Read My Knuckles

To win big in South Carolina, Bush found his anger, battered McCain--and moved sharply to the right. Will moderates still buy his compassion pitch?

The crowd in Hilton Head last Wednesday morning wasn't much to brag about--roughly 250 people had shown up at a local marina to hear George W. Bush--but the candidate was pumped just the same. In the big debate the night before, he'd finally managed to get the better of John McCain. More important, Bush had unleashed the dogs of war against his rival--saturation TV and radio attacks, hundreds of thousands of telephone and direct-mail blasts, everything short of leaflets dropping from the skies above South Carolina. The dogs were tearing into McCain, raising questions about his character and dedication to the...

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