by Max Brantley
The stunt-of-the-season for incoming congressional freshmen apparently is to make it widely known that they'll be sleeping in their offices. Read: They are not professional politicians.
Ben Smith of Politico takes note that incoming U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about those who'll be bunking in the office and flying home every weekend. Hold the applause.
Their illustrative example:Rep.-elect Tim Griffin, an Army reservist, stood near the gym in the Rayburn House Office Building and used some compass software on his phone to navigate the paths to potential offices.
"We want to get as close to Rayburn as possible," Mr. Griffin, an Arkansas Republican, told an aide. "I've got to walk all the way down this hall in the morning."...Mr. Griffin plans to fly home to Arkansas and his family after the last vote each week."
The larger and unmentioned chunk of Griffin's resume is that of a political pro who's spent most of his adult life in Washington (and not sleeping at the office): He's a former GOP staffer, RNC and Bush campaign oppo hand, and Bush Administration official who was Karl Rove's aide in some of the bitterest battles of the '04 campaign. His appointment as interim U.S. Attorney in his native Arkansas made him the poster child for criticism of the Bush Administration's politicization of those offices, and he resigned the job amid the controversy.
Which is to say — and this is perhaps more praise than criticism — that the sleepovers might better be described as "the ultimate I-am-a-professional-politician stunt."