Pat Roberts leads a pretty quiet life in the Senate. The senior Kansas Republican has been in the upper chamber since 1997, though most people would be hard-pressed to pick him out of a crowd. It might prove challenging for residents of Kansas, too, since he doesn't even have a house there.
Roberts, 77, faces a tough primary battle against a tea party opponent. It's made all the tougher by the fact that most Kansans don't know him, and with good reason, the New York Times reports:
In an interview, the three-term senator acknowledged that he did not have a home of his own in Kansas. The house on a country club golf course that he lists as his voting address belongs to two longtime supporters and donors — C. Duane and Phyllis Ross — and he says he stays with them when he is in the area. He established his voting address there the day before his challenger, Milton Wolf, announced his candidacy last fall, arguing that Mr. Roberts was out of touch with his High Plains roots.
"I have full access to the recliner," the senator joked. Turning serious, he added, "Nobody knows the state better than I do."...
Mr. Roberts moved his address from a rental property he owned in Dodge City but had long since leased to tenants, and got a new driver's license giving the golf course home as his address.
Amazingly, Roberts isn't the first senator this decade to represent a state he doesn't at least appear to live in. Richard Lugar, the Indiana Republican who lost his 2012 primary to a tea partier (who subsequently blew the election), would stay in hotels when he left D.C. for trips to the Hoosier state and kept an Indianapolis address that wasn't his.
An adviser to Roberts told the Times that wouldn't happen to the sitting senator: "We're not going to get Lugar'd." But they might want to call Roberts' Kansas landlords:
Mr. Ross said in a telephone interview that he could not remember how many times the senator had stayed at the family's home since last October. "I would say several," he said. Asked when the last time was, he said he could not remember, and the senator's staff also declined to provide dates, but said he had stayed there "a few" times.
Next, you're going to tell me Roberts doesn't actually know any nice Indian doctors in Dodge City.
[Photo credit: AP]