11th November, 2007
On the 11th of November 2007, potential presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama was shot at close range during a social event in Illinois.
The Democratic Party candidate, who had made known his intention to run for the party nomination in February, and was well-placed to stand in the next Democratic Party primaries, was shot three times in the chest after reaching out to shake the hand of Moriander Brown, a convicted felon who was noted for his extreme White Supremacist views. The Senator died almost instantly, and despite the efforts of paramedics who quickly arrived on the scene. If Barack Obama had stood in the primaries, he had a shot at becoming the first African American president of the United States.
Brown, recently released from a state prison after serving a sentence for inciting racial abuse, later admitted he had made his way to the social event with the specific intention of shooting the candidate, having illegally bought and concealed a firearm for just that purpose.
Security personnel pursued Brown through the crowd, apprehending him within two minutes of the shooting, due mostly to co-operation from the horrified members of the crowd.
The following investigation revealed that special arrangements were being made to protect the presidential hopeful, over fears of just such an event occurring. However, the arrangements had been bungled, leaving Obama 'less than sufficiently protected' in the words of Mark Sullivan, director of the Secret Service. Despite this, Obama went ahead with several rallies and social events as part of his primary bid.
At the time of the shooting, Obama was working his way through the crowd, shaking hands and talking on a personal level with his supporters. According to eyewitnesses, Obama turned to Brown and smiled, offering his hand out to the nervous-looking man. Brown drew a revolver from under his coat and shot the surprised Senator three times in the chest, rupturing a lung and causing arterial damage. Brown then turned and fled through the crowd, but his progress was hampered, and security officials quickly caught up to him, apprehending him with help from members of the public.
Following the recent death of her principle opponent, Hillary Clinton, another Democratic candidate, visited Obama's widow in a personal consolation. Media coverage of the assassination began to grow to an international frenzy, with many notable civil rights authorities bewailing 'the backward state of Modern America' and calling for greater reform. The assassination was compared by many to the assassination of Martin Luther King.
Over the next month, messages from the Clinton campaign began to promise tighter controls on gun ownership in response to the assassination, as well as beginning to guarantee a reform of civil rights law. In a speech delivered on the 18th December, Hillary Clinton stated "Not once more shall an African American, or any other ethnic minority, have their life prematurely ended for standing up and daring to dream"
US Presidential Race
The Republican Primaries were a quickly-decided affair, with Senator John McCain gaining and maintaining an early lead. The Democratic Primaries were somewhat marred by the assassination of Senator Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton managed to gain an early lead over her opponents, the closest rival being John Edwards, who was finally outstripped during Super Tuesday.
The presidential race came down to Hillary Clinton running as Democratic candidate, her Republican opponent being John McCain. Hillary's campaign was leant vigor by her taking up of the gun control and civil liberties issues brought up by Senator Obama's assassination. McCain seemed to regain some favour in the polls after announcing Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential nominee, but this edge faded as hints of personal controversy marred her popularity.
Despite a reasonably event-free campaign, John McCain lost out in the presidential elections, with Hillary winning a strong victory, and a vast Democratic majority in Congress securing her power. Hillary Clinton became the first female president-elect of the United States, with a strong power base and the ability to pass a great draft of legislation awaiting her. However, she inherits a position stricken with foreign relations problems and massive economic difficulty.
Trial and Execution of Moriander Brown
The assassin responsible for Senator Obama's death, Moriander Brown, was tried in February and quickly sentenced to death. He was executed on 7th October, 2008, by lethal injection. He at no point seemed to regret the murder and indeed viewed himself as a hero and a patriot.
Stock markets in the US and around the world began to plunge in January following poor bank lending policies and Inter-bank lending. Especially badly hit was the US, where the problem originated, the UK, and Iceland - whose government began to collapse under the stress of the economic turmoil. Notable industries and banks began to declare bankruptcy and world stock markets dropped. In the US, John McCain and Hillary Clinton both agreed with incumbent George Bush Jr on a continuous economic policy.
- The Russian Federation starts to assert its influence overseas in what many regard as an aggressive manner, demonstrating its renewed naval power and facing down the UN in a skirmish with Georgia over the South Ossetia region. President Putin is seen as the force behind this revitalised Russia.
- China makes technological advances, and becomes increasingly identified as a growing superpower, along with India. This is marked by China's successful launch of a man into space, along with India's numerous satellite launches.
- Conflict in the Gaza strip becomes more and more frequent, with Israel regularly cutting off supplies and utilities to the Palestinian area due to Hamas militancy.
- US and allied foreign policy shifts towards withdrawing from Iraq.
- The EU begins to take steps to further integrate its member states.
- Fidel Castro retires from office in Cuba, having survived years of hostile US activity.
Inauguration of Hillary Clinton
On the 20th of January, 2009, Hillary Clinton is inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States of America, and the first female to hold that office. In her inauguration speech, she speaks of what she owes to her former opponent Barack Obama, and her commitment to carrying out the reforms on gun law that she believes he would have wanted. She also speaks of the equal rights movement in terms of the rights of women as well as ethnic minorities, promising that America would come to change.
Immediately upon assuming her role, Hillary is presented with a bill proposing the closure of Guantanamo Bay and other US facilities that engaged in questionable activity under the Bush regime. She is filmed embarrassedly handing the document back to the secretary who passed it to her, which at the time raised questions about her liberal convictions, although she did later sign the bill.
Hillary went on to put forward the economic stimulus package agreed upon with George Bush, intended to try to protect the economy and preserve jobs. At the same time, she begins to draft the gun control laws she plans to bring in.
Early in the year, the tensions in the Gaza strip escalate into full-on violence as Israeli troops move to eliminate the Hamas militants that have been firing missiles into Israeli territory. The Palestinian area is bombarded by artillery and air strikes, with a massive loss of civilian life.
Quickly, a humanitarian crisis emerges in Gaza, as an Israeli blockade prevents aid reaching the civilians who live there. Despite criticism, the US and EU make no move to stop Israel's attack on Gaza, although the action is condemned as 'inhumane and brutal' in a later meeting of the EU Parliament.
The Icelandic Government is the first of many to stand down after the depression seriously affects them. Worldwide, stocks continued to fall, despite efforts by governments and international organisations to secure the markets. Of the larger economies the United Kingdom was particularly badly hit, with huge job cuts and rising unemployment. The Asian markets managed to stay somewhat above the general downturn, but suffered from the drops in demand from western markets.
Renewed Extremist Opposition
Following the US elections, attacks on US and allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are carried out with renewed vigor. Political analysts fear that US incursions on Pakistani soil and the internal divisions within that nation could lead to Pakistan forming a willing nucleus for terrorist activity in the Middle-East and Southern Asia.
President Hillary Clinton announces America's conviction to continue the War on Terror whatever the cost.