Democrats: The Nonconsensus

Having claimed an arsenal of 1,811 delegate votes — 499 more than he needs to capture the Democratic presidential nomination in August — Hubert Humphrey might understandably have been content to tend to his Washington chores or else to rusticate back home in Waverly, Minn. Instead, acting for all the world like a ravenous underdog, the Vice President scrambled through a grueling Midwestern campaign tour.

One reason for Humphrey's hyperactivity was psychological: if he stayed aloof for the final weeks before the Democratic Convention, Eugene McCarthy's supporters could claim all the more...