Political Soap Opera

Virginia's Demolition Derby In a row over a secret tape, Robb and Wilder cloud their own futures and anger fellow Democrats

Why on earth were Virginia's two premier Democrats squaring off like rival schoolyard bullies? For one thing, Senator Charles Robb and Governor Douglas Wilder had resumed their battle for primacy in the political playground. But in creating what Robb called a "demolition derby," they also damaged their own futures and hurt their party on the eve of state legislative elections. And as leaders with reputations beyond Virginia, they embarrassed their already demoralized national party.

The latest feud between Robb and Wilder had its origin in a secret tape -- ostensibly sent to Robb by an anonymous donor -- of an intercepted...

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