Spotlight on the Seconds

They're No. 2s—and they're trying hard No one much cared what William Miller said about Hubert Humphrey in 1964, or what charges Sargent Shriver leveled against Spiro Agnew in 1972. The truth is, no one has much cared what any vice-presidential candidate said or did—until this year. By selecting a woman, the Democrats made the 1984 contest for Vice President more intriguing than it has ever been. Indeed, the sideshow is regularly getting as much focus as the main event, partly because the electoral outcome seems predictable.

Then there is the forward spin: both...

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