New York: Eye to Eye

When his commander ordered his decimated squadron to withdraw from the Battle of Copenhagen, Admiral Nelson clapped a telescope to his blind eye, exclaiming: "I really do not see the signal!" He ended, of course, by winning the battle. His namesake, New York's Governor Nelson Rockefeller, can also affect a blind eye when he chooses, and so far it has served him well.

Six months ago, for example, after he had pushed through New York's first state sales tax, every opinion poll had Rockefeller on the rocks. Party leaders even threatened mutiny if he should be so overbearing as to seek...

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