In January 1953, when Engine Charlie Wilson unhappily agreed to divest himself of his General Motors stock and took office as Secretary of Defense, Washington wiseacres gaily dismissed him as an incurable case of foot-in-mouth disease, freely predicted that he would be the first man out of the Eisenhower Cabinet.

Last week, speaking to the annual White House Conference of Mayors, Charlie Wilson jokingly told his audience: "Talking about your possible trip through the Pentagon, I would like to warn you about one thing—if any of you get lost you're liable to find that you've got a job." The point Wilson...

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