AT the end, he took the podium the way he had taken the convention—as if it belonged to him. He stretched out his arms to gather it all in. The fingers on both hands wigwagged victory Vs at the clapping, stamping, shouting, pulsing heart of the Republican Party. Four years ago, introducing Barry Goldwater at an identical moment, he had described himself as a "simple soldier" in the Republican ranks. Now the fortunes of political conflict had recommissioned him a five-star general. Richard Nixon was back for...

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