Oklahoma: Lament of the Senior Sooner

Every successful Senator and Representative faces the Potomac paradox: seniority breeds power and prestige, but its responsibilities can also alienate an incumbent from the voters back home.

So far this year, grass-roots revolts have shelved Senators Frank Lausche of Ohio and Thomas Kuchel of California. Now a similar syndrome threatens Oklahoma Senator Mike Monroney, 66, a 30-year Capitol Hill veteran and his state's senior member of Congress.

Six terms in the House and three in the Senate have made Monroney a fixture, but one not really plugged into the sockets of power. A...

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