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Final Word: Perception of politician’s drug problems is all in the presentation

Trey Radel, a first-term tea-party congressman from Florida, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession.

In late October, the 37-year-old congressman bought a small amount of coke from an undercover police officer and allegedly it wasn’t the first time. When federal agents approached him, he dropped the drugs to the street, then agreed to talk to those agents in his home, where they found more cocaine.

Radel issued a statement in which he admitted to having an alcohol problem, on which he blamed his “irresponsible choice.” He also apologized. He avoided prison and will instead serve a year of probation.

It should be noted, Radel was a sponsor of legislation to test welfare recipients for drugs before they get benefits.

Hmmm. What about your congressional pay?

I know, Radel and Rob Ford are very different personalities. Rob Ford is brash, rude, overweight and blamed his crack use on “one of his drunken stupors.”

He called out his Toronto city council for taking away some of his powers, saying his crack use and references to prostitutes were isolated instances, but his mannerisms and behavior indicated they were anything but.

Doesn’t Radel’s statement about “the disease of alcoholism” sound better? That, and apologizing to his wife, family, and district, and willingly entering rehab.

My bet is unless Radel screws up again, he’ll get re-elected.

It’s not whether you have a cocaine problem, it’s how you handle it, right?