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Friday, January 21, 2011

Mike Mansfield

Mike Mansfield (1903-2001) was a member of the US Senate from Montana from 1953-77 and he was the Senate Majority Leader - D from 1961-77. After his time in the Senate he was the American Ambassador to Japan.
He was a man of few, but honest, words. I have a (not completely reliable) memory of him at a press conference responding to three questions in a row with one word answers.
The Senate’s committee structure was totally dominated by the seniority system in those days and there was a movement to reform it. One reporter asked Mansfield what he thought about the seniority system and Mansfield replied, “When I first came to the Senate I didn’t think much of it, but now that I’ve been here awhile, I like it.”

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