From The Heartland, Bleak Tidings For The Gop

Al's Cafe seems to be straight out of a campaign manager's nostalgic dream. Its narrow entrance, on five-block-long Main Street in Steelville, Mo., is flanked on either sideby photos of Miss Harvest Festival of 1991 and Miss Missouri State Fair of 1991 (both local girls who made good). And its cozy pink decor, down-home cooking, and chatty waitresses forever refilling the coffee cups ofmen in feed caps and cowboy boots epitomize small-town America.

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