Does Drinking Make Someone A Better President?

FDR DrinkingTimothy Egan breaks down the drinking habits of past presidents in his opinion piece in the New York Times:

We know from a rare personal admission that Mitt Romney experienced a faint whiff of alcohol, a long, long time ago. “I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once as a wayward teenager,” he said last November, “and never tried it again …

… The last president to swear off alcohol was George W. Bush, who seems doomed to have his name forever followed by the words, “and we know how that turned out.” During his misspent youth, W. was a heavy drinker and considered quite the cutup, but was also obnoxious, smashing his car into trash cans and challenging his father to go “mano a mano.”…

… Jimmy Carter was a teetotaler, and he earned his one-term status. Were the two connected? Can’t say. But his temperance (though he now drinks wine) was much harder on White House visitors than the White House occupant …

… Franklin D. Roosevelt was a martini drinker, much to Eleanor’s displeasure, and an extraordinary president. Again, was there a connection? Solving a Great Depression and crushing the Nazi war machine — aided by the oft-besotted Winston Churchill — is a pretty strong brief…

Read More: New York Times

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  • Territory Band

    Correlation does not necessarily imply causation. I.e., a President’s alcohol consumption, or lack thereof, doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the success of his administration.

    But drinking *does* make people take more seriously the crap they read of Disinfo…

    • Calypso_1

      Wrong direction of causation.

  • saint_al

     Sure didn’t help Nixon.

  • rus Archer

    yeah, cannabis prohibition = stellar

    thanks, fdr

    • MoralDrift

      just drink your state-sanctioned alcohol like these successful presidents and shut your bong hole

  • Raz

    No, it just makes a drunk president.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I’d like to believe this story.

    But it may not be completely credible.  There are a lot of subjective factors here that are not readily suceptible to quantification for ease of data crunching.  I’m not convinced that this study appropriately controls for them, or has even identified all the relevant factors.

    I’m inclined to think that one of these factors, a certain generosity of spirit, a “noblesse oblige”, if you will, may have much more direct impact.  FDR’s genuinely populist policies definitely fit the bill, though it’s easy to see how a man’s innately merry disposition could be masked by a liberal recourse to alcoholic libation.

    Someone previously called out the counter-example of Nixon, and I agree.  Although he was a Brit, I’d also point out that Churchill, like Roosevelt, was also a toff and a wino–and from what I understand, a deeply unpopular, snobby piece of cr*p, outside of his wartime tenure.

    Tough to say.

  • Okarin

    the PR image now is that of well respected family man so their PR trainer would never let them be seen with bottles of hard liquor in a drunken rage as seen in movies

    • Okarin

       and the worse it gets the closer they’re to the red button

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    > Does Drinking Make Someone A Better President?

    Not really, but being a compliant puppet for the Elites really helps them stay alive
    and drinking could help that.

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