Sorry Is Not Enough

From his early campaigns in South Carolina through the 1988 presidential election, Lee Atwater has displayed a talent for smearing opponents and then either apologizing or suffering memory lapses about his role. Months after the Willie Horton issue had polluted Campaign '88, Atwater told reporters he wished he had never heard of the black rapist he helped pin on Michael Dukakis.

One secret of George Bush's success is to employ muck mavens like Atwater -- even elevate them to prominence -- and then dissociate himself from their tactics. Last week the President acknowledged that the attack on Tom Foley was "disgusting...

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