Humor - Top Presidential Vices of All-Time

As appeared in Skinnie Magazine, SEPT 2007

So, in this little bit of expose journalism, I’m outing the top ten US Presidential addictions of all-time. For the record, George Washington was a big time booze hound (and poon hound, if my records are correct) but he gets a pass. Also, Lincoln was known to cross dress, but he too, gets a pass. Seriously, they earned it.

5.) Thomas Jefferson – Weed
TJ should probably should get a pass too, but someone has to represent the founding fathers on the list. This guy had life figured out. He knew that we were all one humanity, despite our political differences. He was cool as far as inter-racial dating went, was more spiritual than religious, i.e. knew there was a greater power, but couldn’t define it. Definite pothead. For sure. Plus, he hung with Ben Franklin. Where do you think the phrase “high as a kite came from?”

7.) Andrew Jackson – Painkillers
Look, Old Hickory was the toughest son of a bitch that’s ever been President (yes, that includes Carter), and the only way to survive what he survived is good Old Fashioned Painkillers. At 13 he was taken as a POW by the Brits and was beaten because he told a British soldier to “shove it” when asked to scrub the soldier’s boots. Over his life, Jackson was in 103 duels and didn’t die. He got shot lots of times (he kept a musket ball in his lung because he could). He coughed blood, and preferred coins to paper money because it hurts more when you punch someone with a roll of quarters in your hand than a wad of twenties.

5.) Chester A. Arthur – Fashion
Granted, this is no drug, but being addicted to fashion is a bonafide addiction and President Arthur (much like his Dudley Moore namesake) was hooked on living the high life. He was known to change his pants several times a day so that he would look good – in stark contrast to Reagan, who shit his pants several times a day, or Clinton, who stained his pants on a daily basis. Known as the “Gentlemen Boss” for his style, Arthur was a modern day E! fashion show. He refused to move into the White House until after 24 wagons of old junk was removed so he could redecorate. Chester A. Arthur. Fashionista. President.

2.) FDR – Gambling
Little known fact about FDR is that he loved to watch the ponies run. Yup. He’d spend hours while Governor of New York at the track because “he just like to watch things run.” Yeah, right. The truth is that was in serious debt to the New York mob, and after failing to pay up one night they made sure that FDR never “ran” again, beating him senselessly with a Polo mallet. On the scene, Polo was mistook for Polio, and history was made. In spite of the mob and their actions, FDR would run again. Four terms as President proved that you can break a man’s legs, but dammit, he’s gonna gamble for the rest of his life.

1.) Harrison – Caffeine
They say that a warm cup of coffe is great way to start a day. However, in Harrison’s case, it was the worst way to start a Presidency ever in history. The former war hero wanted to prove that he was still the leader he was at Tippecanoe, so he guzzled a barrel of hot java and delivered the longest inaugural Presidential address in history. It would be the only “longest” thing he did as President. His caffeine-fueled rant lasted two hours, he caught pneumonia, as a result and died a month later. Idiot.

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