Nation: To the Manner Made

What kind of prescription is this for political success? Director of the CIA when that agency's prestige had never been lower. Ambassador to the U.N. when that body, for the first time, refused to heed U.S. pleas that Taiwan be allowed to remain a member. Chairman of the Republican National Committee when the disgraced Richard Nixon resigned the presidency. Two-time loser as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. A drab, colorless speaker and humble, almost faceless, campaigner.

Yet despite that background—and, indeed, in some measure because of it—George Herbert Walker Bush, 55, has emerged...

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