RICHARD DARMAN: Driven To Beat the Budget

An idealist with a knack for compromise, a futurist skilled in improvisation, RICHARD DARMAN is a joyful public servant

Richard Darman was an anonymous White House staffer seven years ago, still struggling to make his place among Reaganauts suspicious of his moderate politics, but he knew what job would suit him next. If his ally David Stockman, then the embattled Budget Director, departed, Darman thought himself a natural for the Office of Management and Budget. Word of his ambition seeped out. A newspaper column scoffing at his qualifications got big play in Boston, and his ailing father saw it. The younger Darman seethed, and not only because of the criticism. Later he confided that he was upset partly because "I...

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