Is the Hillary Clinton campaign staffed with morons or do they just not care anymore? It is unbelievable that on the night before the Texas and Ohio (and Vermont and Rhode Island) primaries they would set up an impromptu press room in a freaking men's bathroom, complete with urinals. Yes. It's true. The WSJ's Jackie Calmes posted an account of the scene last night, including the tidbit that former New Yorker and Talk editor, Diana-tome authoress and journalistic grande dame Tina Brown was stuck "gamely typing away close to a toilet" — and not just any toilet: ETP was able to confirm from someone present that Brown was "literally inches from a urinal." According to the LAT's Andrew Malcolm, many of the press corps had begun their day with Clinton at 5 a.m. in Toledo, Ohio before crossing the country with her to cover her in Austin, Texas. No doubt they were thrilled — especially since they also got to enjoy dinner in the men's room, too. Tamales. Yes, tamales.
Not surprisingly, this juicy (eek, bad choice of word) story has been picked up all over the place, including on CNN's "American Morning" this a.m. (John Roberts seemed to be having fun riffing on possible chyrons for the footage — "leak" from the Clinton campaign etc.) and has been written up by Reuters, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, the Baltimore Sun, and was snapped up by Gawker's early-morning man Ryan Tate at 5:00 am (though the Tina Brown aspect of this item would have been catnip for old-school Gawker audiences, it's interesting to note that it's only gotten a meager 985 pageviews — watch it, Tate, that's a fireable offense!).
Clinton spokesman Doug Hattaway denied that any message was being sent, saying, "These accommodations should in no way be taken as a comment on the quality of our media coverage." Perhaps, but it sent a different message: That whoever was responsible for organizing this particular press filing center was an idiot.
Whatever the message was meant to be, whoever on the campaign knew about this and let it happen had to have known this would get negative attention and make the campaign seem churlish and vengeful. The bathroom in question was located in the Tony Burger Activity Center in Austin, Texas and is described as hosting "basketball, volleyball, drill team, musical events and graduations." Do y'think on the night before a hugely important primary they might've been able to do a little better?
Update: Here's a video of the proceedings, for extra fun:
Reporting from the Men's Room [WSJ]
Hillary Clinton puts the media in its place -- the men's room [LAT]
Scenes from the trail: A creative filing center [CNN Political Ticker]