on 09/11/14 at 10:59 amBooze News
“I think this would be a good time for a beer.”
So said President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on March 23, 1933, just before he reached for a cold one. I like to think FDR would have preferred PBR—if only for the cross-promotional opportunities—but whether it was a Blue Ribbon or a Silver Bullet, it was a red-letter day for the country, and there was reason to celebrate: Roosevelt had just signed the Cullen-Harrison Act, effectively ending Prohibition. It was a good time for a good time.
This week, it was another President’s turn to sidle up to the bar. “I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon,” President Obama said on Wednesday. But the President wasn’t celebrating. A few hours earlier, his party had taken a shellacking drubbing trouncing light soupcon of defeat with a drizzle of a Republican mandate. New Senate Majority Leader McConnell had just taken a victory lap held a press conference. Democratic pundits had spent hours licking their wounds vowing comeuppance. It was a bad time for a good time.
The comment itself was a callback to an earlier declaration he had made, at last year’s White House Correspondents Dinner, that he’d rather not have a drink with then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, thank you very much. “You have a drink with Mitch McConnell,” he pleaded with all two thousand-plus in attendance. And that comment was in direct response to the unsolicited advice he had been hearing countless times over the previous five years: that he should do more to court Republican allies.
And the best way to do that: he should have a drink with them.