Nation: Mac's Plug

Some time after President Johnson said that he would not run again, Robert McNamara, new president of the World Bank, fell into conversation with aides of Robert Kennedy. How might the former Defense Secretary help the campaign? Since he was barred from politics by the bank's charter, McNamara could not endorse Kennedy. But who could complain if he recounted Bobby's "energy and courage, compassion and wisdom" during the crises of his brother's Administration?

Thus McNamara's effusive praise was taped for TV plugs in the Kennedy campaign—and McNamara landed in the midst of a Pentagon-sized controversy. It was a curious gaffe on both...