The Presidency: Teaching What He Practiced

He was a 28-year-old academic tumbled by events to the center of power. On a spring day in 1975, he sat against the wall in the Cabinet Room and marveled at what he saw and heard. New York City's diminutive mayor Abe Beame, the state's combative Governor Hugh Carey and a phalanx of elegantly tailored and glowering financial advisers told President Gerald Ford that they expected the U.S. Government to rescue the city from its own financial mess.

"I'd never witnessed such arrogance," recalls Roger Porter, then executive secretary of Ford's Economic Policy Board. Ford had been President only nine months,...

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