Books by Mitchell, Byrd, Robert C., Clean Air Act, Cohen, William S., Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Dole, Robert J., Iran-Contra, Majority Leader, North, Oliver, Tax, U.S. Senate campaign (1982), U.S. Senate campaign (1986), U.S. Senate culture
George J. Mitchell was born on August 20, 1933, in Waterville, Maine, to Mary Saad, a factory worker, and George Mitchell, a laborer. Senator Mitchell spent his youth in Waterville. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College in 1954, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps until 1956. In 1960 he earned a law degree from Georgetown University. Mitchell worked for Senator Edmund S. Muskie as executive assistant and as deputy campaign manager during Muskie's 1972 presidential campaign. He later became U.S. senator (D-Maine) 1980-1995, Senate majority leader 1989-1995, and, upon his retirement from the Senate, special advisor on Northern Ireland 1995-1998. Since 1998, Senator Mitchell has served on many boards and committees and has received high profile appointments including: chairman of the Sharm el-Sheikh International Fact-Finding Committee on the crisis between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (2000); overseer of the Red Cross Liberty Fund (2001); lead investigator into the illegal use of performance enhancing substances in Major League Baseball (2006); and special envoy for Palestinian-Israeli affairs (2009-2011).
Interview includes discussion of: being appointed to and chairing the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; Democratic U.S. Senate races (1986); Iran-Contra congressional hearings and his interrogation of witness Col. Oliver North; writing Men of Zeal with Sen. William S. Cohen; Senate Democratic leadership and his role in it; challenges he faced as Senate majority leader, and relations with then minority leader Robert J. “Bob” Dole; the concept of compromise in the legislative process, especially concerning the Clean Air Act; admiration for and dealings with Senator Robert C. Byrd; congressional Democratic leadership relations with President George H.W. Bush regarding “read my lips—no new taxes.”
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