Thom Tillis' office door jam

July 26, 2013 

If House Speaker Thom Tillis, running for the United States Senate, is going to try to make friends on the campaign trail he will have to get used to visiting everything from tobacco fields to chicken houses and pressing palms with gazillionaires and field workers. The speaker, after all, was a long-time business consultant from the Charlotte area before he went to the House so he’s still trying to learn to be a man of the people.

Or, as we in North Carolina put it, his aides are trying to showcase him as someone with “a lot of Rufus in him.” (Referring of course, to the best one-on-one campaigner of them all, Rufus Edmisten, former attorney general and secretary of state.)

But a recent development at the Legislative Building, which we’ve always thought of as the people’s house, is a little disconcerting.

It seems a group of Democrats recently went to the speaker’s personal office to deliver petitions opposing the now-law abortion bill restricting access to the procedure for women. The Democrats apparently took a picture of their action. That upset some Republicans.

So now the House has a new rule. Anyone who wants to enter a legislator’s office cannot do so without permission, except for some staffers.

Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln used to greet citizens in the White House. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch used to walk up to people on the street, shake their hands and ask, “How’m I doin’?”

So we wonder. What are they afraid of? Do we need to get them security blankets? A little therapy? We know a guy uniquely qualified.

Rufus?

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service