Administrative staff, Defense, Democratic Policy Committee, Dole, Robert J., Foreign affairs, Iran-Contra, Majority Leader, Middle East, Negotiating skills, North, Oliver, Supreme Court, Travel, U.S. Senate culture
Edward L. “Ed” King was born November 7, 1928, in Fort Worth, Texas, to Edgar L. and Zula Mae (Birch) King. He served in the Army during World War II and the Korean War and was a career officer from 1945 to 1969. He became executive director of the Coalition for National Defense and Military Policy and testified often before the U.S. House and Senate. He was hired by Senator Mike Mansfield, and in 1975 he became Maine Senator Bill Hathaway’s administrative assistant. He also worked for Senators Tsongas, Byrd, and Mitchell, focusing most specifically on Central America issues. He also worked for Mitchell on the Democratic Policy Committee and on foreign policy issues, staying on with Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle after Mitchell’s retirement and himself retiring in early 1997. King is the author of The Death of the Army: A Pre-Mortem (1972).
Interview includes discussion of: family and educational background; military career; knowledge of foreign policy issues, especially in Central America; working with several senators: Mansfield, Byrd, Tsongas, Mitchell, Hathaway; Iran-Contra and Oliver North; Democratic Policy Committee; traveling with Senator Mitchell: Mexico; issues in Haiti, Spain, Russia, China and MFN (Most Favored Nation); description of staff working relationships with Senator Mitchell and how the offices functioned; Mitchell’s memory and ability at extemporaneous speech; trademark issue; White House visits with Mitchell during Bush I and Clinton presidencies; Mitchell’s personal attributes and effective negotiating; and the relationship between Senators Dole and Mitchell.
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