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Nixon’s minutiae 30th June 2008

David Frum (July) argues that every White House team overcompensates for the flaws of the previous regime. He may be right, but one of his examples is wrong. He says that Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon’s Democratic successor (after the unmentioned Gerald Ford interlude), reacted against the “ultra-hierarchical” Nixon White House by involving himself in almost every aspect of office management. “The result? Another legendary failure, symbolised by the story that Carter… found himself deciding who could use the White House tennis courts.”

I don’t know if Carter did this, but Nixon certainly did. When several…

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