THE PRESIDENCY: Ghosts and Pecan Bars

They relish Chef Ruth Lewis' warm, homemade coffeecake in the mornings.

They nibble at her pecan bars and butter cookies after lunch.

When they go up the banistered staircase to the second-floor library with its old books, dark red walls and white trim, the men in the diplomatic delegations take their coats off and settle elbow to elbow at a small round table. They are mindful that Andrew Jackson and later Abraham Lincoln used to sit in that room and debate American affairs with their hosts.

Egyptian Ambassador Ashraf Ghorbal found that the Blair House aura stimulated his feelings about U.S. history, and...

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