December 23, 2010- George W. Bush’s decision to not disclose his drunk driving conviction in 1976 rates as the “single costliest political mistake I ever made” as written in his memoir “Decision Points”. Bush, at 30 years of age, avoided jail time by pleading guilty and paying a $150 fine with the state of Maine temporarily suspended his driving privileges. Open about his past drinking problems, Bush’s failure to address this incident four years before he ran for president almost cost him the White House.
His spokeswoman at the time, Karen Hughes, stated Mr.Bush never publicly disclosed the arrest because his then 18-year-old twin daughters were unaware of the incident. Bush has gone on record saying he quit drinking the day after his 40th birthday.
The offence broke headlines around the world just five days before the 2000 election potentially causing millions of social conservatives to switch their votes or abstain. Some questioned the timing & circumstances of this news release from an incident that happened 24 years prior.