Embarrassing Relatives Plague Presidents

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Of course, it's not clear what (if any) fallout President Bush might suffer as a result of his brother. Certainly, as we look back on some infamous first brothers, we're reminded that family ties often put presidents in a bind.

Embarrassing Relations

1. Billy Carter: Redneck Powerbroker When his brother was elected president in 1976, Billy Carter gleefully turned his life into a national joke. He was Jimmy Carter's drunken sibling, who bragged about smoking pot at the White House and urinating in public.

At his gas station in Plains, Ga., Billy Carter swigged beer while holding court for reporters, causing his family endless headaches.

"I got a mother who went into the Peace Corps at the age of 68. I got a sister who's a holy roller preacher. I got another sister who rides motorcycles and wears helmets. I got a brother who thinks he's going to be president of the United States," he told reporters.

"I'm the only sane one in the family," he said, bragging that he could drink 20 to 25 beers, "but not every day."

Carter leveraged his celebrity into an array of products, including "Billy Beer" and his first book, Redneck Power: The Wit and Wisdom of Billy Carter,, while charging $5,000 for personal appearances.

"I wish Billy would have gone along with my plan to involve him in the government," President Carter once told an audience.

"I was going to reorganize and put the FBI and the CIA together. But Billy said he didn't want to join any agency he couldn't spell."

But President Carter had a harder time explaining Billy's actions when the first brother accepted a $200,000 loan from the Libyan government and had to register as an agent for the rogue nation.

When his brother lost his bid for re-election, Billy remained unapologetic. "I think I helped Jimmy as much as I hurt him," he said. "Certainly I didn't hurt him enough to lose 44 states."

Billy Beer never took off. Eventually, Billy had to sell his home to settle a debt with the Internal Revenue Service. And in later years, he mellowed.