Smart, Dull And Very Powerful: SAM NUNN

SAM NUNN, John Tower's nemesis, has never flirted with charisma, but built a strong Senate presence on expertise, instinct and understated toughness

For Sam Nunn, who believes that the tests of private relations and public life cannot be different simply because it is impossible to split a whole person in two, it was a painful admission. A few days before Nunn would lead the charge against John Tower on the Senate floor, the 50-year-old chairman of the Armed Services Committee sat in his office under the influence of two diet Cokes and finally confessed that he once stole some eggs from a neighbor who kept chickens.

That was around 40 years ago in Perry, Ga., the small town about a hundred miles south...

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