Robert H. Michel

Previous versions of The Center’s web suite included several special features based on the Michel Collection. We will re-post them as they are updated to modern programming and internet access standards.

Bob Michel and His Presidents

As a member of the House of Representatives, Robert H. Michel served with nine presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Bill Clinton. In what he called his "Presidential Scrapbooks," Michel kept selected photographs and correspondence with each of the nine.

Anatomy of a Congressional Leadership Race

In December 1980, Republicans in the House of Representatives chose Robert H. Michel of Illinois as their leader, the Minority Leader of the House, a position he held until retiring in 1995. “Anatomy of a Congressional Leadership Race” uses historical materials contained in the Robert H. Michel Papers housed at The Dirksen Congressional Center in Pekin, Illinois, to describe the contest.

In the Shadow of Watergate: Bob Michel Becomes a Congressional Leader

This 8,000-word essay describes Michel’s first contest for a formal leadership post in the House of Representatives, the chairmanship of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in 1973.

Words Taken Down

How far is "too far" in debate on the House floor? In 1993, Leader Michel produced a historical guide for members, outlining the background of what had been ruled acceptable to say and what was considered out of bounds for proper parliamentary debate. For instance, "You can ask if there are any 'paid agents of Hitler' on the Congressional payroll, but you can't call a Member of Congress a 'Pinko.'" The original, 47-page guide reproduced here is available as part of the Robert H. Michel Papers housed at The Dirksen Congressional Center in Pekin, Illinois.

Bob Michel’s Leadership Meeting Notes

This timeline presents the notes that House Republican Leader Bob Michel took during 87 meetings of the congressional leadership and the President, 1987-1992. Michel's notes tend to be cryptic. They list topics of discussion, usually associated with a speaker, but they do not capture the full flavor of the discussion and do not approximate verbatim minutes.