The Presidency by Hugh Sidey: The Buck Stops Here

The presidential commission is a peculiar creature of political expediency, at times the refuge of a timid and hesitant Chief Executive. The libraries of America groan with tomes from such advisory groups pronouncing on the great issues of the day. They have ranged in purpose from Lyndon Johnson's Atlantic-Pacific Interoceanic Canal Study Commission (a six-year, seven-volume study for an alternative to the Panama Canal) to Dwight Eisenhower's Commission on Presidential Office Space (seven months and 40 pages of mind-dulling prose). The truth is that most of those reports are unread or unheeded or both. And in some cases, such as...

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