MARGARET CHASE SMITH: Senator at Work by


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Suppose you woke up some morning and found yourself in the White House? What would you do?"" a radio commentator asked Margaret Smith when the Republicans were casting about for a ticket in 1952. ""I'd go straight to Mrs. Truman and apologize,"" she snapped back, ""then I'd go home"". Whether or not she would respond now with equal courtesy towards Mrs. Johnson remains to be seen, but it can scarcely be a coincidence that this short, admiring profile of the senior Senator (according to Webster, that should be Senatrix) from Maine should appear so soon after the polisters have again been sounding her name as a vice-presidential possibility and listening for echoes. She is pictured here as a formidable as well as charming woman, and the chapters devoted to her notorious clashes with the late Senators McGarthy and Taft, CIA Chief McCone, and Jimmy Stewart, among others, are pleasurably crisp reading. Her stand against the Test Ban Treaty is far from soft-pedalled: ""her role is...with the 'hawks' rather than with the 'doves'"". Fiercely and conscientiously independent in her voting record, Margaret Smith's symbol may be a rose in her lapel, but as Mr. Graham demonstrates, she can be nettlesome whenever it suits her purpose.

Pub Date: March 30th, 1964
Publisher: hn Day