THE PRESIDENCY by HUGH SIDEY: Impressions of Power and Poetry

The Cabinet Room is almost untouched from the days of Richard Nixon, his huge mahogany table—which he tried unsuccessfully to deduct from his income taxes—still the arena of crucial Executive debate. The room is a public forum. There is little that is personal there.

A few steps south and one encounters Nell Yates, a secretary in those premises since the days of Dwight Eisenhower. Warm, efficient, knowing, she belongs there. Jimmy Carter must be just ahead. But the Oval Office, a stride through the curved door, is more a museum than the...

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