On St. Patrick’s Day, Beer Is Bipartisan

Written by Matthew Larotonda for abcnews.go.com

President Barack Obama and Rick Santorum have at least one thing they can agree on: Both men chose a stout Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The president drew his beer at a local pub in Washington, wading his way through hundreds of green-clad revelers. Meanwhile, Santorum drank his with traditional corned beef at a Missouri Irish restaurant.

The imagery of the events could remind voters of a question that seems to pop up in every election: Which candidate would Americans rather share a drink with?

The concept could seem oversimplified but it entertains a larger issue of character in politics. Voters want a candidate who is at both times pragmatic and likable, and, in a broader dialogue, the beer test examines talking points campaigns frequently disperse. Is a candidate “in-touch” with the electorate? Can they relate to problems facing Americans every day?

Obviously, the test isn’t set in stone. Mitt Romney didn’t imbibe anything alcoholic Saturday, as it would have conflicted with his Mormon faith. Likewise former President George W. Bush gave up drinking long before his candidacy, but that didn’t stop him from far surpassing his rivals in polls of his personality.

So ABC News asks: This election, who would you share a pint with?

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