Remember those Hillary Clinton ads with the Batphone ringing that demanded to know who you want answering a call in the White House at 3 a.m.? (The answer you were supposed to come up with is "Someone who lived there for eight years already.")
Well, we don't have a complaint line to President Obama's bedroom, but Scott Rigell, a candidate for the Republican nomination in Virginia's Second Congressional District has posted his home phone number on his campaign Web site (it's 757-496-4113, just in case you want to talk to him).
Matthew Yglesias has a blog post musing on the implications of this, saying, "It’s a fun gimmick, but there’s no way this could work for an actual member of Congress, right? At a minimum, to make it work you’d have to set up an extra secret phone number in case your kids or your mom wants to get in touch with you so that you could safely ignore the 'random constituent's call on this line' line if you need to get on with your life."
Yglesias did not actually call Rigell and ask how he plans to make this work, though. So, in what passes for shoe-leather reporting these days, I did. His wife picked up, seemed underwhelmed by having NEWSWEEK on the phone, and said she'd ask Scott if he "wants to talk."
Rigell is a political novice who makes his living selling Fords. He loves to boast (his word), about his success at doing so, and that is the genesis of his unusual pledge. When he and his wife opened their first dealership in 1991 Rigell put his home phone number by the cashier as an invitiation to customers. Let's let Scott take it from here: