Who's Minding the Store?

Delicate questions arise on the transfer of presidential power

As he held the document that would effectively make George Bush the acting President of the U.S., Ronald Reagan turned to his wife Nancy and quipped from his hospital bed Saturday morning, "This doesn't mean you can become George's [First] Lady." Despite the levity, the President was aware that this temporary but official transfer of presidential power, the first known in U.S. history, was a complicated matter with serious implications for the future. During the several hours that he would be under anesthesia, and possibly for some time thereafter, the President would be unable to make a decision or discharge the...

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