Republicans: The Crucial Test

In The Making of the President 1960, Theodore White called Richard Nixon "one of life's losers." Last week, watching Nixon begin the first act of his 1968 drama, White felt obliged to revise his estimate. "He is like a good prewar house—solidly built," he said. "They don't build them that way anymore. He's also been repainted several times."

Dick Nixon has indeed undergone some retouching. As he ended his initial New Hampshire foray and flew to Wisconsin to prepare for the nation's second primary on April 2, Nixon seemed to have shucked many...