After raising close to $20 million and spending almost all of it in pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination, Phil Gramm explains his single-digit standing in the polls this way: "The people don't know me yet."

He's lucky they don't. Watching Gramm maneuver, one easily understands why so many Americans deride the people they elect to office.

Gramm is often compared to the late John Connally, another brash Texan with a gift for gab. Yet that comparison ill serves Connally's reputation. Connally was the lousiest of candidates (his $12 million run for the 1980 G.O.P. nod netted him only one delegate)...

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