The Nation: Will McCarthy Matter?

When Eugene McCarthy joined forces with Lester Maddox last week in an attempt to gain inclusion in the crucial TV debates between President Ford and Jimmy Carter, his action was not entirely unexpected. McCarthy, 60, has, since his 1968 campaign, made the quixotic gesture his hallmark. Indeed, his challenge over the debates was an outgrowth of his most recent attempt to reach the White House—via an unlikely independent ticket.

To many observers, that foray is the most peculiar yet for the former Minnesota Democratic Senator with the poet's mane of white hair and the cool wit. McCarthy's Washington headquarters currently has all...

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