The Nation: Mangled Machine

It was primary-election night in Chicago, but what was the matter with everybody? Why no festivities, why not the usual arm pumping and back thumping? The hordes of loyal Democratic Party workers who gathered in the Sherman House hotel to await the returns were uncommonly solemn and silent. Ward bosses did not barge exuberantly into Mayor Richard Daley's tightly guarded inner office. They slunk in sheepishly or stayed away altogether.

The gloom was justified. The vote tallies had spoiled their plans and struck the machine a staggering blow. For the first time since 1938,...

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