In Rhode Island's Democratic primary to choose a successor for retiring patriarchal U.S. Senator Theodore Francis Green, no one figured that Claiborne deBorda Pell, 41, had much of a chance. No one, that is, except Newcomer Claiborne Pell. So while the statehouse pros snickered, and while his opponents—former Governor Dennis Roberts and former U.S. Attorney General J. Howard Mc-Grath—sniped at each other, pipe-smoking Princetonian Pell put together an energetic campaign. Last week, in a state that is 58% Roman Catholic, Episcopalian Pell carried the primary with a walloping 83,000 votes to Roberts' 45,000 and McGrath's 7,500.

Pell, though running for...

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