washingtonpost.com  > Politics > Elections > 2004 Election > Campaign Postcards

A Crowded Bathroom Break

Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 21, 2004; 3:26 PM

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. -- Bush supporters apparently need bigger bladders.

That may well be the most important bit of information to emerge from today's speech by the president here on healthcare policy. The speech itself was nothing unusual: The president said he was going to detail a five-point healthcare plan and then proceeded to list about a dozen points, each of them previously announced.

The real story was at the bathrooms. There was only one men's room and one ladies' room for the nearly 2,000 people assembled at the recreation center.

Minutes before Bush arrived, no fewer than 68 men were waiting for the toilet in a single-file line snaking through the hall. In an indication of the GOP gender gap, there were only about half as many women in line.

As it happens, there were other bathrooms in the facility, but the Bush campaign and the Secret Service shut those off for their exclusive use. Reporters were briefly allowed to use the White-House-only facilities, and this correspondent found three vacant urinals inside. Soon after this men's room encounter, the reporters' bathroom privileges were revoked.

© 2004 washingtonpost.com