Administrative staff, Maine, Press relations, Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Travel
Clyde MacDonald, Jr. was born in 1929 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, to Nellie MacDonald and Clyde MacDonald, Sr., who were both of Canadian descent. The oldest of four children, Clyde enlisted in the Army and served in Germany during the Korean War. After his military discharge, he became interested in politics at the local level. He attended Portland Junior College for two years and then Bates College for two years. He later earned a doctorate at the University of Maine while teaching undergraduate classes there. During that period, he became active in local Democratic politics and found himself in more regular contact with Senator Muskie. He eventually went to work for Muskie, becoming an aide and close personal adviser. He subsequently transitioned to Senator Mitchell’s office, where he was the field representative in Bangor throughout Mitchell’s Senate career, hiring many Maine field office staff.
Interview includes discussion of: the scope of his role as a field rep for Senator Mitchell in Bangor; the different kinds of issues he dealt with; opening the office in Presque Isle; hiring Julia Nault, Mary LeBlanc, Ida McDonald and Tom Bertocci and the important qualities to look for when hiring people for political jobs; Mitchell’s intellectual and physical energy; the aspects of traveling in the state that Mitchell did and did not enjoy; the food irradiation issue and Mitchell’s solution; Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA) and the work they did to designate Bangor as one; the relationship that Mitchell’s office and MacDonald personally had with the Bangor Daily News and Maine press in general; and the difference between print press and TV coverage.
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