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NOW seems a good moment for looking around and asking ourselves a few questions: Is there a genuine Republican presidential dark-horse possibility out there somewhere -- someone who could come out of nowhere and beat out any of the current favorites, such as George Bush, Jack Kemp, and Robert and Elizabeth Dole?

There is. He is Peter Ueberroth, the businessman -- and current baseball commissioner -- who was credited with being chiefly responsible for guiding the Los Angeles Olympics to such a signal success.

Actually, although it isn't likely, both parties could field prominent businessmen as presidential candidates in 1988: Ueberroth for the Republicans and Lee Iacocca for the Democrats.

What effect will President Reagan's operation and the medical prognosis have on his political status?

The public has already rallied to his side during and after the hostage crisis. Now, sparked by their admiration and sympathy for their spunky President, the American people are getting behind him in ways that should send his popularity polls sky high.

Thus, in the short run, even as the President rests and recuperates, he should now have the lift in public support which should help him immensely in getting tax reform -- his No. 1 domestic objective through Congress.

Thus, the summit with Mikhail Gorbachev and other longer-term events are very much on track.

Why did Gorbachev finally come around to agreeing to go to a summit with Reagan?

Gorbachev has quickly consolidated Soviet power -- to the place where he can negotiate freely at a summit without having to cast fearful glances at the Soviet military or a challenger in the wings.

Further, it seems that he has been able to quickly make the moves he feels necessary to shore up the economy, his first priority, and now has the decks cleared to give time to foreign affairs.

But wasn't there something more involved in this Gorbachev decision -- the element that may well have persuaded the Soviet leader to go to Geneva?

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