Dennis Kucinich is Milton.
Most jobs you’re actually allowed to pack up your stuff and leave
the building forever before you’re displaced from your desk. I mean
imagine your boss telling you in two weeks you have to leave, and
for that two weeks you have to move all your stuff to the room with
the vending machines.
That’s akin to what’s happening in Congress. I guess it’s how
things work there, because nobody complains about it that I know
of. I didn’t know that was how things operated and I had the
experience of a highly educational internship as a reporter in
Washington, D.C. in the fall of 1986, when John McCain, John
Breaux, Harry Reid and Tom Daschle gave up their House seats for
ones in the Senate.
I learned all about this office shuffling on Thursday. I had
read the story about newly elected Congressman Derek Kilmer picking
number 65 out of 70 for office space. (In that competition, that
high score is a bad thing.) But it hadn’t occurred to me that Norm
Dicks would already be out of his space. I mean now it makes sense.
Like “duh.” I should have had my first clue when I saw all the
furniture in the Rayburn hallways.
But on Thursday I knew his staff was in the Rayburn building. I
went there and looked at the directory on the wall to find out
which office belonged to our soon-to-be retired politician. I found
the number, went to the location and found a California flag
outside the door. The office now belongs to George Miller, D-Calif.
I asked the cherubs inside the front office where Dicks’ office had
gone to and was told it was in the basement cafeteria, where all
the “retirees” from the building were placed. I put that word in
quotes, because not everyone down there is retiring by choice.
“Basement” in this case isn’t as bad as it sounds, and there is
a separation between the room of cubicles and the actual eating
After finding Dicks’ main cubicle (No. 36) I was told my contact
there, Chief of Staff George Behan, would be there in a while. So I
waited in a comfy chair nearby and was looking over emails when in
my view I saw Cubicle 27, the current landing spot of U.S. Rep.
Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. You may remember that Kucinich considered
becoming “D-Wash.” but wasn’t exactly welcomed by local party brass
and he wasn’t gerrymandered out of his district as expected.
Instead, he was put in the same district as Marcy Kaptur, another
Ohio Democrat who also wasn’t looking to retire. She beat him in
the primary, which set the stage for Kucinich being found in a
cubicle smaller than mine, straining his neck to talk on his cell
phone and wondering where his stapler went.
Dicks, by the way, being the ranking Democrat in Appropriations,
has office space in the committee offices and he has his own office
space in the Capitol itself. From my perspective, he still looks
like a member of Congress.