Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a playful apology Wednesday after she was so drunk at the Michigan-Michigan State football game on October 30 that she left the game “so as to prevent me from vomiting on any of my constituents.”
She confessed: “I had a few folks help me up the stairs and someone grabbed a wheelchair so as to prevent me from stumbling in the parking lot.”
Nessel joked about the situation in her apology on Facebook, calling it “tailgate-gate” and pledging “definitely never to have another Bloody Mary. Cause it’s gonna take a while to get that taste out of my mouth.”
The Michigan Republican Party criticized the incident and took issue with her apology. Gustavo Portela, the Michigan GOP communications director, said Nessel “is setting the wrong example by allowing herself to be publicly intoxicated, something that is punishable by law.”
He added, “The pictures surfacing from the state’s top law enforcement office are disturbing and embarrassing.”
Nessel said that she drank two Bloody Marys on an empty stomach while tailgating. She said that it seemed like a good idea “since as long as you put enough vegetables in them, it’s practically a salad.” Included alongside her apology was a picture of her slumped in her seat with a Michigan hat over her eyes.
She described what happened afterward, saying, “I went home, fell asleep on the couch, and my wife threw some blankets on me and provided me with some water and Tylenol for what she knew would be a skull-crushing hangover the next day. (Best wife ever!)”
Some constituents called Nessel’s apology relatable. One said, “It’s nice to see an elected official own up to a personal transgression with tongue in cheek humor and no obfuscation and denial.”
Ingrid Jacques, the deputy editorial page editor at the Detroit News, took issue with Nessel’s behavior. She tweeted, “Dana Nessel is trying to make light of what happened, but getting so drunk she had to be wheeled out of the game is a seriously bad look for our state AG.”
Nessel, a Democrat, was elected in 2018 after a tight race against Republican state House Speaker Tom Leonard. As the first Democratic attorney general in Michigan in 16 years, she withdrew Michigan from federal lawsuits involving abortion and LGBTQ discrimination. She also filed a lawsuit in an attempt to shut down the Line 5 oil and gas pipeline, alleging it violates the Michigan Environmental Protection Act. The pipeline made headlines in recent days as the Biden administration is exploring shutting it down.
The attorney general wasn’t the only one to lose herself at the nail-biting rivalry game, which was the first matchup since 1964 when the two teams were ranked in the top 10 in the AP poll. Twenty fans in Spartan Stadium faced a disciplinary response from Michigan State University Police and 15 fans were ejected from the game.