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George H.W. Bush

Republican leadership void foretells chaos ahead

Republican leadership void foretells chaos ahead

As speculation mounts on the prospect of an open, contested Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, the absence of old-time party leadership is painfully evident.

Until not long ago, the party's establishment had a recognized waiting list of leaders lined up for their "turn" to run for the presidency. A candidate's claim to take his crack at reaching the Oval Office was based on his party experience and general good will within the GOP club.

After Dwight Eisenhower had his two terms, his vice president, Richard Nixon, was up next in 1960. In 1964 it was Barry Goldwater; in 1968 and 1972, Nixon again; in 1976, incumbent Gerald Ford; in 1980 and 1984,...