Administrative staff, Mitchell, Sally, Muskie, Edmund S., U.S. Senate
Joanne Amnott Hoffmann was born April 23, 1936, in Lewiston, Maine. Her father was the chief of police in Lewiston, and her mother was a housewife. Joanne graduated from Lewiston High School and continued her education at the Auburn School of Commerce, learning shorthand and typing. She became a legal secretary, first working for Harris Isaacson and then for the firm of Clifford & Clifford under William Clifford. In 1959, she moved to Washington, DC, as Senator Muskie’s personal secretary. She stayed in the Senate office until 1965, when she married Frank “Nordy” Hoffmann, a Washington lobbyist and sergeant-at-arms of the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 1981. The Hoffmanns and the Muskies maintained personal friendships in later years.
Interview includes discussions of: going to Washington D.C. in 1959; the early days of Muskie’s office; Kennedy’s election and assassination; working as Muskie’s personal secretary; meeting and working with George Mitchell when he was Muskie’s administrative assistant; Muskie’s temper; Mitchell’s courtship; Mitchell in Muskie’s office and his decision to return to Maine to practice law; involvement on the Muskie ’68 vice-presidential campaign; leaving Muskie’s office; comparing senators Muskie and Mitchell; Mitchell’s people skills; political wives and Jane Muskie; and connections to Maine and the environment.
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