The Presidency by Hugh Sidey: Smoke-Filled Rooms

Presidential Contender Walter Mondale, the grand acquisitor of political endorsements, publicly spurns his most passionate devotees. Across this land some 10 million cigar smokers yearn for a front-page picture of Mondale, the only dedicated cigar smoker among the Democratic contenders, with his Punch panatela at a defiant angle. Or maybe 30 seconds on Tom Brokaw's news, showing a sweet cloud of Partagas No. 1 smoke carrying off the burdens of another campaign day.

What comfort that would be for a nation weary of chemical purity. The great English writer John Galsworthy had it right: "By the cigars they smoke ......

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