Former Senate Wunderkind and ex-convict Bobby Baker has a Christmas gift for some of his old acquaintances: Clark Clifford, Abe Fortas, members of the Lyndon Johnson family, and assorted U.S. senators. It's a political memoir that he says "will not make many people happy" when W.W. Norton publishes it in several months.
"It's a simple story of how a young fella from Pickens, South Carolina, became a great part of the system and made it work," says Baker charmingly. Since his release from jail in 1972, Baker, 48, has earned a living speculating in real estate around Washington while he worked with Texas writer Larry King on his life story, Child of the Senate . With some of the principals now dead and an expired statute of limitations for some crimes, Baker intends to even the score with political cronies he felt double-crossed him when his name became synonymous with scandal.
Baker alleges, among other things, that international financier Robert Vesco once asked him to "put the fix" in; that Robert Kennedy tapped John Kennedy's telephones; that LBJ once promised to "take care of me" in his will. He suspects his frank description of LBJ will not please his heirs and he has harsh words for some of Washington's more prominent attorneys.
Footnote: Today Baker relaxes by attending boxing matches and Redskin games. He says he has few friends because "I pick them very carefully."