Jesse Helms

My first paying job in politics was working for Jesse Helms' U.S. Senate campaign in 1972. Helms, who died on July 4 at 86, was a classic populist--he presented his conservative agenda in plain terms that the average person could relate to. And he made history as the first Republican elected to the Senate from North Carolina after Reconstruction. Of course, during his 30-year political career, he was considered controversial; he always thought his job was not to be popular but to do the right thing. I must have heard him quote his father a thousand times: "The Lord does not...

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