„The habit of using ardent spirit, by men in public office, has occasioned more injury to the public service, and more trouble to me, than any other circumstance which has occurred in the internal concerns of the country, during my administration. And were I to commence my administration again, with the knowledge which from experience I have acquired, the first question which I would ask, with regard to every candidate for public office, should be, "Is he addicted to the use of ardent spirit?"“
— Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Attributed by an unnamed "distinguished officer of the United States Government" in the Sixth Report of the American Temperance Society, May, 1833, pp. 10-11 http://books.google.com/books?id=h_c0wbAOQ5kC&pg=PA237&dq=%22The+habit+of+using+ardent+spirit%22. Later variant: Were I to commence my administration again,... the first question I would ask respecting a candidate would be, "Does he use ardent spirits?"