CONSERVATIVES: Conclave in Chicago

Hardly anybody noticed, but there was another presidential nominating convention last week. Arriving at Chicago's Conrad Hilton Hotel, about 700 American conservatives, many from the South and West, gathered to choose a ticket to take on Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter in November.

The conservatives convened under the banner of the American Independent Party, a coalition of right-wing forces that claims roughly 1 million followers and has put forward national candidates since 1968. In that year Alabama's George Wallace led the A.I.P. to its greatest electoral success, garnering an impressive 9.9 million votes—nearly 14%...

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