The Spirit of '76

For Bob Teeter, the 1992 campaign is shaping up like a recurring nightmare. It was 16 years ago that Teeter, serving as Gerald Ford's campaign pollster, watched while the incumbent Republican President came under relentless attack from a more conservative Ronald Reagan. Although Ford eventually won the nomination, he was badly damaged by the intramural fight and went on to lose a close general election to Jimmy Carter.

Ford was later criticized for two miscalculations that may help explain why Bush has been madly maneuvering in recent weeks. First, critics said Ford was slow to take the Reagan challenge seriously, in...

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