The Administration: Advise & Consent

Franklin Roosevelt Jr. moved to the witness table of the Senate Commerce Committee and sat down smiling. Committee Chairman Warren Magnuson, a Democrat, chuckled that it happened to be the 30th anniversary of the first fireside chat by Junior's father—but that, unfortunately, there was no fire at hand. Rhode Island's John Pastore, another Democrat, cracked: "It will be hot anyway." Republican committee members, it was rumored, planned to hold F.D.R. Jr.'s feet to the fire in hearings on his appointment as Under Secretary of Commerce.

But the fireworks fizzled. After two days of committee...

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