Cultural Revolutions

"Go, Pat, Go!"

Pat Buchanan's October 25 announcement that he would seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party was greeted with contempt by Republican commentators. After all, Buchanan has twice failed to capture the Republican nomination, and in his third time out, he barely registered in the polls. His moment had passed, they argued, or perhaps he'd never had one; and this latest move was only about Pat's ego—oh, and maybe the $12.5 million in federal matching funds that the Reform Party will receive in 2000. And yet. . .

"Go, Pat, Go!" screamed the crowds that gathered at Buchanan campaign stops from Minnesota to Louisiana, from New York City to Macomb County, Michigan. The local press in each town has been stunned. Buchanan has been "mobbed" by "hundreds of supporters"—many former Republicans, almost as many former Democrats—and enthusiastically embraced by state and local Reform Party officials (and not a few national ones—former Reform vice presidential candidate Pat Choate is co-chairing Buchanan's campaign, and Matt Sawyer, an expert in election law who served as house counsel to Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996, is performing the same function for Pat). In Louisiana, the state Reform Party chairman reported that the number of registered Reform Party members in die Bayou State doubled in the two weeks after Buchanan's announcement. In Macomb County, home to the...

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