Politicians With a Fondness For The Bottle

For as long as there have been politicians in the United States, there have been politicians with a love of booze. Ben Franklin is credited with saying 'Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.' George Washington made his own whiskey recipe. Large portions of the government structure were talked about over some drinks at City Tavern in Philadelphia. We know the founding fathers knocked back drinks, and little has changed over time.

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The tie between politicians and booze has continued all through time. Andrew Jackson welcomed his friends and family for booze parties during his Presidency in the early 1800's. Civil War hero and President Ulysses S. Grant was a famous alcoholic. The Kennedy family, whose family members have held many key offices in the US government, made their family fortune from bootlegging. Not too long ago, transcripts revealed that Richard Nixon was too drunk to discuss the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

In more recent times, many American politicians have been involved in incidents that were related to their enjoyment of alcohol. Former President Bush was a viral video sensation when video was released showing him drunk in an early 1990's wedding. A 'was he drunk or wasn't he' debate ensued between the right and left when Senator Max Baucus of Montana gave an angry, emotional speech about the healthcare issue. Republicans said he was drunk, Democrats said he wasn't. Recently passed Senator Ted Kennedy has a range of alcohol-related incidents, from a 1970's traffic fatality to a bar incident in 1989 in New York.

Local politicians get themselves in to even more trouble. Just in the past few months alone, Miguel Santana, the man in charge of the Los Angeles budget, was busted for a DUI. Joining him on the recent DUI list include Port Orchard, Washington Mayor Lary Coppola and Wisconsin State Representative Jeff Wood. The list of local councilmen and officials who have been mixed up with DUI scandals is quite extensive.

Of course not all officials with affection for booze get caught up in bad behavior. In 2009, President Obama famously held a 'beer summit' at the White House to help settle a dispute between a police officer and a Harvard professor. They gathered on the White House Lawn and toasted a brew. Obama, Bush, and other political figures have been snapped on camera enjoying a beer at various sporting events. Other political figures have been snapped at various events with a bottle in hand. This past May, Congress toasted American Craft Beer Week, making the government's love of beer official.

Drinking politicians isn't just American. Russian President Boris Yeltsin was noted for making many public appearances while being much less than sober. In 2007, rumors swirled that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was drunk at the G8 summit.

It's pretty clear that politics and alcohol have gone hand in hand all over the world for generations!

Remember though - accidents can happen!

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