DIPLOMACY: A Socko Performance at the Summit

Summitry has been in bad odor of late, criticized as a worthless exercise at best, or an outright danger at worst. But in an era of increasing global interdependence, the ritual gathering of government leaders serves one unquestionably valuable purpose: it enables them to take one another's measure at first hand, to size up their fellow leaders' abilities and weaknesses.

Over the past weekend Jimmy Carter's measure was taken by perhaps the toughest jury he has yet encountered —the heads of the West's major democracies. The early verdict appeared to be unanimous. The...

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