Pilloried For Pandering

By changing his tune, Gephardt found the rhythm A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everyone -- except some voters, it seems -- loves to loathe Dick Gephardt. Since Iowa, the press has castigated him for his politically inspired conversion from a nerdy Mr. Inside to an Establishment-baiting Joe Populist. His rivals have jeered him as an inconsistent opportunist pandering to whims of a variety of special-interest groups. Others have derided him as a chameleon who darkened his blond eyebrows (otherwise they disappeared on television) and made himself into a populist prophet who would lead America out of economic servitude. Gephardt just grins: such criticism tells him he must be on to...

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