Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, Clean Air Act, Health care, Majority Leader, Presidential campaign (1992), U.S. Senate campaign (1988), U.S. Senate culture
Joseph Robert “Bob” Kerrey was born August 27, 1943, in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was graduated from Lincoln Northeast High School and entered the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, where he earned a degree in pharmacy in 1966. He served in the U.S. Navy after graduation until 1969 and was wounded in combat in Vietnam, receiving the Medal of Honor and the Bronze Star. He returned to Nebraska, and in 1982 he was elected governor. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1988 and was reelected for a second term in 1994. He ran in the Democratic presidential primaries in 1992 but lost the nomination to Bill Clinton. He was a member of the 9/11 Commission. When he left the Senate, he became president of The New School, a position he held at the time of this interview.
Interview includes discussion of: Kerrey’s incoming Senate class; contact with Mitchell prior to coming to the Senate; supporting Mitchell for majority leader; Mitchell’s leadership style; the 1990 budget; the role of the majority and minority leaders; the differences between being a governor and a senator; friendships in the Senate; Mitchell’s logical arguments; Mitchell’s TV presence; Mitchell’s relationship with Dole; Mitchell’s role in helping Kerrey achieve the goals he had in various policy areas; Health U.S.A.; Kerrey’s understanding of agricultural interests; the 1991 War Powers Resolution; the Clean Air Act; Mitchell’s relationship to Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; Kerrey’s stance on the stimulus bill of 1993 and budget issues; health care reform of 1994 and Mitchell’s leadership on that effort; Kerrey’s reaction to Mitchell’s decision to retire; Kerrey’s decision to retire in 2001; Mitchell’s neutrality in the Democratic presidential primaries in 1992; Mitchell’s legacy in the Senate; Tom Daschle as majority leader; and Mitchell’s loyalties to country, state and political party.
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.