The Presidency: Jimmy Behind Closed Doors

A few nights ago, Washington passed through one of those implausible hours that are both its curse and its exhilaration. In the White House the leaders of Latin America and the U.S. dined on lobster and roast veal and hoisted scores of glasses of Blanc de Blancs champagne in warm tribute to the spirit of the new Panama Canal treaty signed earlier.

Outside, as these melodic strains were filling the cool evening, there was the jarring counterpoint of a growing political crisis. From Capitol Hill to Foggy Bottom, Congressmen, bureaucrats, journalists and their groupies hovered in offices near phones for new fragments...

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