The Nation: That Other White House Woman

Standing up and talking straight to the President

On the softball field across from the South Lawn, the feisty White House shortstop argued noisily with the Washington Press Club runner after they collided. "I thought you were second base," the runner insisted. Fat chance. Second base is one of the few positions that Midge Costanza, presidential assistant and after-hours shortstop, does not play. Of the seven senior staff members at the White House, she serves as Carter's sole woman, Northerner, liberal activist and ethnic (if "ethnic" is defined as one with strong ties to a family homeland). She is an all-purpose outsider...

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