Maverick: A Life in Politics

Lowell P. Weicker, Author, Barry Sussman, With
Lowell P. Weicker, Author, Barry Sussman, With Little Brown and Company $22.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-316-92814-4
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After serving in various state legislative offices, Weicker burst upon the national scene during the Watergate hearings, at which the Republican senator from Connecticut was one of Nixon's sharpest critics. Nearly half of Weicker's autobiography is devoted to Watergate, much of it familiar ground, save for some personal recollections. After Nixon's resignation, Weicker had a relatively low profile until Ronald Reagan's election in 1980 forced him to repeatedly vote against the Republican president to protect social programs that Weicker felt were important in such areas as health and education. It was during the Reagan years that Weicker began to be increasingly seen as a political maverick, a label that contributed to his defeat for re-election in 1988. But it was also the maverick label that got him elected governor of Connecticut in 1990 as an independent, and also helped him get Connecticut's first state income tax passed. The non-Watergate sections of the autobiography, written with freelancer Sussman, are by far the more interesting, with Weicker flavoring his story with assessments of such political figures as William Buckley (``an ass'') and William Bennett (``a total fraud''). Weicker concludes by calling the two-party political system outdated, and strongly hints that he would not be opposed to running for president as an independent in 1996. (June)
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