Madison Avenue, Moscow

As Baker sits tight, Gorbachev wins another public relations round

By now, one might think, Washington would have wised up. Again and again, Mikhail Gorbachev has grabbed headlines and impressed world opinion by making catchy, if often propagandistic, arms-control offers. So it would behoove any American official who sits down with the Soviet leader to be prepared for surprises -- preferably with a fresh and appealing U.S. initiative.

Secretary of State James Baker and his colleagues in the Bush Administration would have none of that. Convinced that Gorbachev will make concession after concession if the U.S. sits tight, Baker deliberately carried no significant new ideas to Moscow last week for the...

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