American Splendor

(l. to r.): Stan Honda / AFP / Getty; Bill Sikes / AP

There is — as any who have followed one will attest — a thrill to a closely fought American presidential primary campaign that is quite unlike that provided by any other kind of political event. The earnest coffee mornings in Iowa homes and the packed school gyms in New Hampshire; the air wars — a relentless blitz of TV ads — in megastates such as New York and California; the retail politics as candidates tramp through slush and frozen stubble; the defining moments that summon up memories of campaigns long ago — how come it was OK for Hillary Clinton to...

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