I'll add my answers and more soon, but do give yours in the comments.
Compared to OTL, Ike's choice of Luce slightly hurts his 1952 vote totals. He fails to carry Missouri and Tennessee, but gains Louisiana, giving him a net loss of 14 electoral votes, so it's
Still a very comfortable landslide. In 1956, his lead increases, and he carries Missouri and Tennessee, adding 24 electoral votes to total:
An even more impressive landslide.
President Luce's cabinet picks were no surprise to most of those who knew her:
|Secretary of State||Richard M. Nixon||1961–1969|
|Secretary of Treasury||Henry Ford II||1961–1969|
|Secretary of Defense||Curtis E. LeMay||1961–1969|
|Attorney General||Thomas E. Dewey||1961–1969|
|Postmaster General||Murray Chotiner||1961–1969|
|Edward A. McCabe||1963–1969|
|Secretary of the Interior||Milan Dale Smith||1961–1969|
|Secretary of Agriculture||Ezra Taft Benson||1961–1969|
|Secretary of Commerce||Walter J. Kohler, Jr.||1961–1969|
|Secretary of Labor||George Romney||1961–1965|
|Secretary of Health,|
Education, and Welfare
|Roger O. Egeberg||1962–1963|
The Bay of Pigs invasion is handled quite differently from OTL, in that US ground forces assisted the Cuban revolutionaries, and both air and naval support were provided. This ended with the fall of the communist regime, the death of Fidel Castro, and the exile of Raúl Castro and Che Guevara to the Soviet Union.
President Luce appointed Admiral Thomas H. Moorer to be military governor of Cuba, a post he retained until Enrique Ros was elected President of Cuba in 1963. There is, of course, no Cuban missile crisis in this timeline. But the overthrow of Castro was considered a loss for the USSR, and Nikita Khrushchev voluntarily stepped aside in 1962 in favor of his friend and colleague, Anastas Mikoyan, who became First Secretary and Premier of the Soviet Union. Mikoyan is thought to have been instrumental in encouraging and effectuating Deng Xiaoping's successful coup against Mao Zedong in 1966 and the Ozhlivenie (revitalization) movement that opened up both the USSR and China to the outside world and a general move towards capitalism. Mikoyan was followed by his chosen successor,
Eduard Shevardnadze, in 1970.
The conflict in Vietnam is largely neutralized by the reinstatement of Emperor Bảo Đại 1n 1967 with the support of both the United States and China. He presides over a coalition government that includes Catholics, Buddhists, Caodaists, and communists.
The 24-Hour War.
On 8 June, 1967, Israeli forces attack the USS Liberty, killing 34 and wounding 171. President Luce notifies Prime Minister Eshkol that she is sending US forces to occupy Tel Aviv and investigate the incident. She warns that apologies aren't enough, and that those responsible will hang for it. Eshkol resigns and is replaced by Golda Meir, counting on the fact that being American-born, she'll be able to extricate Israel from the mess with the most grace. After deliberating a few months, the Fulbright Commission reports that the responsibility lay with Eshkol (who had died of a heart attack by this time) and Defense Minister Dayan. The Israeli government extradites Dayan to the US to stand trial. There are consequent riots and attacks on US troops in Israel. Meir is assassinated by a Herut activist, and is succeeded by Yitzak Rabin.
In 1968, the Democratic party is pulled to the right, and nominates the conservative Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia to run against the Richard Nixon/John Rhodes ticket. Byrd picks John Connally, Governor of Texas, as his running mate, and they defeat the Republican nominees handily.
Moshe Dayan is found guilty of war crimes in April, 1969, and is pardoned by President Byrd. Dayan returns to Israel.
1972, Byrd and Connally are renominated. The Republicans pick James L. Buckley of New York, and Paul Laxalt of Nevada as his running mate. The Democratic ticket wins a narrow victory.
In 1976, the Republican party nominates Harrison Schmitt, Senator from New Mexico for President, and Phyllis Schlafly Represen-tative from Illinois is nominated for VP. The Democrats nominate VP Connally for the top spot, and he selects Birch Bayh of Indiana to run with him.
In the first serious third party bid since 1948, declaring that the Democratic party had "lost its soul" to its conservative wing, Senator John F. Kennedy makes another bid for the Presidency, this time as a nominee of the "Unity Democratic Party." He chooses Adlai Stevenson III of Illinois as his running mate. On election day, Kennedy carries only Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. The Democrats carry the deep South, plus Texas, Connecticut, Vermont, and New York state. The Republicans sweep all the other states and win in a landslide.