The Presidency: Crafting a No-Deal Deal

Crafting a "No-Deal Deal"

In the stuffy White House briefing room, George Bush sparred with the hostage tar baby last Thursday, anguish shadowing his eyes at each of a dozen questions that have no satisfactory answers. Does the situation look brighter? "I welcome the release of ((Robert)) Polhill and ((Frank)) Reed," Bush answered. "But I can't rejoice and say that my heart is full of great goodwill as long as six others are held hostage."

Wasn't the South Lawn ceremony with Polhill a hero's welcome for a man who disregarded U.S. warnings against staying in Beirut? And didn't Polhill's secret message to Bush suggest to...

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