04/29/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Taverngate: Hillary's Foreign "Whisky"

Bigwig multi-millionaire politicians talk and talk about us regular folks -- but do they ever really stop and think about the impact their actions have on the little guy?

When Hillary Clinton, for instance, tried to establish street cred with the cool kids last week by tipping back a beer and a bump at Bronko's Lounge in Crown Point, Indiana, why did she choose a "whisky" made in Gimli, Manitoba? Did she think about the kind of pain that might cause our very own U.S. blended whiskey industry?

And when she picked Crown Royal as her "whisky" of choice, did she stop to consider how her elitist, big-city, pro-NAFTA favoritism for Canada might make the employees of small, rural, American whiskey distilleries feel?

Ever mindful of the little guy, I asked the employees of a small, rural, American whiskey distillery for their thoughts. Jeff Arnett, Master Distiller at Jack Daniels, got back to me -- and his story of a struggling American industry neglected by the free-trade Washington fat cats is so touching, I have to share it:

Dear Mr. Bellows,

Your message from last week was sent to me, and I'm happy to respond. I'm sorry it has taken a few days to get back to you.

Down here in Lynchburg, Tennessee, we've been following the recent Whiskeygate story with interest. We're glad that Senator Clinton has a taste for whiskey. We're just puzzled as to why she's drinking a Canadian brand instead of a good American whiskey. Especially when there are nearly 200 registered voters here in Lynchburg proper, and, last time I checked, there won't be any Canadians voting in our Presidential election.


Jeff Arnett
Jack Daniel's Master Distiller

Your friends at Jack Daniel's remind you to drink responsibly.

Sure, Crown Royal is so sweet and silky-smooth that even girls can drink it. Sure, it leaves the "e" out of the word "whiskey," which is nifty in a Continental kind of way. Sure, it comes in a pretty, cushy-soft, purple velvet bag with fancy gold trim that's fun to keep marbles in. And I'm not one of the many, many very smart thinkers who suspect that The Society of the Crown is an offshoot of Skull & Bones. But that doesn't mean it's OK to hate America! The next time she taps the bar and calls for a boilermaker, Senator Clinton needs to stop and think -- think about the small, struggling Tennessee business she neglected, the American jobs she put in jeopardy -- and those 200 American voters she turned her back on.

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