The Legacy of Senator Edmund Muskie
I am delighted to be with you this morning. My relationship with Senator Edmund Muskie actually predated my birth. It arose from my grandfather’s ownership of a building in Waterville, Maine. On the ground floor was a dry goods and clothing store operated by my grandparents and frequently visited by Jane Gray, the future wife of Edmund Muskie. On one of the upper floors in the building was a small office that my grandfather had rented to an aspiring young lawyer who had recently graduated from Cornell Law School and had returned to Maine to practice law. That young lawyer was Edmund Muskie. The first time the Senator and I actually met was in 1986. My aunt and uncle, who lived in Bethesda, Maryland, took me to their favorite Chinese restaurant. That restaurant was also a favorite of the Muskies. As we were about to leave, the Muskies entered and Ed, Jane, and my uncle recognized each other and started to reminisce about Waterville. My uncle introduced me and to my surprise, the Senator recognized me. At the time, I was President of the Maine State Bar Association and the Senator was a member of the Association. I believe he had seen my picture on the President’s page of the Maine State Bar Journal. As a new member of the law firm Chadborne & Park LLP, the Senator was asked to chair an American Bar Association Committee. He told me that his law firm had encouraged him to become involved in the ABA, but knowing nothing about the organization, asked whether I was interested in becoming his chair-elect of the committee. I immediately said, “Yes.” Ultimately, I became president of the American Bar Association. It was Senator Muskie who brought me into the Association and not vice-versa, as so many people believe. The Senator and I became good friends and constant companions at ABA meetings. We traveled together across the country. This allowed me to personally witness the genius of Edmund Muskie.