Battling for The Post-Liberal Soul

For now, it's Gephardt vs. Dukakis, with Simon scrambling to keep up

Almost from the beginning, they sensed they were natural adversaries. Heartland vs. Harvard. Freckle-faced intensity vs. button-down ethnicity. Iowa-caucus king vs. home-turf favorite in this week's New Hampshire primary. Congressman Richard Gephardt vs. Governor Michael Dukakis in a battle to define the post-liberal soul of the Democratic Party. Last August, when the presidential race was still seven characters in search of an audience, they squared off in a debate over trade policy. One sentence from that half- forgotten practice round crystallizes the differences between these rival claimants. Dukakis turned to Gephardt and said, "You want a law, I want to act."


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