The Roughest Year

Scandal, war, crash, plague . . . and who's in charge?

In a sense, the Man of the Year is almost always the President of the United States, no matter who that may be. He accomplishes deeds great and small. He receives credit and blame for things he did not do. He has the most powerful job, the highest visibility and, inevitably, the greatest influence on the news.

That still was partly true for Ronald Reagan in 1987, particularly when he joined Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev this month for the grand rituals of signing away all the world's intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Nonetheless, this was a disappointing year for the President, who turned...

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