The Nation: Lance: Wounding Carter

Some lasting damage from a mishandled departure

His eyes were tinted red, and the lines beneath them were more pronounced than usual. As he strode toward the narrow lectern in the Executive Office Building, he forced only a slight smile. In rare defeats in the past Jimmy Carter has kept himself grimly in control. But as he announced Budget Director Bert Lance's resignation last week, Carter twice almost lost his composure. Voice choking, eyes misting with tears, the President paused, bit his lip and declared: "Bert Lance is my friend."

The way in which the Lance affair was resolved revealed both laudable qualities...

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