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Whether a candidate is someone you'd like to "have a beer" with has long been asked. George W. Bush beat John Kerry in actual polls about that.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz chafes at President Barack Obama because he "wants to be the cool kid and he wants to portray himself as the guy you want to have a beer with." Sour grapes. Four years ago, Obama was last — people preferred Joe Biden, John McCain or Sarah Palin.

But it's churlish for teetotaling Chaffetz to belittle Obama as "one who is encouraging kids to drink beer." Chaffetz doesn't need to be such a judgmental prude; he's giving Mormons a bad name.

As for an Obama-Romney beer-drinking poll, who'd want to sit down with that wooden guy, even if he did save the Olympics? Romney probably doesn't even let his hair down in the shower.

Chaffetz is correct that being a good beer buddy has nothing to do with presidential competence. No one would have picked the always formal George Washington to kick back with, but he put the country first.

Pat Braden

Salt Lake City