Administrative staff, Judgeship, Maine gubernatorial campaign (1974), Muskie Senate reelection campaign (1976), Presidential campaign (1972), U.S. Attorney
James W. “Jim” Case was born on June 21, 1945, in Chicopee, Massachusetts. His father was a firefighter and his mother was a homemaker who raised seven children; Jim was the fourth of five boys. His family was Irish-German Catholic, and his parents were involved in local politics. He grew up in a blue-collar mill town with a good public educational system; he attended Clark University, where he majored in psychology. He was drafted in November 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War and served two years as an administrator in a physical therapy clinic at an Army hospital. Subsequently, he attended the University of Maine School of Law, became active in politics as co-chair of the local Kennedy campaign committee, and developed an interest in labor law. He also worked on George Mitchell’s gubernatorial campaign in 1974. After law school he went to Washington, DC to work in Senator Muskie’s office, first as assistant counsel to the Committee on Environment and Public Works, which involved economic development and environmental policy, and later as legislative director. He was Senator Mitchell’s first administrative assistant, a post he held until 1981. At the time of this interview he was a partner in the McTeague, Higbee, Case, Cohen, Whitney & Toker law firm.
Interview includes discussions of: 1972 Muskie presidential primary race; 1974 Maine gubernatorial race; factors that contributed to the results of the 1974 election; Mitchell on the campaign trail; Mitchell’s role in Muskie’s 1976 reelection campaign; how Mitchell came to be appointed U.S. attorney and later a federal judge; the transition in the Senate office when Muskie moved over to the State Department; Mitchell getting committee assignments; issues he worked on in his first year of office; Finance Committee deregulation of the banking industry; Case’s predicting that Mitchell would be Democratic leader; Senate prayer breakfasts; Case’s bringing David Johnson in to replace himself when he left in 1981; Mitchell’s accessibility to Mainers and commitment to Maine; and the mutual loyalty between Senator Mitchell and his staff.
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.