Administrative staff, Driving, Maine politics, Muskie, Edmund S., U.S. Senate campaign (1982)
Charles “Charlie” Jacobs was born on May 10, 1948, in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. His parents, Isabelle and Stephen Jacobs, were both teachers. He lived mainly in Buxton, Maine, until the age of ten, when his family moved to Bethel. He attended Gould Academy and the University of Maine, Orono, graduating in 1971. At Orono, Jacobs became politically active, joining the student government and supporting Eugene McCarthy’s presidential bid in 1968. After graduation, he worked for Governor Ken Curtis, serving on the Governor’s Council until it was abolished in 1976. He then worked on Senator Muskie’s 1976 Senate campaign, joining the Muskie’s Senate staff shortly thereafter. He stayed in Washington until 1979, when he moved to the Lewiston, Maine, Senate office. When George Mitchell was appointed to Muskie’s seat, Jacobs returned to Washington to serve as Mitchell’s executive assistant, where he remained until late 1983 when he transitioned back to Maine, leaving Mitchell’s employment in the spring of 1984. He later worked for the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for eleven years and for Maine Governor Angus King.
Interview includes discussions of: Mitchell’s transition to the Senate; the role of a senator’s executive assistant; Mitchell’s U.S. Senate campaign in 1982; comparing Mitchell with Muskie in terms of personality, office structure, and political talent; the disadvantages of being a junior senator; the Senate office’s organization and small dimension; how Mitchell worked to gain support within the Maine Democratic Party; getting Mitchell back to Maine on the weekends; developments of the 1982 Senate campaign; Mitchell’s jokes; the Elizabeth Taylor joke; Mitchell’s ad campaign beginning in 1981; the likability factor for politicians; Jacobs’s personal relationship with Mitchell; driving for Ed Muskie; Mitchell’s abilities in terms of patience, discipline, and teaching himself about politics; and the honorable tradition of Maine politics.
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