A charismatic partier since his school days, Bush liked to drink what he called the four Bs – beer, bourbon and B&B; But he had begun to realize that his drinking was jeopardizing his relationships, his career and his health. Although friends say Bush did not drink daily or during daylight hours, even those closest to him acknowledge privately that if not clinically an alcoholic, Bush sometimes came close to the line. Sometimes he would embarrass himself; more often, he didn't know how to stop.
"Once he got started, he couldn't, didn't shut it off," said Bush's friend Don Evans. "He didn't have the discipline."
Bush himself acknowledged in a recent interview: "I realized that alcohol was beginning to crowd out my energies and could crowd, eventually, my affections for other people. . . . When you're drinking, it can be an incredibly selfish act."