We are sorely in need of some cheerful news out of Washington, so I’m going to tell you Barbara Mikulski’s story about the Senate bathrooms.
Almost every veteran woman legislator, in every level of government, has a story about the shortage of bathroom facilities at work. Really, there needs to be a book on this. It could have a happy ending, and none of the chapters would involve Russian attempts to manipulate an election.
Mikulski, 80, has served in Congress longer than any other woman in history. She’s retiring this month after representing Maryland for 30 years in the Senate. Before that she spent 10 years in the House. She was a social worker who got into Democratic politics during a battle to stop a planned highway that was threatening the ethnic Baltimore neighborhoods she loved. It was an unusual career route at the time, but she was an unusual person.
“One of the things they said was that I didn’t look the part,” Mikulski, who is 4-foot-11, recalled. “… You know, chunky and I have a definite blue-collar style, so I wasn’t to the manner born, to the trust fund inherited.”