Two journalists, one a hometown man, the other on the Senate beat, offer the first Muskie campaign volume, a folksy review of the Yankee Pole who says he's going for the Presidency ""in earnest."" We see him as a cleancut struggling student at Cornell Law and a hardworking small-town lawyer. Against the solidly entrenched Republican machine, he wins the Maine governorship in 1954; after putting through sales and income taxes and ""working well"" with the GOP, he wins again in '56 and moves to the Senate in '59. Now part of ""the Senate elite,"" he supports Kennedy as Senate whip, pushes demonstration cities and civil rights bills, switches from hawk to dove, and becomes the ""Mr. Clean of the Clean Air Bill"" (1967) and the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970. Apropos of which the authors make a damaging admission: in 1962 Muskie used his influence to downgrade Maine's Prestile River to a D rating on behalf of beet sugar-potato tycoon and Muskie backer Freddie Vahlsing. Overall, token representation where wanted.