George J. Mitchell

Muskie Presidential Campaign, 1971-1972.

2.75 linear feet.

Catalog Number: M202.2

Background Note:
In 1962 George Mitchell began working for Senator Edmund S. Muskie as his executive assistant. He became deputy campaign manager for Muskie's bid to gain the Democratic Party's 1972 presidential nomination. Mitchell assisted in formulating and executing strategy. During that election year the Democratic party was reforming its convention rules, party platform, and policy statements in the wake of its disastrous 1968 convention in Chicago and other divisive events, such as the Vietnam War. The campaign faltered when Muskie, considered an early favorite, cried while angrily defending his wife from vicious attacks made in the Manchester Union-Leader, the only state-wide newspaper in New Hampshire. Although he won the New Hampshire primary, his margin of victory was lower than expected. George McGovern made an unexpectedly strong showing in the primary and from there took the front-runner's spot and eventually the nomination. Muskie remained Mitchell's close political mentor and friend until Muskie's death in 1996. After working on this campaign, Mitchell went on to mount his own campaign for governor of Maine in 1974.

Records were created in 1971 and 1972 during the course of campaign activities. Materials include administrative and planning files, scheduling notebooks, contribution and strategy information, and pro- and anti-Muskie pamphlets. Also included are campaign correspondence from several states and briefing books on New Hampshire and Rhode Island, Muskie's positions on various issues, delegate selection, and the Maine Democratic State Committee; as well as one on Richard Nixon. There is a complete listing of the Muskie campaign staff, led by Muskie's campaign manager, Berl Bernhard. Members of the Citizens for Muskie Committee included Sargent Shriver and Albert Gore, Senior. Several files contain material on the Democratic National Committee and the Policy Council.

Access Restrictions: None.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · · (207) 725-3288