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Angered by Manchester Union-Leader publisher William Loeb’s attacks on his wife and himself, Edmund S. Muskie – then a senator from Maine and the early favorite for the Democratic presidential nod – raged against Loeb in front of the newspaper’s building during a late February snowstorm. The Washington Post’s David S. Broder, among many others, reported that Muskie had “tears streaming down his face,” though in retrospect Broder and his colleagues acknowledge that the “tears” could have been melting snow.

Whatever the truth, these dispatches about Muskie’s lack of composure damaged his stable, steady image and contributed to his poorer-than-expected showing in the New Hampshire primary. Muskie’s “cry” was a signal event in his surprising decline and eventual collapse as a credible front runner.

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