Members of the late American political party known as the Whigs (1824-1854) were notorious for “treating” voters to a drink at election time. Party organizers would even hand out little whiskey jugs with the Whig candidate’s name on it so that foggy voters recalled who had gotten them drunk.
The spirit of spirits ran through many Whig campaigns, most famously with their 1840 presidential candidate, William Harrison (you know, the guy who died after a month in office?). Nicknamed “Old Tip-ler,” his opponents came up with an election ditty for him:Hush-a-bye baby; Daddy’s a Whig
Before he comes home, Hard cider he’ll swig;
Then he’ll be tipsy and over he’ll fall;
Down will come Daddy, Tip, Tyler, and all.I’ve been trying to think about what kind of political giveaways one could get away with in the 21st century. (Whiskey is out of the question, right?)
I believe there is only one pair of foodstuffs so virtuous, not even the most principled opponent could object: A free “marmalade and toast” event! Think of the songs they’d write for that.
*My sources are here.