America Week 2015

US Presidents' 10 Greatest Quotations About Drinking

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Drinking sometimes makes you feel like the smartest, most powerful person in the world, so just imagine how the president of the United States feels after a few heavy pours. And even the presidents who didn’t drink (I’m looking at you, Lincoln) still had something to say about booze, and we care to listen because, again, they’re pretty powerful dudes. Here are the 10 greatest presidential quotations about drinking.

“An aching head and trembling limbs which are the inevitable effects of drinking, disincline the hands from work; hence begins sloth and that listlessness which ends in idleness.”
-- George Washington

“But, then again, there’s never a bad day for a beer and a weisswurst.”
-- President Barack Obama, on having the G7 summit in Bavaria

“I am entitled to little credit for not drinking because I hate the stuff. It is unpleasant and always leaves me flabby, undone.”
-- Abraham Lincoln

“It’s a pity he’s such a drunkard.”
-- Abraham Lincoln, on General Ulysses S. Grant (for a guy who didn't drink and only partied harder than 13 other presidents, he sure did have a lot to say about booze)

“It was the most delightful wine when drank in moderation, but that more than a few glasses always produced a headache the next day.”
-- James Madison on Champagne

“In short, I am getting nothing that I can drink, and I believe I shall be sick from this cause alone.”
-- John Adams

“There’s nothing left... but to get drunk.”
-- Franklin Pierce, after he was not renominated following his first term

“... this being a very favorite wine, and habit having rendered the light and high flavored wines a necessary of life with me.”
-- Thomas Jefferson in a letter in which he purchases wine via mail

“You have got to give a man a good reason to vote with you. Don't try to force him. A man can take a little bourbon without getting drunk, but if you hold his mouth open and pour in a quart, he's going to get sick on it."
-- Lyndon Baines Johnson

“Hugo, I don’t much care for your law, but, by golly, this bourbon is good.”
-- Harry S. Truman to a Supreme Court justice on his majority decision

Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist and has more experience with drinking than being president. Follow him to less-interesting quips about drinking: @LeeBreslouer.