They called him Old Joe. They loved the man in the blue serge suit and the box-toe, ankle-high shoes, the teetotaling bachelor with the cowlick and the beetle-browed scowl that could vanish in a smile of quick warmth. They delighted in such malaprops as "gilded muscle" for "guided missile" and "the chair recognizes the gentleman from Rayburn, Mr. Texas." They marveled at his instinct for the House that was his home. Said President Dwight Eisenhower: "I can't understand how he knows what's going to happen in the House months before it happens. It's uncanny."

For years, then, Old Joe was...

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