Hillary Clinton caused a stir over the weekend when, during the otherwise unremarkable Democratic debate, she showed up late to her podium after a commercial break. Her excuse: The bathroom was far and women take longer to pee anyway. Our assessment: A good president has to be able to hold it.
The incident in question:
After the uncomfortable minute or so during which Clinton’s podium was noticeably tenantless, the moderator’s question for Bernie was cut off by a particular impassioned bout of applause as Hillary—calm, deadpan, and about 500 mL lighter—sauntered across the stage. “Sorry,” she says with excruciatingly practiced composure.
Supposedly, and despite her vice chairwoman Huma Abedin timing her allotted tinkle time to the second, an unexpectedly long line at the ladies room (which was further from the stage than the mens) kept her from coming back on cue. Specifically, Martin O’Malley’s campaign rep beat her to it.
Now, assuming that her urinary escapade wasn’t just a calculated power play, we must ask ourselves: Do we really want the person chiefly responsible for delivering the nuclear launch codes to be subjected to the whims of an unruly bladder? In situations that demand her attention, a good president should be able to take a little pressure.
Sure, women have smaller bladders than men, and as someone who’s pushed a small human out of her cervix, Hillary’s pelvic floor muscles almost certainly aren’t what they used to be. But Saturday’s debate was only two-and-a-half-hours long, a perfectly reasonable amount of time to expect someone to remain urination-free. For instance, my own mother (who has birthed two more children than Hillary, and is also not running for president) seems to think it wholly doable.
What if Obama had told SEAL Team Six to hold on just a second, I need to take a tinkle? What if President Kennedy had left Krushchev—and the fate of the entire world—hanging in the balance while he dashed off to a too-far bathroom for a quick pee? President Johnson, to his credit, refused to let bodily functions get in the way of his duties; he regularly took phone calls and interviews while seated firmly on a toilet seat, or standing at the urinal.
While it would be great to see a woman in the White House, I’d rather have a president who isn’t willing to let a little urine get in the way of their meticulously scheduled responsibilities. Beyoncé doesn’t stop a show to dash off to the little girl’s room. Former astronaut Lisa Nowak anticipated how her bodily functions might get in the way of her goal (that goal being driving 950 miles to kill her ex-boyfriend’s new lover), and she wore the diapers necessary to stay on track.
And while the immature may make fun, a diaper-wearing president would be nothing to shake your head at. A diaper-wearing president is a responsible president. And if Hillary can’t even take charge of her bladder, how can she possibly take charge of America?