The Truncheon Pol

After nearly three decades in the U.S. Senate, North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms is expected to announce tomorrow that he will not run for re-election in 2002. In 1997, Slate’s David Plotz assessed the Senate’s “old Carolinians,” Helms and Strom Thurmond. Helms and Thurmond, Plotz wrote, “have done as much to despoil American politics as any two men living, and they’re an embarrassment to the Senate.” (Click here to read the story.)