Campaign 2000: Fallout From A Midnight Ride

An old arrest for driving under the influence revives the issue of Bush's irresponsible youth

Maine police officer Calvin Bridges, now retired, had been expecting this call for 24 years. "I knew," he told the caller, "that someday it would come out." Erin Fehlau, an enterprising young reporter for WPXT-TV in Portland, had already obtained the docket sheet and the driving records. But with that confirmation from the arresting officer, she had a third and conclusive source for her scoop: that over Labor Day weekend in 1976, George W. Bush had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

When the Portland station broke the story at 7 p.m. on Thursday, it sparked a media...

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