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America's Drunkest Presidents

If you're spending your day off drinking, raise a glass to these boozers-in-chief.

 

drunkestPresidents_Buren.jpg

Martin Van Buren (1837–1841)
"Party Hardy Marty" grew up with the language of the Dutch, but the eighth president would have been just as at home with a 40 of Olde English.
Party fouls? Historical records of the man with a lampshade on his head are nonexistent, but doctors confirmed that the Democratic-Republican developed gout on account of his liquid diet of bourbon with a side of bourbon.
Booze of choice: His cohorts nicknamed him Blue Whiskey Van. Take a guess.

 

 


drunkestPresidents_Pierce.jpgFranklin Pierce (1853–1857) 
Congressmen considered him a pushover. His son was decapitated in a train accident. He supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act, precipitating the Civil War. Indeed, the depressive Franklin Pierce had plenty of reasons to drink his ass off—not to mention he looked like George McFly.
Party fouls? Pierce was charged for running over a woman in his carriage in D.C.
Booze of choice: Pierce wasn't picky. After leaving office, the 14th prez said, "There's nothing left but to get drunk."

drunkestPresidents_Buchanan.jpgJames Buchanan (1857–1861) 
Another geezer diagnosed with the gout. This booze-infused politico was known to down multiple bottles of rye and brandy in a single sitting.
Party fouls? One night the dandy was allegedly poisoned with arsenic by warmongering Southerners. But for all we know, Mr. President drank himself into sweet, boozey blackness. 
Booze of choice: On Sundays, Buchanan would make a trip to the local distillery to pick up a case of Old J.B. whiskey.

drunkestPresidents_Arthur.jpgChester A. Arthur (1881–1885)
"The Gentleman Boss" brought the Manhattan party scene to a bunch of otherwise farm boy wonks on Capitol Hill.
Party fouls? He didn't move into The White House until months after inauguration because he wanted to redecorate the sonovabitch into something that looked less like a workplace. While living in hotels and boozing it up, Arthur auctioned off a shitload of The House's furniture, later discovered to be priceless antiques. (D'oh!)
Booze of choice: The mutton-chopped playboy always had his pad stocked with wine and brandy for early happy hour.

drunkestPresidents_Cleveland.jpgGrover Cleveland (1885–1889; 1893–1897)
The 260-pound beer-bellied New Yorker was diagnosed with oral cancer, requiring he fill a hole in the roof of his mouth with a rubber plug. It also prevented any suds from leaking out of his cakehole.
Party fouls? Cleveland, while still governor of the Empire State, was driving in a stupor, when his carriage lost control and his law partner was thrown from it and killed. (Double d'oh!)
Booze of choice? No doubt the brew. During his 1870 campaign for district attorney in Erie County, New York, he and his opponent agreed to drink only four mugs of beer a day. By the end of the week, the backsliders were both dragging tankards of barley pop to the saloon.

drunkestPresidents_roosevelt.jpgFranklin Delano Roosevelt (1933–1945) 
FDR boozed so hard, surely that wheelchair of his wasn't just for the polio.
Party fouls? Booze enthusiast that the Prohibition repealist was, Roosevelt was infamous for his dog crap bartending skills. His grandson on FDR's cocktails: "Many people—and this is record—say, 'The president made the worst martinis I've ever tasted.'"
Booze of choice? His Haitian libation consisted of dark rum, brown sugar, orange juice, and an egg white shaken in a frosted tumbler. "For women companions," according to his son, "when he wanted them to feel frivolous."

drunkestPresidents_Nixon.jpgRichard Nixon (1969–1974)
For a California native he wasn't too popular with the hippie kids, but c'mon: The man has a drink named after him. He couldn't have been all bad.
Party fouls? In the fall of 1973, just as the Arab-Israeli War kicked off, the British prime minister tried to ring Nixon about the bloodshed. But, according to Henry Kissinger, Tricky Dick was too wasted to pick up the phone.
Booze of choice? Nixon was all about the In-and-Out Martini, a downright silly concoction that required an ice glass be chilled with vermouth, then emptied before being filled with gin. A supreme waste—and an arguably bigger party foul than ignoring state calls.

drunkestPresidents_bush.jpgGeorge W. Bush (2001–2009) 
The frat boy at heart swears that the hooch never touched his born-again lips after he entered office. Which doesn't mean he couldn't have been ingesting booze in other ways, of course. 
Party fouls? In the 1970s, curious George was arrested on a now-infamous DUI charge. Another time out behind the wheel, the motorist-in-chief crashed over his neighbor's garbage cans.
Booze of choice? In previous interviews, Bush has alluded to drinking the nonalcoholic O'Doul's. Pfft—guess we'll have to wait for history to prove otherwise.
 


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