Roll Call's popular "Office Space" series today features the personal office of House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence. The videos give constituents and viewers an opportunity to see and hear why Members of Congress decorate their walls with certain mementos, photos and memories. Pence has an office full of special objects, which Roll Call reporter Alison McSherry documented the video's accompanying article. An excerpt of the article is posted below the video but we encourage to read the whole thing! Watch the video here:
Sitting on the desk in Rep. Mike Pence’s Longworth House Office Building space is a bright red mock rotary phone. The object sticks out as it sits beside a regular, run-of-the-mill office phone, and it is the most brightly colored object in the room. It only has one line, and only one person in the world has the phone number.
“Mrs. Pence is the only one who has the number, not anyone on the staff. She occasionally shares it with the kids, but when this phone rings, I answer it,” the Indiana Republican says with a smile.
Former Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) recommended Pence get a separate family phone when he arrived in Congress in 2001.
“He said, ‘After hours when the switchboard is off, you ought to put a separate line in the office.’ This was before everybody was wearing BlackBerrys and cell phones and such,” Pence said.
Pence’s wife purchased the red phone and gave it to him as a Christmas gift during his first term. The couple had the phone installed with a line separate from the main switchboard, and to this day it is Pence’s favorite part of his office. The phone is more necessary now that Pence is chairman of the Republican Conference, a job that keeps him busier than ever.
The phone isn’t the only object in the office that can be traced back to Karen Pence. Her fingerprints are all over the Congressman’s personal office. A watercolor that she painted of a front porch in Indiana decorates one wall, while a photo she gave her husband after he was elected hangs beside it.