Unglad Tidings

Robertson stumbles on kickoff

In his autobiography, Pat Robertson described his brief 1959 ministry in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn in a chapter titled "Rats, Roaches and Bedbugs." With the televangelist harboring such fond memories of the local insect population, it seemed strange that Robertson would select this slowly gentrifying black neighborhood to formally declare his G.O.P. presidential candidacy.

The tree-lined street where Robertson had lived was gussied up for the occasion, complete with an all-black combo wafting cool jazz notes into the crisp autumn air. But only 60 or so supporters were seated on folding chairs. An additional 400 were expected but didn't show,...

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