Clean Air Act, Dole, Robert J., Health care, Iran-Contra, Majority Leader, Muskie, Edmund S., Negotiating skills, U.S. Senate culture, Voting Rights Act
David F. Durenberger was born August 19, 1934, in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He attended St. John’s University and the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating in 1959. Beginning in 1966, he was chief of staff to Minnesota Governor Harold LeVander. In 1978, he won a special election to finish the unexpired term of Senator Hubert Humphrey, was reelected twice, and held the seat until 1995. He served as chairman on the Select Committee on Intelligence, was vice chair of the Pepper Commission, and had a special interest in issues involving health care. At the time of this interview, he was a health policy fellow at the University of St. Thomas, and he sat on the advisory board for Energy Literacy Advocates.
Interview includes discussion of: the Republican influx to legislature in 1980; first impressions of Mitchell and how Mitchell differed from Muskie; Mitchell as a colleague on committees; Iran-Contra; observations on Mitchell’s staff; reactions to Mitchell’s being elected majority leader; Clear Air Act; Mitchell’s ability to build consensus; Voting Rights Act; Mitchell’s reputation with the Republican Caucus; Warren Rudman; health care; the mainstream group on the Clinton health plan; Mitchell as a centrist on health care; Dole on Clinton’s plan; the future of political parties; and Mitchell’s legacy.
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