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What if Robert Kennedy was never assassinated?
Topic Started: Jun 5 2018, 10:27 PM (24 Views)
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A very minor case of serious brain damage


After Martin Luther King was killed, many believed senator and presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy was going to carry on the reforming fight. Fifty years on, some argue Kennedy's assassination had a profound impact on the direction of America.

When Robert Kennedy was shot in the crowded kitchen passageway of Los Angeles's Ambassador Hotel, photographer Ronald Bennett leapt onto a stainless steel food cart to see from above and photograph the ensuing chaos.

As people shouted, screamed and wrestled with shooter Sirhan Sirhan, Bennett suddenly found himself in a position to intervene.

"They couldn't get the gun out of his hand, he obviously had a lot of adrenaline flowing through him, so I stamped on his hand and they got the gun," says Bennett, who was working for United Press International (UPI) at the time.

"As I popped another roll in the camera, I realised I had already taken about 25 pictures on sheer automatic reflex."

Kennedy had been celebrating winning the California primacy in the race to become the Democratic nomination for the presidential election later that year.

It's interesting to reflect on this, 50 years to the day after Robert Kennedy was assassinated - but, it's far from clear that he would have become the Democratic nominee. He was still behind Eugene McCarthy in the popular vote, and behind Hubert Humphrey in delegates, with only Illinois still to vote - so, a contested convention would have been inevitable.

But, even if Robert Kennedy had won the primary, he would still have had to win the general election. As we know, Humphrey lost that to Richard Nixon - but, there were five states (Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Alaska, and Illinois) that he lost by less than 3%. If my mental arithmetic is correct, then flipping those five states would have given the victory to the Democrat.

Could Kennedy have done it?
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I dunno. Nixon was ruthless as his namesake.
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