THE PRESIDENCY: The Meaning of the Cordovans

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There is the sense about Carter's leadership of something better coming together, though painfully and long overdue. But public perceptions of such changes always lag behind reality. Carter still seems reluctant to put his new attitudes together into a sweeping view of the world and of what the free nations should do about the shifts in power.

He has his chance this week. The extent to which he is successful may determine if he gets another term. Watching Jimmy Carter in the Roman Colosseum—eyes distant, mind centuries back—one could only hope that the lessons of both grandeur and disintegration spread at his feet would inspire the President. He was still in his cordovans as he walked through the Forum the day before he went to Venice. But there were some things different about him.

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