Purple Shades of Al Haig

His outward calm and deliberate style made George Shultz a reassuring replacement for the mercurial Alexander Haig as Secretary of State. But lately, signs of testiness have pierced Shultz's placidity. After one outburst, Democratic Congressman Michael Barnes observed, "That was not the George Shultz we have come to know and love. It was the living ghost of Al Haig."

Shultz's first display of irritability came during a discussion last month with U.S. businessmen in Peking. They complained that European governments did more than Washington to foster trade with China. If trade relations were...

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