The Presidential Campaign Is Underway...Can I Get Another?
It wouldn't be presidential campaign season if booze wasn't being used as a prop
This happened a couple of days ago:
“For the same reasons you don’t let kids smoke an addictive cigarette until the age of 18 or have an addictive drink of alcohol unti the age of 21, they should not be using an addictive social media product beneath the age of 16.
Vivek Ramaswamy—Candidate for the Republican nomination for president
He’s not wrong.
But more to the point, what we have here from a presidential candidate for a major political party is a twist on the old argument that if you can go to war when you are 18, you should be able to drink when you are 18.
Granted, the twist he’s making to this argument is one that makes a 180-degree turn.
This is the first use I’ve seen made of alcohol in the 2024 presidential race. Generally, you see two or three high-visibility uses of alcohol to make a political point during a presidential contest.
In 2020, it was Pete Buttigieg appearing in the cellars of Hall Napa Winery among high target donors that led to his rivals using the event to turn on him. Then-candidate Elizabeth Warren quipped, “We made the decision many years ago that rich people in smoke-filled rooms should not pick the next president of the United States. Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States.”
Then, again in 2020, there was the minor kurfuffle that came out of a bogus report suggesting that the wine industry supported Donald Trump.
In 2009, upon Barack Obama’s victory the year before, the wine industry reacted with a bit of glee upon discovering that the President had purchased a Chicago home that included a 1,000-bottle wine cellar. John Gillespie, head of the Wine Market Council, observed, “I can’t help but think that after eight years of no wine drinkers in the White House that (Obama) will have a felicitous effect on Americans’ drinking habits.”
As an aside, I’d note that if Biden or Trump wins the presidency in 2024, that will mean that in the 28 years from 2000 to 2028, only eight of those years will have seen a wine drinker in the White House.
But back to Ramaswamy.