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Scott Brown gets sweet Senate office, but Ted Kennedy's "hideaway" remains up for grabs

The late Sen. Ted Kennedy gives a tour of his Capitol "hideaway" office for a C-SPAN documentary. (Courtesy of C-SPAN)

When Sen. Scott Brown was sworn in Thursday, he inherited some great digs: the late Ted Kennedy's spacious offices in the Russell Building. But he won't get the biggest prize of all -- Kennedy's "hideaway" office in the Capitol.

In addition to their main suites of offices where their staffers are housed, every senator has a second retreat somewhere near the Senate floor. No name on the door, just a number, and only colleagues and close friends are invited.

"Hideaways come in all shapes and forms, Kennedy's being the Rolls-Royce of hideaways," said Chad Pergram, who covers Congress for Fox News. Between votes, the late senator from Massachusetts could be found in his third-floor corner office -- two to three times the size of most others, with a fireplace and an amazing view of the Mall.

Hideaways are awarded by seniority, regardless of party. Kennedy, first elected in 1962, enjoyed his for decades; Barbara Boxer, who came to the Senate 30 years later, occupies a small, interior, windowless room nearby. (The House leadership and a few senior reps have their own private spaces in the Capitol, but most members do not.)

Now that the Capitol Police have opened up space by moving to the new Visitors' Center, even freshman senators get a hideaway, albeit small and utilitarian. "I remember interviewing Bill Nelson, who took me to his hideaway in the basement during his first term: metal door, metal desk, a couple chairs," Pergram said.

Because Kennedy died in the middle of his term, Brown is entitled to use the Russell office until next year, when it will become available to lawmakers with more seniority. The grand hideaway, currently vacant and undergoing "much-needed repairs," will be assigned next January, said Jean Bordewich, staff director of the Senate Rules Committee, which oversees the process. No telling who will nab the primo space: Most senior senators have been in their own hideaways for years and won't bother to move.

First things first: Until the Russell offices are ready for him, Brown will temporarily work from a trailer in the courtyard.

By The Reliable Source  |  February 8, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
Categories:  Politics  
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With any luck, Boxer will soon join Hiccup Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | February 8, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Are these 'hideaways' where the Legislators carry on their affairs with their mistresses?

If the legislators have 'hideaways' (which I assume have beds) as well as offices, are they still collecting extra pay for lodging while they're 'at work' in DC?

Posted by: momof20yo | February 8, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

With any luck, Boxer will soon join Hiccup Ted Kennedy.


The above post reflects the degeneration of American political discourse.

It's truly sad that the editors of the Washington Post, which used to be a fine newspaper, provide forum, approve, and support this kind of hate filled "free speech."

Posted by: sr31 | February 8, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

With any luck, Boxer will soon join Hiccup Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | February 8, 2010 5:19 PM

Seriously, this is gross and despicable. Wishing death on other people? Does the Post have anyone monitoring these comments, who can go in and delete that? What is wrong with you, Tupac Goldstein??

Posted by: privacy3 | February 8, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

The reason that people like Tupac_Goldstein and the usual gang of suspects on here can post such hateful speech is that they can do it anonymously. They are gutless people who would never have the balls to say such nastiness to people's faces directly. Instead of getting angry with such idiotic behavior, feel sorry for these sad souls who obviously have many issues in their own lives to deal with as evidenced by their degenerate behavior.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | February 8, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

With any luck, Boxer will soon join Hiccup Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | February 8, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

With any justice, you'll get there before she does.

Posted by: Attucks | February 8, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

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