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Taste in Alcohol

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Obama: Beer Guy With a Wine Cellar
Barack Obama has a 1,000-bottle wine cellar in his home in Chicago but has yet to publicly say what might be stored there, if anything. While he may shy from associating himself with such an elitist tipple, Obama has endorsed the most classic of "blue-collar" beverages. "We like beer," he said while standing with Senator Bob Casey in front of Erie Beer Co. during the 2008 campaign. It is a taste he's apparently cultivating. Making a campaign swing through a sports bar in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Obama left seven-eighths of a Yuengling untouched, then chatted with a local about the low-priced brew, according to ABC News. “What do they call it? A Yuengling?” Obama asked. “Trying a Pennsylvania beer, that’s what I’m talking about … Is it expensive, though? Wanna make sure it’s not some designer beer or something.” The New York Times has it that at a campaign event in North Liberty, Indiana, Obama checked out what the veterans were drinking, announced “I’m going to have a Bud,” and took big swigs from the bottle. Finally, on May 6, at a bar in North Carolina, Obama demanded to know "Where’s my beer?" — "loud enough," according to the New York Times’ Caucus blog, "for the reporters to hear." He then scanned numerous microbrews on tap before asking for a “PBR,” or Pabst Blue Ribbon. (Proud Kenyans, meanwhile, have taken to calling Senator beer “Obama beer,” and the Sixpoint Craft Ales brewery at one point created a limited-edition batch of “Hop Obama” beer.) Obama has yet to show hard liquor any love. Visiting Russia in 2005, the Chicago Tribune reported, he "discreetly asked for water in his shot glass" during a vodka toast with "foreign leaders and local dignitaries." Perhaps Obama simply got all the drinking out of his system in high school, a time he admits was focused a little too much on partying and not enough on studying. As president, Obama and his vice-presidential sidekick utilized the healing power of beer to smooth over the racially charged dispute between Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley, who arrested Gates in a 2009 incident. The Washington Post reported: "For the record, it was Bud Light for Obama, Sam Adams Light for Gates, Blue Moon for Crowley and nonalcoholic Buckler for Biden."

Romney: Mormons Don't Drink
As a devout Mormon, Romney is an honest-to-goodness teetotaler. Romney remembered his parents serving alcohol at dinner parties but only "after learning, through sad experience, that guests confronting a dry evening often fortified themselves too well in advance," wrote David Broder and Stephen Hess in their 1967 treatise The Republican Establishment. Romney himself admitted to People that he once tried “a beer and a cigarette” as a teenager and never did it again. Now, as The Economist reported, "he drinks nothing stronger than Vanilla Coke.”


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