Alberta Premier Ralph Klein says that after battling the bottle for 30 years he wants to quit drinking for the rest of his life.
But he stopped short of calling himself an alcoholic. "I don't know, the word alcoholic is subjective," a subdued Klein said Tuesday after admitting for the first time the previous night that he had a problem. "I do know I have a problem, and I do know I'm going to deal with it," he said as tears rolled down his cheeks.
"I am going to go as long as I possibly can and hopefully end this journey without having another drink . . . . One day at a time."
Klein acknowledged drinking has interfered with his work. He said a combination of the pressures of the job and liquor have made it difficult to go to the office at times. Klein said he has even considered resigning.
"When you get up and you are feeling rotten and you wonder 'Gee, I feel this badly, do I really want to get on and do the work of the day.' You bring yourself around to do it but it is a lot better to do it with an absolutely clear head."
Klein's drinking is almost legendary in Alberta. People joked about it when he was mayor of Calgary in the early 1980's. Former premier Don Getty actually recruited Klein to the Alberta Tories in 1988 during a meeting at Calgary's St. Louis Hotel - Klein's former watering hole. Source.