It began, some said, more as a campaign for the vice-presidency than as a quest for the highest office in the land. When it ended last week beneath the crystal chandeliers of the cavernous Senate Caucus Room, the most that could be said for the brief, improbable presidential odyssey of Birch Bayh was that it had come close to being second best. As one of the Indiana Senator's aides put it: "In some of the polls, we were everybody's second choice."

Bayh cut short his undeclared candidacy not because of his disastrously low...

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