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Running in place: Inside the Senate Hardcover – 1986

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Miller, a former aide to thenSenate Majority Leader Howard Baker (and now a CBS News producer), here offers a highly revealing diary of a week in the life of the U.S. Senate. Based on a journal kept during his two years at the Senate, the book focuses on three major issues before that body in late April 1983Central America, the federal budget and immigration reformto show how lawmakers and staffers actually function in the "bloated, overburdened, and increasingly polarized" Senate that has emerged in the past decade. Against instructive accounts of the daily rounds of "emblematic" senators (Baker, a Republican from Tennessee; Alan K. Simpson, Republican from Wyoming; and Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd) and of aides from other Senate staffs, Miller argues that the Senate is now a "conglomerate" in which younger, bolder members place personal ambitions above party discipline, hindering government and threatening a "legislative crisis."
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Miller portrays the Senate as an institu tion in the "throes of traumatic change." Upon his arrival in Washing ton to become special assistant and chief speechwriter to Senate majority leader Howard Baker, Miller believed the Senate to be "an exclusive club . . . of respected, gray-haired elders . . . who managed the Senate with a common ethos." His experience proved otherwise. The activities of three senators and three staff members during a typical week illustrate a legis lative body that is tremendously over burdened and legislators who are in creasingly self-serving and publicity seeking. A well-written, interesting ac count for both public and academic li braries. Kathleen Hoeth, NYPL
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster (1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671499289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671499280
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,000,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Marc Korman on December 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Running in Place tells the story of a familiar Senate where 100 people thirst for the media limelight, have to rely on staff due to time constraints, need to raise a lot of money for reelection, can't wait to get out of town on weekends, and never seem to have time to get anything done. All of that could describe the Senate of 2011, but it also describes the Senate of 1983 before C-SPAN was in the Senate chamber, before blackberries were distributed in Congress, before the Internet and its increased media glare penetrated, and when, supposedly, more got done than does today. Reading Running in Place may remind you of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris when Owen Wilson travels from the present to what he views as the ideal 1920s in Paris. Ironically, the people of the 1920s long for an even earlier, allegedly ideal time. Indeed, one of the book's focuses, Senator Alan Simpson, is visited by his father (a Senator in the 40s and early 50s) who speaks longingly of his time in the Senate and is disappointed with the change during his son's tenure (interestingly, the senior Senator Simpson longs for a time of more partisan political combat although most would say it had increased from the post-World War II Senate to the 1980s Senate).

Running in Place follows Republican Majority Leader Howard Baker as he tries to keep the chamber running, Republican Alan Simpson as he works to advance immigration legislation, Republican Pete Domenici as he works to pass a budget resolution, Democrat Chris Dodd as he gives the prime time response to an address by President Reagan, and Democrat Frank Lautenberg as he learns the ropes during his first months in the Senate.
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