Nation: Track Sore

In 21 years on Capitol Hill—the past twelve as junior U.S. Senator from Kentucky—Thruston Morton rose to the rim of the Republican inner sanctum, chairing the National Committee and the 1964 convention, picking his own committee slots and forcing even Minority Leader Everett Dirksen occasionally to mend his ways. There was once a time when Morton was mentioned for the presidency, but his obvious ability never seemed to be matched by equal deeds.

Responsible and brainy, Morton has lately harbored an anguished heart. He painfully broke with Lyndon Johnson on the Viet Nam war, looked with dismay at Dirksen's troglodyte image, and...