Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?

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List Criteria: Vote up the presidents that you'd most like to spend a crazy night on the town with.

Did you know that some of the former presidents of the U.S. were huge drinkers and recreational drug users? Huge! Granted, most people in the country were pretty hard drinkers in the 19th century (Got a toothache? Whisky! Depressed? Gin! Starting your day? Cider!) But even in the context of their own time periods, these ex-presidents loved to party.

Here is the question: which one would you most want to go on a bender with?! Think hard! This is totally serious and important.  

Urban dictionary defines a bender as "the status of being bent for more than a day. Usually results in loss of memory, money, strange tattoos, and other things you'll have a hell of a time explaining." So, not just a couple of beers at a bar, but a full-on blackout fest. Which former president would you bring with you? WHICH ONE?!

Odds are, you don't know the personal story of each former US president. That's okay. Context has been provided as well as the pros and cons to consider before you make your choice. So grab a glass of whiskey to sip on, pull up a chair, and rank these ex-presies. If you're drinking already and feeling bold, rerank this list and put it in your own order. 
Collection Photo:  Russell Lee for Farm Security Administration/WPA
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  1. 1
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    John F. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?
    Photo: Freebase
    JFK wasn't exactly a notorious drunk, but he did have some hobbies that would make him a respectable bender-partner. According to many reports, he was a sex fiend. Famous starlets, staffers, strippers, whatevs. Some associates also say that John F. Kennedy enjoyed recreational LSD and loved to smoke cigars. Compound that with the fact that JFK was easily our most suave and handsome ex-pres, and you've got yourself a formidable contestant. 

    - JFK was an idealist. You'd want that kind of positive energy around you. 
    - He also had an "iron will" and could help you keep your bender on track.
    - You may get to meet Jackie O at the end of it all.  
    - His promiscuity could somehow be a liability.
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    Ulysses S. Grant is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    Ulysses S. Grant was a known alcoholic, a binge drinker. Some reports mention a personal barrel of whiskey that he'd sip from all day during the Civil War. He won that one. 

    Here's the thing: Grant's drinking problem made him an awesome leader on the battlefield. He was fearless, uninhibited, commanding. Grant was pretty much a failure in all other aspects of life, but give him an army to command and a glass of whiskey to sip on, and he'll make you proud!
    - He's a war hero. Somebody's gotta buy you a round of drinks for that.
    - War stories. Literally. 

    - Being a short man, Grant was known to have the lightweight tolerance of a teenager.   
    - Going on a bender with someone who actually has a drinking problem is always kind of sad.
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    John Adams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?
    Photo: Asher Brown Durand/via Wikimedia Commons/Public domain
    Think John Adams was a square just because he wore a powdered wig and was super into the Continental Congress? You'd be wrong! Dude loved to drink.

    In fact, it's fairly common knowledge that the Founding Father and second POTUS drank a large tankard of hard cider every morning for breakfast.

    - He could tell you what a "tankard" is.
    - Drinking at breakfast = no hangovers!
    - He started drinking at age 15, so you know he can handle his ish.
    - He'd have the ciggies. John Adams started smoking at age 8 and continued until he died... when he was 90.

    - The Former Prez stated that the reason why he drank in the morning was that it helped relieve his gas...TMI, buddy. 
    - Like most of our Founding Fathers, he could be a bit verbose. So unless you have patience for that, it probably counts as a notch against him. 

  4. 4
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    George W. Bush is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    Dubya is (allegedly) sober now, but he partied hard in his 20s and 30s. Jokes aside, this guy actually went on benders back in the day: DUIs, drunken stealing sprees, alleged cocaine use, the real deal. If you can ignore your opinion of the guy as a politician (or not, if you're a fan) then Georgie would probably show you an honest to goodness great time. 
    - George W. is funny. Especially when he is trying to sound smart! Everyone has a favorite Bushism. "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family," is a good one. Imagine the laughs!

    - For essentially being political royalty, he sure gets caught a lot for doing stupid things. (He's been arrested 3 times!) You do not want to get arrested on your imaginary bender. 
  5. 5
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    Franklin D. Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?
    Photo: FDR Presidential Library & Museum/via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
    A couple important facts to know about FDR, one of America's greatest Presidents.

    1. He repealed Prohibition, and it wasn't easy. The temperance movement had gained steam, and illegal bootleggers were more than happy for alcohol to continue to be illegal. Source

    2.  He could make a damn good martini. 

    - That martini, though.
    - FDR loved boating: sailboats, houseboats... party boats?
    - Most people know that FDR was wheelchair bound for many years of his life. You think they make a wheelchair-bound ex-president wait in line at the club?!
    - He maintained tight control over his image, which is why wheelchair pics are hard to come by. Sounds like a bit of a control freak. 
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    Grover Cleveland is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    With nicknames like "Big Steve" and "Uncle Jumbo," Grover Cleveland sounds like a natural drinking buddy. Fun fact: At one point during his 1870 campaign for district attorney of Erie County, New York, Cleveland and his rival agreed to drink only four glasses of beer per day -- only to later decide it was too restrictive an amount. 

    - Grover was a huge cigar smoker. And being the president and all, he could probably supply very nice ones. 
    - He married his best friend's daughter: a woman 30 years younger than him. So, that's sort of creepy.   
    - He had a weird gout problem in his feet, causing him to limp for many years. This could unfortunately result in a literal pub crawl.
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    James Buchanan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?
    Photo: Political Graveyard/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
    James Buchanan was a wealthy bachelor with a taste for the finer things in life.  He was also a heavy drinker. He reportedly could drink several bottles of alcohol in the course of an evening and could hold his liquor well. It's also been said that he was our first gay president

    - His money could come in handy: buying substances, making bail, picking up hookers. 
    - Bachelor life = pretty relaxed responsibilities at home 
    - Like many other presidents, he suffered from chronic depression.

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    Franklin Pierce is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    Franklin Pierce was (another) well-known drunk. He was vocal about it, too. Apparently, when his term of presidency was over he said, "There is nothing left… but to get drunk." ...kind of sad, but also just the attitude you need for a partner in crime. Commitment! 

    - Fact: Franklin Pierce had the best hair of any president. He had total swagger. 
    - He has the party ethic of a hard drinker. 

    - He eventually died of cirrhosis of the liver. Sort of takes the fun out of it. 
    - Pierce could be moody. Sad and moody. 
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