WHAT WERE political analysts saying about Paul Tsongas earlier in his career?
Here's a look at how "The Almanac of American Politics" viewed him in 1986, two years after he had completed a decade in Congress:
"Incumbent Paul Tsongas stunned almost everyone in the state by announcing that he would retire, after one [Senate] term, at age 42 . . . Tsongas had attracted national attention by questioning some of the tenets of liberalism, first in a speech at an ADA dinner, then in his book, 'The Road From Here.' This and his retirement seem less startling looking at the course of his life: This is a man who has seen some of America's elite institutions -- Dartmouth, Yale Law, the Senate -- up close and found them wanting; the experiences he found gratifying were working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia and serving as a county commissioner and helping rejuvenate the city of Lowell."