 5, 1955 – January 2, 1959
Preceded by: Burton M. Cross
Succeeded by: Robert N. Haskell
Born: March 28, 1914

Rumford, Maine

Died: March 26, 1996 (aged 81)

Washington, D.C.

Birth name: Edmund Sixtus Muskie
Political party: Democratic
Spouse(s): Jane Muskie
Children: 5
Alma mater: Bates College
Cornell University
Religion: Roman Catholic

Edmund Sixtus "Ed" Muskie (March 28, 1914 – March 26, 1996) was an American politician who was the 38th President of the United States, the first Roman Catholic to hold the office. Prior to his election, he was a Senator from Maine, and the 64th governor of that state.

Muskie's landslide election in 1972 was seen by many as an explicit encouragement to increase Rockefeller's hesitant steps toward anticommunism, specifically the ratcheting up of the Vietnam War. Muskie had chosen diehard Cold Warrior Henry Jackson as his running mate, and the 70s were duly defined by anticommunism.

Although Muskie was reelected comfortably in 1976, historians have more recently argued that his presidency was defined by paths laid by Rockefeller and decisions made by Jackson. Muskie's insistence on ending the Vietnam War without nuclear weapons, and his doing so in 1979, was seen by many as a power struggle between he and Jackson; although he endorsed his vice president and campaigned for him in 1980, he withheld his endorsement until the bitter end in 1984, and in 1988, Muskie pointedly endorsed Robert Byrd's most significant primary opponent, Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

The public falling out between Muskie and the Democratic administration that followed his led to his being more warmly received than his successors by the "New Democratic" administration of Al Gore, Jr., with whom he campaigned vigorously in 1992, and endorsed heartily for reelection in 1996, shortly before his death.

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