Republicans: The Man on the Bandwagon

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In the Royal Suite of Los Angeles' venerable Ambassador Hotel, a man clad only in dark-rimmed glasses and a long white nightshirt with red polka dots sat watching television. On the screen, Richard Dix was battling his way against great odds through a 1941 horse opera called The Round-Up. After many a cliffhanging episode, the Good Guys vanquished the Bad Guys, and the Grand Old West once again was made fit for Decent Folks.

Barry Morris Goldwater, 55, was relaxing, almost oblivious of the fact that on that same afternoon last...

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