MARTIN BASHIR: A teenage taste of beer aside Mitt Romney does not consume alcohol, which begs the question: Will total abstention put his candidacy, perhaps even this great nation, in jeopardy? That’s the conundrum that could be drawn by a column by the New York Times writer Timothy Egan who does not deal in half measures. Take George W. Bush. He enjoyed a warm relationship with alcohol until he decided to ditch the stuff after waking up with a hangover on his 40th birthday. A hangover--perhaps a perfect word to describe the condition of the country after his second term. Jimmy Carter was also a teetotaler. And given his personal crisis of confidence, he remains a famous Obama comparison among Republicans. On the flip side, many of the most legendary leaders have also enjoyed the greatest libations. Ronald Reagan certainly enjoyed a bottle of suds and remains a political hero for even the most sober Republican political politicians. How about FDR, to whom all drinkers should raise a glass? He managed to navigate the New Deal, steer the nation through second world war, while imbibing a range of martinis and of course, ending prohibition. And then, there is the current president--a leader who decided to poor cold beer when a racial firestorm threatened to break out involving a Harvard don and a local police officer. Thankfully, the beer seemed to do the trick. Which leaves with us this question: Who would you rather toast? For me, the answer is simple. An expert in drink and diplomacy, a man who said, "I could not live without champagne, in victory I deserve it. In defeat, I need it." The incomparable Winston Churchill.
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