At first glance, Virginia's S. (Chuck) Robb. appears to have it all - good looks, charm, a bright future, a $200,000 campaign debt and a marital connection to the Lyndon B. Johnson fame and fortune.
Now all he needs is an office.
At the heart of his problem is the distressing fact - for him, at least that everyone speaks highly of Chunk Robb, but no one will claim him.
The Virginia constitution places the lieutanant governor in the excutive branch, but Republican Gov. John N. Dalton has not found it convenient to house Democrat Robb in the executive's elegant but small quarters on the third floor of the state's 18th century Capitol building.
"There is absolutely no precedent for it ," said Dalton spokesman William A. Royall.
The lieutenant governor's sole duty is to precide over Senate. The senate and the White House of Delegates are overwhelmingly Democratic, but House Speaker John Warren cooke a stickler for form does not believe that an officer of the excutive branch should occupy space in the new General Assembly Office Building across the street fron the Capitol.
Separation of powers, you know.
So right to the day before the Assembly convened on Jan. 11, Robb was without an office suitable for himself and his staff of nine-three paid aides, two secretaries and four volunteer, unpaid interns. A small room reserved for the Lieutenant governor next to the Senate chamber is entirely too small.
At last moments, Senate president pro Dem Edward E. Willey of Richmond took pit on Robb and lent him his expensive suite in the new Assembly building - temporarily," as Willey put it.
As it turned out, Willey's qesture was made up of equal parts of goods lent Robb adjoins the suite occupied by Speaker Cooke.
Cooke denied in an interview that he is "upset," a word-used by several Assembly members to describe his reaction to the executive encroachment.
Cooke acknowledge that a portable partition has been in a hallway to screen activity in the liutenant governor's office from his view. He added, however, "That screen would be there even if Ed Willey were occupying his office instead of the lieutuenant governor."
Willey was taken aback to learn that he, the senior member of the Senate, had done anything that unsettled Cooke, the senior member of the House. "He is my dear friend," Willey said. "I wouldn't do anything to upset him for the world."
Several House members suggested Cooke objects to the stream of young aides in and out of Robb's office. Cooke said he has been disturbed.
"If Chunk is doing anything obnoxious, he'll have to stop," Willey said.
I'm sure the speaker would like more serenity on his floor," robb said, adding, "Please don't get me into a fight with the speaker."
Robb also said he is hopeful that Cooke eventually will decide to provide space for him in the Assembly building. "It is the logical place for me, especially during the session," he said.
On this point, the Speaker was steadfastly noncommital.