Saturday, August 1, 2009

10 Drunkest Presidents in US History

I wanted to put together a list of former presidents, and the beer THEY would have ordered had they been invited to Thursday's "beer summit" at the White House, hosted by #44 himself, President Obama.

So here are the 10 drunkest American presidents, in chronological order. The list of prezzes follows after.

1. John Adams.

John Adams could really tear it up. When he got into Harvard at age 15, he was regularly drinking beer for breakfast. During a trip to Philadelphia in 1777, he wrote to his wife...

I would give three guineas for a barrel of your cider. Not one drop of it to be had here for gold, and wine is not to be had under $68 per gallon... Rum is forty shillings a gallon... I would give a guinea for a barrel of your beer. A small beer here is wretchedly bad. In short, I am getting nothing that I can drink, and I believe I shall be sick from this cause alone.

Now, if you're like me, yes, you thought that, perhaps, the whole giving a guinea for your barrel of cider was him talking dirty to her. But I'm thinking no... John Adams just wanted to get drunk.

In addition to his drunkenness, he started smoking at age EIGHT and kept going until he died. At age 90.

Cause of death: Old age.

2. Martin van Buren.

Martin van Buren used to drink so much that, apparently, he developed an Andre the Giant-esque tolerance.

He could drink for days and not show any signs of being intoxicated, so his friends gave him the nickname "Blue Whiskey Van." (I'm not sure what the "blue" is a reference to. Is it the same "blue top" that Jamie Foxx references in "Blame It On the Al-Al-Al-Al-Al-Alcohol", which is another blue-related alcohol reference I don't get?)

In the 1840 Presidential Election, William Henry Harrison's campaign painted Van Buren as an alcoholic, which contributed to Van Buren losing the election.

3. Franklin Pierce.

Franklin Pierce might have been America's MOST alcoholic president. He drank hard for his entire adult life and kept going right on through his presidency.

When the Democratic party decided not to re-nominate Pierce after his first term in office, he told reporters, "There's nothing left but to get drunk." Holla, Franklin Pierce.

4. James Buchanan.

Buchanan, basically, centered his presidential life around drinking.

He would get angry when the White House would only be stocked with small bottles of champagne. Every Sunday he'd go to a distillery to pick up a 10 GALLON jug of whiskey. He'd drink cognac... and up to two BOTTLES of other alcohol... every night.

And, by all reports, he could really handle his liquor. A reporter wrote "There was no headache, no faltering steps, no flushed cheek. All was as cool, calm and cautious and watchful as in the beginning."

But... while he was able to be a smooth drunk on the outside, on the inside, the alcohol was beating him up. His immune system was so weakened that he got the gout and got dysentery... twice.

5. Ulysses S. Grant.

Grant has the biggest drinking reputation of any U.S. president. Some reports said that, during Civil War battles, he'd just sit there, drinking, all day long.

When he was on his death bed he passed out and a doctor was able to revive him... and give him a couple of extra minutes of life... by giving him brandy.

6. Chester A. Arthur.

As president, Arthur would drink wine and after-dinner liqueurs pretty much nightly. He gained about 40 pounds in office, a lot of which was from constant drinking (and having friends over to drink).

He would get drunk so often on Saturday nights that he'd need a carriage to take him to church the next morning... even though the church was, literally, less than a block away from the White House.

7. Grover Cleveland.

Cleveland had a huge beer belly... because he used to drink beer daily. [Insert your own joke about how if he'd just drank on non-consecutive days he could've lost weight here.]

During one minor election early in his political career (the all-important 1870 race for district attorney in Erie County, New York), he and his opponent agreed to only drink four glasses of beer each day... so they could stay clear headed for their race. After a few days, they decided that was too harsh and they were going to take the cap off.

8. William Howard Taft.

From what I can tell, Taft was like the big fat guy in any group of friends who made things more fun. He wasn't that huge of a drinker himself but he was definitely the frat guy in the 5XL Hawaiian shirt making sure all of his buddies were getting drunk. He was the Bluto of presidents.

During his first year as president, one of his aides wrote, "The President never takes anything to drink but is most profligate in making others imbibe."

9. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

There are rumors that FDR was a big drinker. He always just seemed to find his way around alcohol.

One good example: A doctor put FDR on a low-fat diet, to try to help his hypertension and heart problems. But FDR became underweight, so the doctor told him he'd have to put on weight again. FDR's plan to gain it back? Drinking mass quantities of egg nog.

10. George W. Bush.

Bush famously was arrested for driving under the influence in the '70s and, according to the Liberal Media, he spent his entire time at Yale drunk and much of his adult life as an on-and-off alcoholic. Typical Liberal Media.

The other 43 presidents, and what they would have ordered at the "beer summit"

by Rick Vaughn on Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 10:33am
By now we all know that Obama had a Bud Light at the meeting with vice president Biden (Buckler, an import non-alcoholic), Gates (Sam Adams), and the police officer (Blue Moon). What would the other 43 presidents have drank had they been invited?

1 George Washington 1789-1797
George Washington beer

2 John Adams 1797-1801
Samuel Adams

3 Thomas Jefferson 1801-1809
Thomas Jefferson Wheat Beer

4 James Madison 1809-1817
James Madison Dark Wheat Ale

5 James Monroe 1817-1825
Monticello Ale

6 John Quincy Adams 1825-1829
Samuel Adams

7 Andrew Jackson 1829-1837
Bud Light

8 Martin Van Buren 1837-1841

9 William Henry Harrison 1841-1841
Bavaria Brewery (Colombia)

10 John Tyler 1841-1845
Pawtucket Patriot Ale

11 James K. Polk 1845-1849
James K. Polk Presidential Ale

12 Zachary Taylor 1849-1850
Corona (Mexico)

13 Millard Fillmore 1850-1853
Hoegaarden (Belgium)

14 Franklin Pierce 1853-1857
Taedonggang (Korea)

15 James Buchanan 1857-1861
Michelob Lager

16 Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865
Budweiser American Ale

17 Andrew Johnson 1865-1869
Metropolis Brewing

18 Ulysses S. Grant 1869-1877

19 Rutherford B. Hayes 1877-1881

20 James A. Garfield 1881-1881
Coors Silver Bullet

21 Chester A. Arthur 1881-1885
Anything he could find

22 Grover Cleveland 1885-1889
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

23 Benjamin Harrison 1889-1893
Bass Ale

24 Grover Cleveland 1893-1897
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

25 William McKinley 1897-1901
Beck's (Germany)

26 Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909
Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)

27 William Howard Taft 1909-1913
San Miguel (Philippines)

28 Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921

29 Warren G. Harding 1921-1923
Schlitz Beer

30 Calvin Coolidge 1923-1929

31 Herbert Hoover 1929-1933
some homebrew

32 Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933-1945
Miller High Life

33 Harry S. Truman 1945-1953
Ballantine Burton Christmas Ale

34 Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953-1961
Coors Light

35 John F. Kennedy 1961-1963

36 Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969
Lone Star

37 Richard Nixon 1969-1974

38 Gerald Ford 1974-1977
Duff Beer

39 Jimmy Carter 1977-1981
Billy Beer

40 Ronald Reagan 1981-1989

41 George H. W. Bush 1989-1993

42 Bill Clinton 1993-2001

43 George W. Bush 2001-2009