Andrea L’Hommedieu and Mike Hastings
Acadia National Park, Brennan, Joseph E., Dole, Robert J., Filibuster, Finance Committee, Foreign affairs, Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act, Majority Leader, Security, U.S. Senate appointment (1980)
George J. Mitchell was born on August 20, 1933, in Waterville, Maine, to Mary Saad, a factory worker, and George Mitchell, a laborer. Senator Mitchell spent his youth in Waterville. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College in 1954, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps until 1956. In 1960 he earned a law degree from Georgetown University. Mitchell worked for Senator Edmund S. Muskie as executive assistant and as deputy campaign manager during Muskie's 1972 presidential campaign. He later became U.S. senator (D-Maine) 1980-1995, Senate majority leader 1989-1995, and, upon his retirement from the Senate, special advisor on Northern Ireland 1995-1998. Since 1998, Senator Mitchell has served on many boards and committees and has received high profile appointments including: chairman of the Sharm el-Sheikh International Fact-Finding Committee on the crisis between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (2000); overseer of the Red Cross Liberty Fund (2001); lead investigator into the illegal use of performance enhancing substances in Major League Baseball (2006); and special envoy for Palestinian-Israeli affairs (2009-2011).
Interview includes discussion of: Maine Indian Land Claims case; Joseph Brennan; appointment to U.S. Senate; Acadia National Park; Finance Committee assignment story; becoming majority leader story; Bennett Johnston; John Glenn; deputy president pro tempore; John Stennis; 1982 election time ‘polls’ story; Howell Heflin and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Canal; foreign affairs interests; 1986 Gorbachev meeting; Berlin trip; Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing; bargaining as a tool in the Senate; John Major story; John Tower hearing story; filibusters and how the use of them has changed; Senate parliamentarians and their role; relationship with Robert Dole; Brady Bill; and striking a balance with Senate security.
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.