Putting The Presidency Back to Work

For six years Ronald Reagan was a President the country could respect for his calm, his bearing and indeed for the very success of his tenure. Reagan represented something the nation had not really seen since John Kennedy: a personally popular President who was leading the country. At last, it seemed, a President was going to serve two successful terms in office.

But the Iran-contra mess, the stock-market crash and the inability to pick a Supreme Court nominee capable of being confirmed by the Senate have threatened to add Ronald Reagan to the list of 20th century presidential failures. Reagan's earlier...