Seeking Oomph On the Stump

Seeking Oomph On the Stump Candidates are flexing their muscles

Every candidate for President strives for a persona that shouts to voters, "Here's a strong leader!" For Democrats, that imperative is a special challenge. The ghosts of Walter Mondale and Jimmy Carter haunt them with reminders of how easy it was for Ronald Reagan to depict Democrats as wimps, soft on foreign adversaries and pushovers for domestic special pleaders. Strategist Patrick Caddell, in a long paper on the party's flaws, urges his colleagues to "face the sensitive question: Is the Democratic Party perceived as a 'feminine' party and the G.O.P. a 'masculine' party . . . on characteristics such as 'strong,'...