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Tonight’s Presidential Debate: A Drinking Game

No matter where you’re watching this evening’s debate, here’s how to make sure it stays interesting.

Drinking rules to follow whether your state is red or blue. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Whether you’re red or blue, conservative in matters fiscal or social, or one of those wishy-washy commitment-phobes who insist they’re still undecided, there’s one thing we can all agree on: The first presidential debate was a complete bust, entertainment-wise. There were no raised voices, no “malarkey” moments, and no irate references to dead presidents à la Biden’s “Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy?”

Whereas for the first debate both campaigns attempted to outdo each other in an epic battle of low expectations, Team Obama has no such need this time around, having sent public perceptions of POTUS’s debate skills plummeting faster than Felix Baumgartner from the sky. Who will win? It’s anybody’s guess. But in case tonight’s town hall debate at Hofstra University is another all-around bore-fest, you can always play along with our debate drinking game to liven things up a little. (But please remember to drink “responsibly,” and leave your car at home, obviously.)

Round One

Warmup: We recommend warm domestic beer, or whatever’s on happy hour special.

One sip: Any time a candidate mentions “the American people.”

Two sips: For “47 percent,” “Bain Capital,” “stimulus,” or “auto-bailout.”

Swig: Any time Obama laughs with his mouth but not his eyes (the opposite of “smizing”).

Chug: Any time one of Romney’s hairs falls out of place.

Round Two

Spectators and supporting players: Time to go with a seasonal Oktoberfest brew or a nice IPA.

One sip: Any time an audience member looks petrified while asking a question.

Two sips: Any time a candidate tells a personal story to an audience member while locking eyes with them intently.

Swig: Any time Candy Crowley flexes her moderator muscles, Martha Raddatz-style.

Chug: If someone hates America enough to ask whether a candidate prefers sausage or pepperoni. Then go home and burn all your Pizza Hut menus in a ceremonial fashion.

Round Three

Specifics: It’s fine to go with wine at this point, or stick with Bud Light if you’re in a dive bar or a red state.

One sip: Any time the phrase “$5 trillion tax cut” is mentioned.

Two sips: If Romney says “small businesses,” “bipartisan,” or “Massachussetts.” (The last two, incidentally, have been downgraded from shot-worthy during the Republican primaries to “predictable” as November 6 nears.)

Swig: If either candidate mentions immigration, same-sex marriage, or women’s rights, however briefly.

Drink all the alcohol: If Romney talks specifically about a tax deduction he’d like to eliminate.

Round Four

Style: Time to move on to hard liquor.

One sip: When either candidate gestures with their hands.

Two sips: If Obama pauses for longer than three seconds.

Swig: Any time the President makes a self-deprecating joke (bonus swigs if said joke is about Obamacare or being henpecked by a household of females).

Chug: If Romney makes a joke only he laughs at.

Round Five

All bets are off: Grab whatever you can find and don’t let it go.

One sip: Whenever someone gets in a “zinger.”

Two sips: When you can find someone who’ll explain to you exactly what a “zinger” is.

Swig: Whenever the CNN tracking poll dips below 25 percent.

Chug: If we get to the end of the debate and neither candidate has raised his voice or used “my friend” in a patronizingly dismissive way. Then go home and cry yourself to sleep.

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