|Edmund Sixtus "Ed" Muskie|
|Order:||58th United States Secretary of State|
|Term Start:||May 8, 1980|
|Term End:||January 20, 1981|
|Order2:||United States Senator from Maine|
|Term Start2:||January 3, 1959|
|Term End2:||May 7, 1980|
Served Alongside: Margaret Chase Smith, William Hathaway, William Cohen
|Successor2:||George J. Mitchell|
|Order3:||64th Governor of Maine|
|Term Start3:||January 5, 1955|
|Term End3:||January 2, 1959|
|Predecessor3:||Burton M. Cross|
|Order4:||Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on the Budget|
|Term Start4:||January 3, 1975|
|Term End4:||May 8, 1980|
|Birth Date:||March 28, 1914|
|Birth Place:||Rumford, Maine|
|Death Place:||Washington, D.C.|
|Alma Mater:||Bates College|
|Branch:||United States Navy|
|Battles:||World War II|
Edmund Sixtus "Ed" Muskie (March 28, 1914 - March 26, 1996) was an American Democratic politician from Maine. He served as Governor of Maine, as U.S. Senator, and as U.S. Secretary of State. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1968, and was a candidate and vice presidential nominee for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination.
Muskie held the highest office (Secretary of State) a Polish-American has held in the United States and the only Polish-American nominated by a major party for Vice President.
Muskie was born in Rumford, Maine as Edmund Marciszewski. His father, Stephen Marciszewski, was a tailor who immigrated from Poland, and later changed the family name to "Muskie" because of the difficulty Americans had pronouncing his name (mar-chih-SHEF-ski). His mother, Josephine Muskie, was born in Buffalo, New York to Polish immigrants. His parents, Roman Catholics, had seven children, of whom six survived.
Muskie attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where he majored in history and government. While at Bates, Muskie was a successful member of the debating team, participated in several sports, and was elected to student government. He also worked during the school year as a waiter, and during the summers at a hotel in Kennebunk, Maine to supplement the scholarship that allowed him to attend the college. He graduated from Bates in 1936, and from Cornell University Law School in 1939.
After the war, he was instrumental in building up the United States Democratic Party in Maine. Maine had traditionally been a strongly Republican state, notable for being one of the only two states that Alf Landon carried against Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936 (the other was Vermont). Muskie ran in the 1947 election to become mayor of Waterville, Maine, but was unsuccessful.
He served in the Maine House of Representatives before being elected Governor in 1954.
In 1968, Muskie was nominated for Vice President on the Democratic ticket with sitting Vice President Hubert Humphrey. The Humphrey-Muskie campaign lost the election to Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew winning 42.72% of the vote, 13 states and 191 electoral votes to Nixon-Agnew's 43.42%, 32 states and 301 electoral votes. Third party candidates George Wallace and Curtis LeMay had taken 13.53%, won five states in the Deep South and carried their 46 votes in the electoral college. Because of Republican Vice Presidential nominee Spiro Agnew's apparent weakness as a candidate relative to Muskie, Humphrey was heard to remark that voters' uncertainties about whom to choose between the top two Presidential candidates should be resolved by their attitudes toward the Vice-Presidential candidates. 
In 1970, the Maine senator was chosen to articulate the Democratic party's message to congressional voters before the midterm elections. Muskie's national stature was raised as a major candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination in 1972. In 1973, he gave the Democratic response to Nixon's State of the Union Address.
See main article: U.S. presidential election, 1972. Before the 1972 election, Muskie was viewed as a frontrunner for the Democratic Presidential nomination. The nation was at war in Vietnam and President Richard Nixon's war policies (and foreign policy, more generally) promised to be a major issue in the campaign.
The 1972 Iowa caucuses, however, significantly altered the race for the Presidential nomination. Left-wing dark horse candidate, South Dakota Senator George McGovern, made a strong showing in the caucuses, giving his campaign national attention. Although Muskie won the Iowa caucuses, McGovern's campaign left Iowa with momentum. Muskie himself had never participated in a primary election campaign, and it is possible that this led to the downfall of his campaign. Although Muskie went on to win the New Hampshire primary, the victory was only by a small margin, and his campaign faltered.
The collapse of Muskie's momentum early in the 1972 campaign is also attributed to his response to campaign attacks. Prior to the New Hampshire primary, the so-called "Canuck Letter" was published in the Manchester Union-Leader. The letter claimed that Muskie had made disparaging remarks about French-Canadians—a remark likely to injure Muskie's support among the French-Canadian population in northern New England. Subsequently, the paper published an attack on the character of Muskie's wife Jane, reporting that she drank and used off-color language during the campaign. Muskie made an emotional defense of his wife in a speech outside the newspaper's offices during a snowstorm. Though Muskie later stated that what had appeared to the press as tears were actually melted snowflakes, the press reported that Muskie broke down and cried, shattering the candidate's image as calm and reasoned.
Evidence later came to light during the Watergate scandal investigation that, during the 1972 presidential campaign, the Nixon campaign committee maintained a "dirty tricks" unit focused on discrediting Nixon's strongest challengers (see Ratfucking). Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigators revealed that the Canuck Letter was a forged document as part of the dirty-tricks campaign against Democrats orchestrated by the Nixon campaign. In 1972, Hunter S. Thompson, in a classic example of Gonzo journalism, suggested in an article for Rolling Stone Magazine that Muskie was hooked on Ibogaine, an obscure drug. Dr. Thompson admitted that he had made it up and said that he was surprised when other News Agencies took the bait and reported it as fact in a TV interview shown in Alex Gibney's 2008 documentary .
Muskie returned to serve in the Senate. In 1980, he was tapped by President Jimmy Carter to serve as Secretary of State, following the resignation of Cyrus Vance. Vance had opposed a secret rescue mission as a means of bringing the Iran Hostage Crisis to an end, and after that mission failed with the loss of eight U.S. servicemen, Vance resigned. There was a brief "Draft Muskie" movement in the summer of 1980, as it appeared the Democratic Convention may have deadlocked between President Carter and Edward Kennedy.
Muskie attempted to bring the hostages home by diplomatic means, appealing to the United Nations and Iran. Muskie left public office following Carter's loss of the 1980 presidential election to Ronald Reagan, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Carter on January 16, 1981.
Muskie retired to his home in Washington, D.C. in 1981. He continued to work as a lawyer for some years. In 1987, as an elder statesman, Muskie was appointed a member of the President's Special Review Board known as the "Tower Commission" to investigate President Ronald Reagan's administration's role in the Iran-Contra Scandal.
Muskie died in Washington, D.C., of congestive heart failure in 1996, two days shy of his 82nd birthday. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Muskie's papers are kept at the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
Muskie is mentioned in the science fiction series Sliders ("The Weaker Sex" - Season 1, Episode 7). Professor Maximillian Arturo (played by John Rhys-Davies) states that he has decided to "pull a Muskie" and throw the election by weeping during a difficult debate question.In the daily cartoon Doonesbury, Muskie was mentioned in the March 10, 1971 strip in which the characters B.D., Mark, and Mike Doonesbury are playing poker. B.D. confidently announces, "My poker has the steady, strong winning power of a Richard Nixon!" To which Mark replies, "That's nothing. My hand has all the steady challenging strength of an Ed Muskie." After a long pause, Mike dejectedly replies, "Harold Stassen."
See main article: Electoral history of Edmund Muskie.
. How We Got Here: The '70s. David Frum. 2000. Basic Books. New York, New York. 0465041957. 47.