Budget Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Majority Leader, U.S. Senate culture, U.S. Senate retirement, U.S. Senators
Charles “Chuck” Robb was born on July 26, 1939, in Phoenix, Arizona, and grew up near Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1961. He joined the United States Marine Corps and was graduated with honors from Quantico. He met Lynda Bird Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, when he became a White House social aide; they were married there in 1967. He served two years of combat duty in Vietnam leading a rifle company, for which he was awarded a Bronze Star. Upon his military discharge, he earned a doctor of law degree from the University of Virginia Law School in 1973. Following a clerkship with a federal appeals judge, he entered private practice as a lawyer. He served as lieutenant governor of Virginia from 1978 to 1982 and as governor of Virginia from 1982 to 1986. He was elected to the U.S. Senate and served from 1989 until 2001, was instrumental in creating the Super Tuesday primary, and co-founded the Democratic Leadership Council. In 2004, he chaired the Iraq Intelligence Commission. Since 2001, he has held the position of distinguished professor of law and public policy at George Mason University.
Interview includes discussion of: Robb’s political family history; comparison of serving as governor and as senator; the work accomplished as governor; running for U.S. Senate; the CODEL to Kuwait; the founding of and involvement with the Democratic Leadership Council; the process of electing Mitchell as majority leader; Mitchell’s leadership; conflict with the Budget Committee; partisanship in the Senate; Mitchell’s position with the party spectrum; the continued growth of the DLC and recruiting Bill Clinton; Mitchell and the DLC; success as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC); Mitchell’s retirement from the Senate; Robb’s last term; the Vietnam group of six in the Senate; and George Mitchell’s legacy.
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