Voters' Guide: How to Tell If a Politician Is Lying

Never has there been a politician so candid about his own mendacity as Earl Long, the fabled drinking, carousing and hog-hunting 1950s Governor of Louisiana (hint: Paul Newman played him in Blaze). After one election, Long went back on a campaign promise in a big way. When a delegation of betrayed supporters showed up in Baton Rouge to protest, the Governor refused to see them. "What will I tell them?" asked a desperate aide. Long's immortal response: "Tell them I lied!"

In a similar fix, Long's modern-day counterparts would convene focus groups to test various excuses. (The likely winner: "When I...

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