Nation: New Texan on the Potomac

JOHN is meaner than an alligator with abscessed teeth, but he's also a hell of an interesting animal to watch." With these words, a former associate of Secretary of the Treasury-designate John Connally previewed the spectacle awaiting Potomac watchers who may seek to unravel the dynamics of President Nixon's newest Cabinet member.

Connally earned his reputation in the tough crucible of Texas politics and big-oil money. Born 53 years ago in Floresville, a small farming community south of San Antonio, he remembers his childhood as just slightly removed from "raw frontier. I'm not trying...

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