Ever since our first president fought his way into colonial Virginia’s House of Burgess by supplying voter’s with the best in home-made alcohol, a cold one has often followed a casting of the ballot.
Celebrate democracy this year by toasting to these famous politicians and their quasi-private drinking rituals — After going to the polls and snagging that coveted sticker, of course.
When Gov. Scott Walker ran against Democrat Mary Burke, he had to answer the electorate’s most pressing questions: What is your favorite Wisconsin brew? While his love for Leinenkugel, whether Honey Weiss or Summer Shandy, may seem as pure as the Chippewa Falls landscape, it’s also politics as usual. The company’s former Vice President Dick Leinenkugel actually sought to run against Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold as a Republican, and much of the Leinenkugel clan donates to the Republican cause.
While Walker pursued his red elephant all the way to Northwest Wisconsin, Baldwin followed the blue donkey for a similarly quintessential Badger State delicacy: Spotted Cow. This revelation is even more exciting as it’s a female-owned business.
Civil Rights leader Vel Phillips didn’t become the first black individual and woman to become Wisconsin’s secretary of state by going out every night. According to a presentation at Marquette University, Phillips doesn’t drink at all. She was probably too focused on fighting for equal rights in Milwaukee and shattering glass ceilings.
One of Wisconsin’s favorite political juggernauts, Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy, is most famous for hunting down “alleged” communists in the federal government and instigating the 1950s “Red Scare.” While dropping the term “McCarthyism” at a party can stir APUSH nostalgia or quasi-intellectual banter, it would also be a homage to one of the sconnie’s favorite activities: drinking. But his favorite poison existed on a wide spectrum. McCarthy was known for putting his liver through hell on week-long benders.
Hillary Clinton is a legendary drinker — while she can control her buzz, Clinton has no problem putting away a few for the sake of democracy. For example, in 2004, Clinton and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, were slinging shots for a drinking game in an Estonian restaurant. According to reports, Clinton handily won. While Clinton is known to enjoy a good pony-neck or glass of wine, her favorite drink is a stiff martini — the James Bond way, “shaken not stirred.” Fictional Democratic President Jeb Bartlet may not approve. He argues in “West Wing” that the ice waters down the alcohol, but it doesn’t sound too bad after a long day of campaigning.
In a shockingly humane turn, Donald Trump has said that he never smokes cigarettes, does drugs or drinks alcohol due to his brother’s death from alcoholism. While Carrie Fisher and others have speculated about the truth behind this statement, even during the presidential debates, perhaps use the image of Donald’s decaying, orange facade to sober up on election night.