Politics: Wrong Climate

Midwestern Democrats, about 1,000 of them, seemed to be having a rollicking good time at their party conference. Gathered at the Sheraton Hotel in French Lick, Ind., near the Lost River, they cheered waiters who balanced trays on their heads, made ribald jokes about the laxative effects of French Lick water. Only one thing kept nagging at them—worry about this fall's elections.

For public purposes, the Democrats kept up a bold show of confidence. They nodded when White House Aide Larry O'Brien, a guest speaker, stressed the electoral significance of the Midwest. "What happens here," cried O'Brien, "will be the...

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