America’s love of cigars wasn’t limited to the population, it was pioneered by our presidents. Our country was built by cigar aficionados, which is why it’s an essential part of our heritage. From the booming fields in Connecticut to the plantations in the South, tobacco has been an essential plant for America. It helped build this country, so it’s no surprise that our early leaders adored cigars. Public opinion may have shifted over the years, but we can’t escape our roots.
Even though cigarettes have given tobacco a bad name, there’s still a special adoration for cigars. This is due to the fact that they are a work of art. To this day, some of the most influential people in America retain this appreciation. This wasn’t lost on our fore-fathers, & some of the most revered presidents shared this fascination. To understand who we are, it’s essential to uncover hidden facts of the past. For this reason, we have compiled a list of U.S. presidents who adored cigars. Prepare to be blown away by this surprising list!
President Ulysses S. Grant
When it came to fiery presidents, Ulysses steals the show. Allegedly it took 20 cigars a day to keep him calm, which was no surprise given the circumstances of his presidency. Faced with the horrors of the Civil War, Ulysses turned to tobacco to get the job done. He even used his public cigar smoking persona to win two terms in office. His campaign song was called “A Smokin’ His Cigar”, which boasted about the joys of cigar smoking.
This public affair with cigars may have won him the people’s adoration, but it was also used against him. His rivals made coy public messages that said “I smoke my weed & drink my gin, playing with the people’s tin.”. Even though these statements were controversial, they didn’t stop Ulysses from winning two presidential elections. This courage to be controversial makes him one of the most passionate cigar smoking presidents America has ever had.
President John F. Kennedy
Despite signing the infamous embargo against Cuba, Kennedy was obsessed with cigars. His love for smoking was notorious, & he even tried to make a loophole. According to a 2000 New York Times article, Kennedy’s embargo on Cuba was supposed to exclude cigars. The only reason cigars were added to the embargo was because of incessant lobbying by cigar manufacturers in Tampa.
In the end they had their way, but Kennedy still figured out a way to get his stash. The last night before the embargo took effect, he had his press secretary buy 1,200 Cuban H. Upmann Petit Coronas. This may have held him over, but the effects of the embargo were felt for decades. It’s a shame what a few companies’ nefarious meddling did to the industry.
President Bill Clinton
Even though his sexual escapades stole the show, Bill was equally passionate about cigars. He was regularly seen smoking fine cigars throughout his presidency. After nearly being kicked out of office, he was photographed buying an expensive Cuban cigar at Heathrow Airport in London. To top it off, recent “inside sources” have made some eye-opening claims about his most infamous sexual scandal. According to them, Bill was enjoying a Gurkha Grand Reserve during his fateful encounter with Ms. Lewinsky. Bill was an extremely controversial president, but everyone can appreciate his dedication to quality cigars.
Although the stage V clinger wasn't around during the terms of these presidents, we are sure that they would have loved having a cigar holder around for when they were golfing or when they had to put down their cigar to attend to matters of national interest.