A Turbulent Approach Coming into Houston

The President struggles with awkward issues as Jim Baker comes aboard

To begin his climb from the electoral cellar, George Bush needed a fortnight of seamless good fortune: a small triumph of diplomacy with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, James Baker's return to political service, then a smooth glide to Houston for joyous coronation by a united Republican Party. Maybe the convention week will go that way. But in the first half of the Republican fortnight, the President seemed unable to awake from what is turning out to be a nightmarish fight for re-election.

The meeting with Rabin went well enough until the closing press conference, when a CNN reporter threw a...

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