Who was that affable older gentleman who was asked to show his identification in order to enter the State House Monday? It was Paul S. Sarbanes, the longest-serving United States senator in Maryland history.
Sarbanes, who retired in 2007 after 30 years in the Senate, was in Annapolis for a meeting of the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, on which he serves. After that meeting, he went to the State House to view an historical exhibit on the war, where he cheerfully complied with a request to show his ID -- smiling at a reporter's offer to vouch for him.
The police officer couldn't be faulted for not recognizing the former senator. Sarbanes hasn't worked regularly at the State House since 1970, when he was elected to Congress after four years in the House of Delegates.
Sarbanes said that with what's going on in Washington this week -- a bitter struggle automatic budget cuts set to take effect Friday -- he wasn't at all missing his old job in the Senate.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun