A Hardball Player for the Senate

New Majority Leader Mitchell is a liberal with an iron will

Growing up in Waterville, Me., George Mitchell was best known as "the brother of Johnny, Paul and Robbie Mitchell." Overshadowed by his basketball- star siblings, George decided to excel in other ways. Last week he attained a pinnacle of sorts when he was chosen majority leader of the U.S. Senate over two colleagues with more seniority, Hawaii's Daniel Inouye and Louisiana's J. Bennett Johnston. In that role, Mitchell will be the Democrats' most visible counterpoint to another fellow with Maine connections: George Bush, of Kennebunkport.

Mitchell, one of the Capitol's most adroit phrasemakers, may prove more than a match for Bush...

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