Alternative History

Part of
An Independent in 2000

Charles Malcolm Edwards
John McCain
Barack Obama
2000 US Presidential Election
2004 US Presidential Election
2008 US Presidential Election
Geopolitics and War
September 11 attacks
List of Nations
War on Jihadism

Point of Divergence[]

2023 (OTL)

  • Charles Malcolm Edwards is critically attacked by a racist mob during the American Troubles
  • He was announced dead after his Brain Signals suddenly turned off.


  • Charles Malcolm Edwards finds himself in the body of his 3-year-old self.
  • President John F. Kennedy is shot while in Dallas. Vice President Johnson is sworn in on Air Force One.


  • Charles Edwards enters into the Propulsion Engineering program at UC Berkley, where he minors in Political Science.
  • Jimmy Carter is elected the 39th President of the United States.


  • 'Edwards' mother dies of untreated ovarian cancer. When he learns that their medical insurance wouldn't cover his mother, Edwards vows to never let his tragedy befall anyone else. He changes his Major to Political science and minors in Propulsion Engineering.


  • Edwards' graduates from Berkley with a Masters in Engineering and Political Science, and honors from his work in the Propulsion Department of the University.
  • President Reagan wins his re-election over Vice President Walter Mondale.


  • Edwards' is hired by Boeing and quickly establishes himself as one of the most innovative minds in aviation.


  • Boeing unveils the first working combined cycle jet engine for the National Aero-Space Plane program.
  • Boeing announces the development of the 777 Hyper-Cruiser, an aircraft that will make a three hour flight from New York to Tokyo.
  • Vice President George H W Bush is sworn in as the 41st President of the United States


  • Boeing threatens to leave Seattle over a labor dispute. Edwards, head of Phandom Works, mediates a compromise between the State, labor and management that launches him into the public eye.



  • Edwards announces his candidacy for mayor of Seattle.
  • Running an energetic and disciplined campaign, Edwards usurps incumbent Norm Rice.


  • Edwards begins his tenure as mayor in an effort to attract startups to Seattle. He changes zoning laws to encourage growth, and cuts regulations for small businesses.
  • Edwards begins the Emerald City Program. A long term goal to increase development and promote economic growth. The program includes provisions for taking the height cap off of Seattle sky scrapers; buying thousands of destitute homes and business to be bulldozed and replaced by new high-rises and apartments; and the creation of multiple public works projects that include two new stadia, a massive new seaport, and a new airport.


  • Seattle begins construction of what is to be the worlds tallest building, the Emerald Tower. Set to be 2,100 feet tall, and act as a vertical city, it is to be finished in 2003.
  • Mayor Edwards receives national attention when on the Tonight Show he calls for Congress to remove President Clinton from office for lying under oath, stating, "It is ridiculous that we would even consider allowing this man to continue to serve office after breaking federal law. And frankly, I'm sickened by how casually the President is willing to sweep his treatment of women under the rug." Clinton still managed to avoid removal from office.
  • Edwards wins a second term as mayor in a monumental landslide.


  • Edwards, begins a second term as mayor. Seattle is now the fastest growing city in America, with startups springing up inside the business friendly environment around the Puget Sound.
  • The World Trade Organization comes to Seattle, but before the convention begins Mayor Edwards meets with the WTO to plead with them to discuss "Fair Trade" not just free trade. He warns them that if they don't, the city will likely descend into chaos if they don't at least act like they are interested in the concerns of the people. The WTO agrees to allow Mayor Edwards to give his keynote address on Fair Trade and the burden globalization has placed on workers.
  • Edwards releases his first Autobiography, Hope from My Mother: The Principles I Live By. The novel is a huge success and launches speculation of a Presidential bid.



