October 06, 1997
John Sweeney's name rarely appears in print without the word "militant" attached to it. Sweeney first gained national prominence in 1995, when, as president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), he led striking janitors in a sit-in that blocked morning rush-hour traffic on Washington, D.C.'s Fourteenth Street Bridge for two hours. Later that year, Sweeney burnished his reputation as a confrontationalist by running (and winning) an insurgent campaign in the first-ever contested election for the presidency of the AFLl-CIO. Heavy-set and balding, Sweeney comes across like central c
November 20, 1995
In July, 1994, when Bill Clinton was touring Europe, the president's aides were, well, awestruck by the tenacity of Richard Holbrooke, then the United States Ambassador to Germany. What accounted for this reaction? During the president's visit to Germany, Holbrooke was, as one official put it, "a whirling dervish." He managed to wangle his way into top-level meetings and hounded White House staff to get airplane and helicopter seats close to Clinton.