A New First for Women Senators: Bathroom Lines

Senator Amy Klobuchar described the scene as a record-high number of women senators gets ready to be seated in 2013.

Getting reelected with a huge vote margin could make a senator treat a room full of people like her close girlfriends, I'd say. But the truth is probably the reverse. Newly reelected Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar's disarmingly open manner is a key part of her persona, and has helped make her a popular political figure in the state.

 Washington Ideas Forum Conversations with leading newsmakers. A special report

Either way, she drew attendees at the Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum into her confidence this afternoon when she told them about one consequence of the record number of women senators elected on November 6.

"For the first time, we had a traffic jam in the women's senator's bathroom," Klobuchar said. "There were five women in there. There's only two stalls! And I'm not going to say who -- that would be really bad for decorum. There were five of us in there, two newly elected. So, very exciting."

"The women senators' group is very collegial," she continued. "We have 17 of us now. And we have dinner every other month in the Strom Thurmond room, which is somewhat funny ... with the statue of Strom Thurmond looking down at us. And whatever is said in that room stays in that room. We never talk about the male senators! Just kidding. But it's been very -- in all seriousness, the group has worked well together. ... Mostly we have forged these relationships."



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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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