Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Majority Leader, Oil Pollution Act (1990), Presidential campaign (1976), Press relations, U.S. Senate culture
Diane Dewhirst was born on May 28, 1957, in Framingham, Massachusetts, to Joan Priscilla Audubon and Robert Thornton Dewhirst. She grew up in Boston and Philadelphia. Her father worked in sales for an energy firm. Majoring in journalism at the University of Ohio and then transferring to Northwestern, she was graduated with a degree in political science. She worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign in 1976, as an intern for Common Cause, the Democratic National Committee, and briefly for ABC News on delegate selection rules, covering the 1984 presidential election. She then became press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), which George Mitchell chaired, and later joined Mitchell’s press staff, where she served as his communications director for over ten years. At the time of this interview, she was senior advisor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Interview includes discussion of: family and educational background; early interest in politics; work on the DNC (Democratic National Committee); meeting Senator Mitchell as a part of the Compliance Review Committee of the DNC; her work for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) under Mitchell; Mitchell and the press; Mitchell’s relationship with the press in Maine; Mitchell’s divorce; and the transition from being a member of the personal staff to the majority leader’s staff; oil spill legislation; spousal impoverishment legislation; and linking clean air issues with the health care debate.
This recording and transcription are © 2011 Bowdoin College and are presented for private study, scholarship, or research only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction, and quotation beyond “fair use” (Title 17, United States Code) permission must be obtained in writing from the George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, USA.