Summit wise men

Whichever presidential candidate first takes up the idea for a bipartisan panel of ''wise men'' to prepare for a United States-Soviet summit, as outlined by Arthur Schneier in the column opposite, will have stolen a march on his opponent.

Washington recently lifted social security, the MX missile, and Central American policy out of potential partisan quagmires via special commissions made up of experts in good standing with both parties.

Some might quarrel with Rabbi Schneier's lineup and timing; a parallel Soviet panel might be fanciful. But a high-level review of US policy options on arms control, economic exchange, and human rights to prepare for a 1985 US-Soviet summit makes sense, whoever is elected. The Reagan administration could use the input to overcome internal division over how to deal with the Soviets. A Mondale White House could bolster its candidate's promise to ask for a summit within six months of taking office; it would reassure the US public that such a move would not be rash, but rooted instead in the best counsel.

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