Things to Do

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

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


Then go home and burn all your Pizza Hut menus in a ceremonial

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”

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.