Nation: THE MAN WHO WOULD RECAPTURE YOUTH

THE look is merry, but the merriment is diluted. Often a pained bewilderment clouds his cherubic look, and his mouth tightens as if to seal in the explosiveness and confusion behind it. Despite the dancing eyes, the tireless smile, the bouncy spirit, the effusive greetings ("Well, bless your heart," "Thank you, thank you, thank you"), the man the Democratic Party has nominated for President of the U.S. is not to be dismissed simply as a glib, out-of-touch relic of a political era long past.

Hubert Horatio Humphrey bristles at the frequent suggestion that he is a man superseded by the...