Nation: Who's In? Who's Out?

Reagan struggles to form a Cabinet able—and willing—to serve

Early in the evening, a yellow Ford pulled up to the southwest entrance of the White House. Transition boss Edwin Meese and Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt piled out and proceeded to the Situation Room in the basement. They were about to make their nightly call to Ronald Reagan at his Pacific Palisades home and now they felt it necessary to use the most tap-proof telephones in the nation to discuss the most top-secret political topic in town: Who would be members of his new Cabinet?

Meese,...