  • May: Governors, business leaders, lobbyists, and Representatives of Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, and Virginia all flood into Mayor Edward's office to press him to run for President.
  • Edwards announces his candidacy for President as an independent. Utilizing the power of internet donations and webcasts of his speeches and policies, Edwards quickly establishes dominance on the West Coast, running on a campaign for Universal Healthcare, Education Reform, and fiscal responsibility.
  • Edwards campaigns hard for several months before taking defeated Republican John McCain as his running mate.
  • Bush and Gore are easily nominated at their respective conventions.
  • As the fall campaign progresses Edwards begins to lead in several key states. With a Gore victory beginning to look unlikely many Democrats switch their allegiance to Edwards giving him much needed boost in many other states.
  • During the debates Edwards proves himself as a forceful debater, easily beating both Bush and Gore.
  • On election day Edwards wins a plurality of the popular vote and votes in the Electoral College but does not receive the 270 needed to be elected president.
  • As the election passes to the House, Edwards campaign staff furiously lobby, often leaning hard on McCain to drive Republicans away from Bush.
  • In the final house vote Charles Malcolm Edwards is elected president of the United States, thanks to support from the Congressional Black Caucus, and Republicans who had initially supported McCain in the Republican primary.


9/11: A passenger jetliner is hijacked and crashes in US Capitol building, killing several dozen congressmen and tourists in DC. Several other terrorists were successfully apprehended at different airports around the county. After extensive interrogation, President Edwards orders a covert operation to capture or kill the ringleaders of al-Qaeda. The operation is a success, but comes at the cost of the lives of two US Navy SEALs.

  • President Edwards pushes for the creation of the SHIELD Act creating a Department of Homeland Security to deal exclusively with domestic terror threats. Advisers from Israel, the UK, France, and Japan are brought in to help design the post-9/11 airport security system. Some of the more controversial measures in the SHIELD act are blocked by the President who upon presenting the bill before Congress says, "While we experience a new enemy that holds no value to the lives of the innocent; driving us to abandon our highest held beliefs in the face of fear, would be a far greater victory for any terrorist group than the September 11th attacks could ever have hoped to have been."
  • The Congress is temporarily relocated to several emergency buildings considered temporary extensions of the Capitol. The actual building, and the heavily damaged Civil War Memorial and National Mall is set to undergo major design changes to provide additional security. National Capital Planning Commission is directed by the President to ensure that the rebuilt capitol building would reflect the neo-classical theme of the city, as would any future memorials.
  • The first Delta Clipper Space Shuttle enters service, thanks in part to innovations made at Phantom Works by Edwards.


  • President Edwards heartily accepts the support of Iran in the War on Terror, sending supplies through Iran to support troops dislodging the Taliban from Afghanistan.
  • China and Russia refuse to join the War in Afghanistan, though continue to support the War on Terror.
  • The FY2002 budget is passed with less money being directed to NASA for the procurement of new Delta Clipper Space Shuttles. Only 2 new Clipper Shuttles are to be ordered for the civilian space program, however the US Air Force is given a black budget increase to purchase at least 3 for their exclusive use.


  • President Edwards announces the formation of HARPA to direct medical research, and approves new guidelines for Stem Cell research that specifically ban embryonic stem cells, but allows for research into adult stem cells.
  • Iraq is confirmed to have used VX nerve gas in the Kurdish Genocide, Edwards orders the US military on high alert, but does not immediately invade. An offer is floated to Saddam to avoid war IF he transfers his total stockpile of chemical agents to Russia.


  • After the Neo-Conservative Conspiracy comes to light, Edwards fires several members of his cabinet and Congress files Impeachment Proceedings on 55 government officials.
  • The US sends far more aide to the Tsunami Zone than OTL, so much so that India signs a new trade and security agreement with the US ensuring significant reductions in nuclear materials.


  • President Edwards wins his re-election with 53% of the electorate. When Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in New Orleans, the Edwards administration gains international respect for its handling of the disaster. The new US shuttle makes its test flight for the Moon.
  • The New Orleans Protocol are signed by the end of the year with the conclusion on the International Forum on the Study of Climate Change. The measures set by the Protocol, push for an international cap on greenhouse gas emissions, and implement the cap and trade system world wide. An International research forum is created to further the exchange of climate combating technologies, and a measure to reduce emissions to 80% of 2000 levels by 2050 is passed. The Europeans commit to achieving that goal in 2025, the US in 2020.
  • The New Orleans Protocol is approved by Congress, it contains legislation that rewards companies and indulges multi-corporation owners that continue to make their products in the United States, mitigating foreign outsourcing.
  • Congress passes the Mississippi Watershed Act. What many consider a massive pork-barrel program, the Act approves billions to strengthen levies, promote the growth of marshlands, and create better protections against flooding along the Mississippi river.


