Calling Plays for the Gipper

Jim Baker's strategy group nudges policy toward the middle

In the eyes of right-wing critics, the eight or so aides who meet almost every day in the White House have diverted the President from his ideological principles and led him down the primrose path of moderation and compromise. To others, the ad hoc group is the dynamo behind Ronald Reagan's legislative successes and the key to the biggest challenge of his presidency, the proposed 1982 tax increase. "It is the driving force in the White House today," says a top Reagan loyalist. "It sets the agenda for what we're doing and where...

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