The Nation: Coaxing and Coddling a Delegation

Since Reconstruction, the Republican Party has not amounted to much in Mississippi. It helped Barry Goldwater carry the state in 1964 and Richard Nixon in 1972, and today it has two Congressmen out of five. But it has only two state senators out of 52 and three state representatives out of 122. Jests Mississippi House Member Jerry Gilbreath: "We have a minority leader, a party whip and one whippee—me."

Thus the 60-member Mississippi delegation to the Republican National Convention has been both dismayed and delighted by its potentially pivotal role in selecting the...

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