  • America returns to the Moon with the new Delta Clipper shuttle Orion. Captained by Commander Eileen Collins, the crew begins to establish the first lunar base, as they prepare for their two week stay. The crew of seven, made up of four astronauts from NASA (Collins, Barbara Morgan, Scott Parazynski, and Anna Fisher), and three private researchers, is signaled by some as a vanity project by the Edwards administration.
  • Negotiations to end the Genocide in Darfur break down, the US and Europe ask the UN to send in peace keepers to block the Sudanese from killing any more people in Darfur.
  • Iran and Pakistan agree to collaborative anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan with the United States. Traditional military operations in Afghanistan end.


  • Shackleton Energy Corporation raises a $70 million series A round to send a flight of seven astronauts to a Near Earth Asteroid, and successfully establishes an in-orbit refueling depot.
  • The UN sends peace keepers into Darfur. They close off the region with mobile palisades.
  • The US quietly begins work on Project ASGARD.
  • The US Congress returns to the newly rebuilt capitol building. The national mall now features a new Civil War Memorial, the completed Dwight David Eisenhower Memorial, and the completed 9/11 memorial park and reflecting pool. Both houses of Congress are expanded to accommodate additional seating.


  • Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is implicated in funding drug cartels when a leader of FARC is killed. Edwards condemns Chavez for "Trafficking a poison that has corrupted our nation's youth" and silently funds opposition groups who re-enter the national assembly with a majority and impeach Chavez.
  • Russia invades Georgia. President Edwards while speaking to the leaders of NATO puts forth a plan to reform NATO into a true unified peacekeeping force for Europe, offering to increase the training of European troops in the US and creating a unified military structure for the continent.
  • Vice President McCain wins in a landslide to become the 44th President of the United States.
  • Edwards begins to become concerned about a "second cold war," with Russia and directs the Joint Chiefs to increase coordination between US cyber-warfare offices.
  • Tranquility base is given territorial status by the US Congress. While the Lunar population is only 200 people, the hope is to eventually develop the moon for human colonists.


  • The US Space Program is expanded to begin manned exploration of Mars by 2012, using the massive IEV. NASA begins allocating funds to private firms to encourage the growing civilian space industry.
  • A stem cell cure for diabetes is introduced into human trials.
  • The UN creates the UN Commission on Infrastructure to deal with infrastructure problems worldwide. President Edwards is appointed to be the Commissions first director.
  • North Korea detonates a nuclear device in the Sea of Japan. The US and the UN declared economic sanctions on the nation.
  • Former President Edwards harshly opposes President McCain and the Republican Congress's tax cuts and deregulation policies, calling them criminally irresponsible.



  • The US housing market experiences a serious crash and the stock market follows not long after. President McCain's popularity experiences a harsh dip.
  • Congress passes a bailout of major financial institutions and several tax cuts that disproportionately help the rich. President Edwards' criticism of McCain becomes much harsher.
  • A Democratic-Independent coalition wins a majority in both houses of Congress in the midterms.


  • Governor Barack Obama wins a landslide majority of the popular vote after the endorsement of former President Edwards.


  • President Obama's National Recovery Act is passed, creating public works projects, job retraining, and creating a publicly owned bank through the Post Office.
  • Boeing and GE partner to win the National High-speed Rail contract.
  • Shackleton Energy wins a Federal Contract to transport Helium-3 back to Earth.


  • A cyberwar between the US and Russia quietly begins as the two countries carry out cyber espionage against one another.


  • President Obama wins 49 states in his re-election for the Presidency riding a wave of support from populist Democrats and independents.
  • North Korea ramp up its nuclear missile program threatening the US mainland. As the two countries move toward the brink of war, the US drops six kinetic energy weapons on the hermit kingdom, destroying most of its nuclear research and launch capacity, as well as the most dangerous portions of its artillery network, effectively disclosing the existence of the ASGARD program, but destroying North Korea's ability to threaten the United States and Japan.


  • Iraq quietly abandons its nuclear weapons program.
  • President Putin loses his bid for re-election after several Russian oligarchs back an opposition candidate. Putin blames American election meddling. He's not wrong.