Chafee, John H., Clean Air Act, Clinton, William J., Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Dole, Robert J., Health care, Kennedy, Edward M., Majority Leader, Moynihan, Daniel P., Negotiating skills, Tennis, U.S. Senate culture, U.S. Senate retirement, U.S. Senators
John Berlinger Breaux was born in Crowley, Louisiana, on March 1, 1944. He was graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana at Lafayette in 1964 and Louisiana State University Law School in 1967. He served as assistant to U.S. Representative Edwin Edwards. After Edwards resigned in 1972, Breaux was elected to his seat in the U.S. Congress in a special election. He served in the House of Representatives until 1987, when he was elected to the Senate, where he served until 2005. In 1993, Senate Democrats elected him deputy majority whip. Since retiring from the Senate, he has worked as a lobbyist and taught at Louisiana State University.
Interview includes discussion of: Breaux’s entering the Senate when Mitchell was chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC); succeeding Russell Long in the Senate; difference serving in the Senate after serving in the House; Senate majority leader race in 1988; Mitchell’s start as Senate majority leader; responsibilities of Senate majority leader; Breaux’s role as whip; Mitchell’s focus on functional leadership; importance of majority leader’s relationship with the House; Mitchell and Dole; working with presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; Mitchell’s relationship with Bill Clinton; Breaux as a deal maker and bridge builder; working on the Clean Air Act with Mitchell; health care reform; 1990 Mitchell’s legacy in the Senate; John H. Chafee; Moynihan; Lloyd Bensten; Kennedy; Breaux’s retirement in 2004; and Mitchell as a conflict solver.
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