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NYT reporter discusses influence of 'indispensable' James Baker

New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker joined Hill.TV to discuss the influential career of James Baker, a top official during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

Peter Baker, author of "The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III," called the new book "a study in power."

“Jim Baker had all of these high level positions through a generation,” he said. “He had his finger in almost every major event in Washington that happened from the end of Watergate to the end of the Cold War. He really was the sort of indispensable man really for three or four Republican presidents.”

James Baker served in various roles during his career in Washington, including White House chief of staff, secretary of State and Treasury secretary.

“He showed that you could be advancing your party’s interest, your president’s interest, but still manage to work across the aisle. And that’s something I think of a lost art in today’s Washington,” Peter Baker said.

“I think the problem today, or the challenge today is, everything is so zero sum,” he added. “Today the word ‘compromise’ is just a dirty word. If you’re doing something bipartisan, it must be because you’re selling out, whether you’re on the left or the right or whatever.”