Administrative staff, Cory, Gayle, Humor, Maine politics, Mitchell Institute, U.S. Senate retirement, Waterville (Me.), Women in politics
Jane Frances O’Connor was born on March 13, 1960, in Augusta, Maine. She was one of twelve children born to Barbara Louise (Murray) and Dr. Francis J. O’Connor, both from Dorchester, Massachusetts. Her father was head of radiology at Augusta General Hospital; her mother was an artist and musician who stayed at home while her children were young. After growing up in Augusta in a nonpolitical family, Jane attended the University of Southern Maine and, later, Trinity College in Washington, DC. In the summer of 1980, she became an intern for Beverly Bustin-Hatheway, accompanying her around the state as a field representative for Senator George Mitchell, and she spent much of the summer helping pack up Senator Muskie’s papers for repository retention. In June 1981, O’Connor accepted a full time position as receptionist in Senator Mitchell’s office in Washington, DC, remaining in that position for about eight years. After Mitchell’s departure from the Senate, she went to work for a trade association.
Interview includes discussion of: Beverly Bustin’s state legislative campaign; Senate office staff in DC; Mitchell’s sense of humor; telephone story; bread story; brownies story; description of Senator Mitchell’s various offices and staff roles; Mitchell’s Senate retirement; his frugality; the apartment/video store story; Mitchell Institute; Gayle Cory; Martha Pope; and education of staff.
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