Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Alt History Question Of The Day

Alt History asks the question what-if. Such as what if the Confederacy was given AK-47s by time-traveling South Africans as in Harry Turtledove's The Guns of the South or what if the Japanese had conducted a third strike on the morning of December 7th as in the Gingrich-Forstchen novel Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th.

So here is my alt history question of the day:  what if upon graduating from the University of Missouri Shannon Watts (or whatever her maiden name was back then) had taken a job with local firm Midway USA instead of going to work as a communications staffer for then Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan (D-MO)?

That question leads to a whole host of other questions such as:

Would she have still ended up working for Monsanto, GE Healthcare, and Wellpoint as a PR flack?

Would she have more readily identified with down home Americans like Larry and Brenda Potterfield rather than being billionaire Mike Bloomberg's BFF?

Would she have respected gun owners and their rights or would she still have used a Connecticut tragedy to reestablish her moribund PR career?

Would we see her inside the Indiana Convention Center during the NRA Annual Meeting or outside of it protesting?

I'm sure you can come up with your own series of follow-on what-if questions to my alt history question of the day.


  1. Shannon's maiden name is Marmion as in Shannon Renee Marmion. She married Jayson Troughton, had two kids, and was Shannon R. Troughton until her divorce. Jayson still lives near Shannon's rich white suburban Indianapolis enclave of Zionsville, where she currently shacks up with hubbie #2 (and accumulator of speeding tickets), John Watts, who brought his three kids to the quasi-Brady (Campaign) Bunch.

    - Dirk Diggler

  2. of course, I have to ask . . . since John was President at Wellpoint and was (apparently) banging Shannon, the question is: Was he forced out? John was early 50's. Why cash out the parachute? Why not stay on for more cha-ching?? Why at the height of her "career" would Shannon jump ship? Why start a new business when you were the business? It certainly wasn't because of some maternal instinct since her daughters were in high school and off to college. . . . why o why? Scandal perhaps?? Inquiring minds want to know.

    -Dirk Diggler

  3. Dirk - Enquiring minds think alike. I've also seen the surname Weaver attributed to Watts. Didn't know about hubbie's speeding ticket problem.

    I've long wondered if they were both forced out. Major corporations don't like sexual scandals and it would be one if a divisional CEO was having an affair with a VP while they both were married to other spouses. Oh, to have read the divorce paperwork and original allegations contained therein.

  4. John - there are a ton of news articles out there about the CFO @ Wellpoint forced out for his "escapades". He and John were on the short list to get the top spot, but both didn't. The CFO was terminated. I will have to send you something.

    -Dirk Diggler

    1. @Dirk: Thanks for the pointer. The CFO Colby sounds like a real piece of work.

      John Watts, from what I've read, was probably the top candidate to take over Wellpoint but lost out to Angela Braly. Both Watts and Colby were gone by the end of 2007 with Watts resigning and Colby fired.

      Less than a year later, Watts was divorced in Georgia by his ex-wife. I would imagine that they had been separated when he was being considered for the top job.