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In 1980, Bush campaign manager James Baker stands at the podium while George H.W. Bush makes a joking gesture when told to loosen it up. Photo: Bettmann Archive via Getty Images

The N.Y. Times' Peter Baker and The New Yorker's Susan Glasser are finishing 6 years of work on a James Baker book, a full biography of his life and times, and plan publication by Doubleday next spring.

The big picture: Peter Baker tells Axios that James Baker, age 88 — former Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury and White House chief of staff — is "the last of an era of politics that has vanished in today's polarized atmosphere."

Why he matters: "His is also the story of Washington and how it's changed over the last couple decades, from a place where a figure like Baker could work across the aisle to overhaul Social Security and rewrite the entire tax code to a city where compromise is seen as a vice rather than a virtue."

Glasser and Baker have interviewed James Baker, his family, friends, advisers, counterparts, critics and enemies, as well as poring through his archives at Princeton and Rice Universities.

  • They have interviewed former presidents, vice presidents, cabinet secretaries and foreign leaders.
  • "It turns out everyone has a Baker story," Peter said.

Out April 30: Peter Baker's "Obama: The Call of History," a coffee table book issued by The N.Y. Times and Callaway in fall 2017, has been expanded into a full-fledged history of the last president before Trump changed the world.

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Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.

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