June 13, 2013

Maine Sen. King finally gets a permanent office

It features a desk once used by previous Maine senators and a bust of Joshua Chamberlain.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Maine Sen. Angus King and his staff are once again busy packing and unpacking boxes this week – this time to move into permanent digs.   

After five months in a cramped temporary office in the basement of another Senate building, King and his staff were finally given an official office Tuesday, complete with a bronzed nameplate and a Maine state seal adorning the entryway.   

The wheels of government move slowly in Washington under normal circumstances. This year, the size of the freshman class of senators and the budget cuts known as sequestration caused King and other senators to wait even longer than normal to move into their new spaces.   

Not that King was complaining Tuesday.   

“I like it a lot,” he said while standing in his personal office, its floor littered with unpacked boxes and its walls still largely bare. “We were surprised that such good space was available. It is easy to get from here to the (Senate) floor or to my committees.”   

The office buzzed with activity as staffers unpacked boxes, rearranged furniture and began talking about which picture or painting of Maine to hang where on the newly painted walls.   

With a total of about 3,400 square feet, the suite is composed of nearly a dozen rooms laid out in a straight line and connected by doors. The office, occupied last by Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, is filled with natural light and offers views of the Capitol from some windows.   

In his personal office – a spacious room with dark-red walls and ornate, walnut-colored wood trim – King was determined to find a proper home for his bust of Joshua Chamberlain, a former Maine governor and president of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, where King lives.   

Chamberlain eventually was placed at the center of a lighted wooden cabinet built into a wall.   

Along the opposite wall – at least for the time being – sat King’s desk, which has its own Maine lineage. King inherited the desk from his predecessor, Republican Olympia Snowe, who inherited it from Sen. George Mitchell. Before Mitchell, the late Sen. Edmund Muskie used the desk, according to King’s staff.   

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at: kmiller@mainetoday.com   

On Twitter: @KevinMillerDC

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