The Press: Carter's Mouth

Every so often, Jimmy Carter sifts through his mail and finds a tactfully worded testament to his inadequacy. The content may vary from a suggestion that he abandon his call for "a national statute" limiting abortion, to a few examples of jokes he might tell, given his not-so-breezy speaking style. These missives are unfailingly polite—and Carter almost always obeys them. The author: Press Secretary Jody Powell, probably the only person on Carter's payroll who can regularly get away with pointing out the candidate's failings.

Except for Campaign Manager Hamilton Jordan, none of the candidate's 250 full-time staff members has served longer...

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