THE PRESIDENCY: Portrait of a Pitiful Giant?

Richard Nixon's statement on the Watergate affair was a portrait of the ship of state with its hull full of holes inflicted by the crew. It was a view of the most powerful man on earth duped by his confidants—a kind of "pitiful giant," to repeat a phrase from his 1970 speech on Cambodia. Can this truly be the state of the presidency?

In this town now, when one reaches a conclusion it is wise to retrace the ground and look for another meaning. The President's statement could be an alluringly deceptive decoy in a preliminary skirmish that may become...

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