The Presidency by Hugh Sidey: The Genie That Got Away

The Presidency

On a cold 1980 December night, before Ronald Reagan's newly elected Government was in power, Richard Nixon stirred a pitcher of exquisitely dry martinis in the study of his Manhattan town house and addressed the topic of the moment. General Alexander Haig had just been rumored to be the top candidate for Secretary of State. Beneath the famous brows, Nixon's dark eyes shone. "I know Al Haig," he said. "He is one of the most ruthless, toughest, ambitious s.o.b.s I know. He'd make a great Secretary of State."

As the martinis took hold, and then the Chinese dinner softened some...

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