National Affairs: The Cliffhanger

Once upon a time the U.S. Senate Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee sat down to begin hearings on the confirmation of Lewis L. Strauss, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and one of the ablest and thorniest figures in U.S. public life, as Secretary of Commerce. At that time an informal poll of the committee members showed that Strauss would win committee approval by a vote of 14-3. Last week, two months and 1,739 rancorous pages of testimony later, Strauss finally did win the committee's approval—by a cliffhanging vote of 9-8 (the squeaking majority came from the six committee Republicans,...

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