The following is a quote from the CNN news:

I just don't see how the leopard changes his spots," said one GOP operative, who declined to be named because this person didn't want to appear to be rooting against the President. "He got to the job by drinking rocket fuel, and now people are wondering if he can sit down and delegate and be a responsible executive.

What does he mean by saying "he got to the job by drinking rocket fuel"?

  • 1
    They probably intend to invoke the association with drinking gasoline (very toxic and very intoxicating, you have to be crazy to do it, but people occasionally do it), and rocket fuel, which is more explosive (and more toxic) than gasoline (you have to be even crazier).
    – user31341
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 3:13

1 Answer 1


It's not a familiar idiom, and does not readily suggest some sort of analogy. However, Urban Dictionary equates "rocket fuel" with the psychedelic drug "PCP", and the quote could be implying that the so-called president could have been running on psychedelic drugs during his campaign. (Note that it may also be using the PCP suggestion simply as a metaphor for the candidate's bizarre behavior. One would have to ask the author.)

  • +1 yes, I have to agree, his behaviour was, and still remains, bizarre.
    – NVZ
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 3:45
  • 1
    PCP is actually classified as a dissociative drug, although it may have hallucinogenic effects. People taking this type of drug commonly have paranoia and depersonalization issues, and are often aggresive. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 4:48

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