NEWSWATCH by Thomas Griffith: Soft on Issues, Sharp on Scores

When uneven football games get out of hand, sacking the quarterback becomes an exercise that any number can play. That's the way it has been for Jimmy Carter since early in this political season. If Brezhnev, Castro, Schmidt, Begin and Lopez Portillo could do it, who's to stop William Safire?

Since his increasing respectability as a Washington columnist, people have proclaimed the existence of a new Safire, but the old Nixonian Safire keeps popping up: there he was, calling Carter "the best U.S. President the Soviet Union ever had."

Columnists' condescension toward Carter...

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