THE PRESIDENCY by HUGH SIDEY: In Defense of the Martini

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Meantime, Carter has stirred the martini lovers, admittedly depleted since the days of Franklin Roosevelt, a two-before-dinner man whose evening blending (4 parts gin, 1 part vermouth) was a dramatic triumph.

From Palm Springs come the genial protests of Gerald Ford, who also liked to close the day with two martinis (5 to 1) and when things went well (or badly) had three. The ghost of De Voto is walking the land, recalling the poetry in the first martini: "The rat stops gnawing in the wood, the dungeon walls withdraw, the weight is lifted . . . your pulse steadies and the sun has found your heart . . . the day was not bad, the season has not been bad, there is sense and even promise in going on."

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