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

Elise Hennigan
4.8k votes 1.3k voters 214.2k views 12 items Embed

List Rules 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. 

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John F. Kennedy


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. 

Pros:
- 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.  

Cons:  
- His promiscuity could somehow be a liability.
 

Also Ranked

#48 on The Most Enlightened Leaders in World History

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#42 on The Most Influential People of All Time

see more on John F. Kennedy
2
280 186

George W. Bush


George W. Bush is listed (or ranked) 2 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. 

Pros:
- 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!

Cons:  
- 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. 

Also Ranked

#79 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#5 on The Best U.S. Presidents in the Past 50 Years

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#14 on The Best Two-Term U.S. Presidents

see more on George W. Bush
3
416 312

Ulysses S. Grant


Ulysses S. Grant is listed (or ranked) 3 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!

Pros:
- He's a war hero. Somebody's gotta buy you a round of drinks for that.
- War stories. Literally. 

Cons:
- 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.

Also Ranked

#4 on The Most Important Military Leaders In US History

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#21 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#6 on The Best Two-Term U.S. Presidents

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Franklin D. Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?
Photo: FDR Presidential Library & Museum/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. 

Pros:
- 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?!

Cons:  
- 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. 

Also Ranked

#8 on The Most Enlightened Leaders in World History

#14 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#75 on The Most Influential People of All Time

#60 on The Most Important Leaders in World History

see more on Franklin D. Roosevelt