Letter Accepting the Resignation of Howard H. Baker, Jr., as Chief of Staff to the President

 

June 28, 1988

 

Dear Howard:

 

It is with especially deep regret that I accept your resignation as Chief of Staff, effective June 30.

 

You and I have known each other for many years as public servants, partisan allies, and good friends. You came to the United States Senate the same year I went to the Statehouse in California; and, as I'm sure you would agree, things haven't been the same for either of us since. Our paths often brought us together in those early years and helped determine the future direction of our Party and our country. And let me add: Our Nation has rarely seen a more dedicated and capable leader in its capital than Howard Baker.

 

Your dedication to public service was renowned during your 18 years in the Senate, but it became even more so when you set aside your personal and political interests to answer my call to service in the Executive branch. For that, I am particularly appreciative. You accepted the position of Chief of Staff and quickly assembled a top-flight team of senior aides to move my agenda forward. A tone of cooperation and conciliation in those difficult early months of 1987 was communicated to the public and to those in the Congress. At the same time, the White House functioned efficiently and effectively in setting out and pursuing my policy goals.

 

I clearly appreciate the challenges you faced. Your tireless efforts on my behalf with your former colleagues to forge a sense of cooperation last October to reach a budget agreement; your counsel on many issues that enabled me to make the best decisions on behalf of all the people; your significant contributions to bring about the first reduction in United States and Soviet nuclear arms; and also your gentle Tennessee wit that can relax a tense moment -- these are attributes that come from the heart and that have made our relationship not a job but a friendship that will last forever.

 

No one understands better than Nancy and I the personal reasons that lead you to relinquish your responsibilities at this time. That, too, is a tribute to your character and your integrity. With all the years you and I have been associated, this truly is no farewell, but rather a note of enduring and heartfelt thanks for a job well done.

 

Our best wishes for happiness and good health to you, Joy, and your entire family now and for the future. God bless you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ron

 

Note: Mr. Baker's letter of resignation appears on p. 770 of this volume.