THE presidential soft sell, the lowered voice and the low silhouette had produced the impression of a vacuum in Washington. Now Richard Nixon is reacting against this feeling of drift. Under the pressure of events, he has begun to exhort and to "jawbone." The pace is still hardly breakneck or the mood galvanic compared with those of more activist Presidents, but Nixon is clearly determined to reassert a sense of leadership.

He is acting on many fronts. He spent a hard-working weekend in the quiet of Camp David. He summoned Secretary of State William...

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