Few things in history have been more frightening, in retrospect, than a drunk Richard Nixon. Sure, there are plenty of hilarious Richard Nixon drinking stories, and it’s fun to have a good laugh at one of America’s all-time greatest villains. However, finding humor in it all means ignoring the fact that Tricky Dick was once the most powerful man in Washington and the leader of the free world - all while being wasted the entire time. A sloppy, angry drunk might be alright to poke fun at while at a family Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s downright terrifying when that person is in the White House harboring the nuclear codes.
Richard Milhous (yes, Milhous) Nixon was born January 9, 1913, and died on April 22, 1994, and at some point in between those two events he became the president of the United States. Unfortunately for Nixon, he’s far more famous for losing the presidency than he is for winning it, having been the only successfully impeached president in American history. Speaking of, history has not been particularly kind to this man, and the litany of tales about his alcohol abuse and apparent avoidance of alcoholics anonymous certainly don’t help matters. Don’t feel too bad, though, because whether he was drunk, sober, or hungover, Richard Nixon was always an asshole.
Perhaps the most serious and obvious problem with having an alcoholic in the White House is the president’s easy access to the nuclear arsenal. While presidents generally don’t “push the button” when it comes to nukes, they’re the ones who get to tell other people to push said button. This issue came to a head in 1969, when North Korea shot down an American spy plane over the sea of Japan. Nixon was drunk when he heard the news, and he immediately ordered a retaliatory nuclear strike on North Korea. Luckily, Henry Kissinger got on the phone to tell everyone to wait until Nixon sobered up, and when he did, they said that he had changed his mind after “mulling it over,” even though all he was really mulling was a wicked hangover.
Being the president seems like an easy position to abuse, what with all the power and such, and it seems doubly easy to abuse when one is relieved of all their inhibitions. This was definitely true for Richard Nixon, the pisstank president. Nixon would routinely get angry and decide to fire people when he was drinking, and sometimes he’d even call them to let them know. Of course, Nixon was usually so blackout drunk that he’d forget which people he had fired by the morning, and everyone would just pretend it never happened. Some hapless individuals were no doubt “fired” on multiple occasions.
Richard Nixon did most of his drinking alone in the White House, but he also had some loyal drinking buddies who aided in his debauchery. One such party animal was the beautifully named Bebe Rebozo, a long-time friend of Nixon’s. On one occasion, Rebozo and a few others arrived at the White House at 2 AM with a mysterious trunk that they insisted was for the president. The Secret Service opened it and found a naked stripper inside, holding a bottle of champagne. The Secret Service refused to let them bring the girl inside, mostly because the sauced troublemakers were only trying to get a rise out of the notoriously sexually-repressed prez.
Richard Nixon was long associated with man’s best friend, mostly because he once made an impassioned speech about his dog, Checkers. However, that was not Nixon’s only canine-related caper. When the Watergate scandal was at its peak, so was the president’s depression and alcoholism. The pressure definitely got to Nixon, and he was witnessed exhibiting extremely odd behavior. On one occasion, Nixon was seen sharing some dog biscuits with his pet, mindlessly chewing on them alongside his four-legged friend. Presumably, whoever saw him doing that backed away slowly and immediately told everyone they knew.