Howard Baker: The Right Man at the Right Time

Howard Baker is a popular choice as the new chief of staff

The circumstances were similar: the White House was embroiled in scandal and a presidency tottered on the brink of disaster. At the Senate Watergate Committee hearings during the summer of 1973, an earnest Republican lawmaker from Tennessee became famous when he framed the essential question concerning Richard Nixon: "What did the President know, and when did he know it?" The answer led to Nixon's downfall.

Nearly 14 years later, another White House crisis is thrusting Howard Baker back into the headlines. This time, however, he may be the best hope to rescue a floundering President. Last Friday he accepted Ronald Reagan's...