Bmj Usa: Editor's Choice

Who's in control?

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 12 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E1

This article originally appeared in BMJ USA

Deciding who should be in control is a delicate matter in politics, business, and other walks of life. An infamous assertion of control occurred in the moments after President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley in 1981. Secretary of State (and retired general) Alexander Haig appeared before a platoon of reporters and television cameras and announced, “I am in control here,” overlooking the constitutional chain of command that had put the Speaker of the House next in line to assume power, since the Vice President was out of town. Haig was later fired by Reagan after only 18 months on …

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