Recently, the abject unpopularity former President George W. Bush experienced during his term has undergone a shocking transformation—he's now seen as a mellow painter instead of a shoe-dodging "maverick" who dragged the United States into an unfounded war. But before he ever became Commander in Chief, Bush was a typical politician's son, who was a total frat boy in college. He attended Yale University between 1964 and 1968, and those formative years yielded some pretty crazy George W. Bush stories.
As head of the Delta Kappa Epsilon frat, he got into a lot of trouble for theft, vandalism, and drugs. Other George W. Bush fraternity tales include him terrorizing pledges by branding them like cattle and basically being drunk 24/7. Bush has lightly admitted to his party days with DKE, but former classmates and friends tell the story of a belligerent Bush, totally unfit to be the leader of the free world.
Bush's Frat Branded Forty Pledges With Hot Coat Hangers
Bush served as president of the Delta Kappa Epsilon frat at Yale, an organization later temporarily banned at the Ivy League college for its misogynistic chants. But in George's day, his biggest concern was hazing new pledges. He oversaw the branding of 40 prospective pledges with a hot hanger in the shape of the Greek letter delta. In 1999 Bush, then the governor of Texas, opined to The New York Times that the brands were "only a cigarette burn," and that they left "no scarring mark physically or mentally."
On the same day, Bush forced pledges to endure hours of abuse—the group kicked and spanked the young men with paddles. Each pledge also had to "sit with his heads between his legs, motionless, for two to five hours." If anyone so much as coughed, they were kicked by an older fraternity member.
He Might Have Been Arrested For Using Cocaine
Bush didn't shy away from hard drugs in college. He was allegedly arrested for doing coke in 1972, but had the charge expunged from his record by a judge who was a friend of Bush Sr. Bush has never categorically denied taking drugs, and he has said, "I don't want some little kid doing what I tried." Bush's former sister-in-law alleged the President used coke at Camp David, too. About the claims, Bush stated:
"The cocaine thing, let me tell you my strategy on that...Rather than saying no... I think it's time for someone to draw the line and look people in the eye and say, you know, 'I'm not going to participate in ugly rumors about me and blame my opponent,' and hold the line. Stand up for a system that will not allow this kind of crap to go on."
He Got Arrested For Driving Drunk After A Boozy Contest With Tennis Legend John Newcombe
In 1976, Australian tennis star John Newcombe got into a drinking bout with Dubya. The two battled it out with booze, downing pint after pint in a bar in Kennebunkport, Maine near the Bush family compound. After they had already had about four beers, Newcombe provoked George by challenging him to drink a pint with his teeth and then again from the wrong side of the glass. Bush insisted he was okay to drive home, but he got pulled over by a cop. Newcombe said:
"The cop was writing him a ticket, and then Peter Roussel got out of the car and went over to the cop and was telling him he was George Bush's son, and the cop, his name was Calvin, goes, 'Oh my God, I've just booked the son of the director of the CIA. I'm in real trouble.'"
Bush had to pay a $150 fine and was found guilty of a mere misdemeanor.
He Tore Down A Goalpost To Celebrate A Yale Football Win
Yale football is quite a big deal, and George, clearly one of the school's biggest bros, loved to celebrate his team's successes. When Yale won an away game at Princeton University, George celebrated by vandalizing the other team's field. Longtime pal Clay Johnson told The Washington Post:
"The game ended, and we all poured out, and George was on the goal post. I remember it like it was yesterday. We tore that sucker down and the campus police said, 'You all are coming with us.' So we went marching over to the campus police station, and they said, 'You've got ten minutes to get out of town.'"