Obama vs. Romney: Which Presidential Debate Drinking Game Is Right for You?

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Saul LOEB / AFP / Getty Images

US President Barack Obama drinks a beer during a visit to Gator's Dockside restaurant in Orlando, Florida, September 8, 2012.

Few things in history have a more intertwined relationship than politics and alcohol — except, maybe, journalism and alcohol. And few things drive journalists to drink as heavily as politics does. Understanding this fact might help explain this year’s proliferation of debate drinking games.

Whether it’s listening to the outlandish promises that will never come to fruition, hearing the vitriolic tone that gets under even the thickest of skins, or simply the fact that so many buzzwords and half-formed ideas are repeated constantly over the 90-minute-long debate that you can’t not make a game out of it, few television events lend themselves to competitive boozing as well as the four upcoming debates. It seems as though almost everybody covering this election (at least those who aren’t working during or after the debate, that is) has his or her own version of a debate drinking game.

(WATCH: Who’s Got the Better “Gangnam Style” Parody Video, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama?)

Naturally, everyone has different rules. Some game drafters seem to want the public to get as drunk as possible; others seem to want to make getting a buzz as challenging as they can.

But you don’t have to be a political wonk to enjoy the debate. In fact, for those begrudging viewers lamenting the fact that the second hour of X-Factor got bumped from the TV lineup, at least a debate drinking game can help keep things interesting.

Here are some of best drinking games we’ve come across – and the craziest rules they contain:

National Journal: The D.C.-based policy journal has a lengthy list of drinking events that demand between one and three drinks every time something predictable (or unpredictable!) happens during the debate. Clearly they’re trying to get us sauced. You’ll tip your glass once whenever the audience boos or Chief Justice John Roberts is invoked. Take two drinks if you hear the words “stimulus” or “zinger.” And down three drinks if Mitt Romney challenges Obama to a $10 million bet on stage.
Craziest rule: If Barack Obama panders to the drinking-game audience by mentioning the White House beer, that’s three drinks.

BuzzFeed: An easy one for people who may have started celebrating a bit earlier, this is a simple word- association game, focusing on the terms we’ve all heard a dozen times before on the campaign trail. You’ll be drinking anytime you hear “47%,” “Obamacare,” or “Let me be clear…”
Craziest rule: If anybody mentions Mitt’s dog Seamus, Chug.

(MORE: The First Presidential Debate: A Test of Character, Not Substance)

Current.TV: Al Gore’s media company goes surprisingly hardcore. They ask us to “sip like a teetotaler” (leaving the specific definition up to you) when a candidate refers to a fellow politician as “my friend” or Romney refers to someone “building that.” Take a shot anytime Romney brings up the debt clock or there’s a mention of “dogs” or “airplane windows.”
Craziest rule: Dance to “Gangnam Style” if any candidate dares to mention gun control.

Wonkette: The D.C. politics blog isn’t taking the debate lightly, knowing full well that debating should be accompanied by a bottle of whatever’s closest. If Joe Biden, the “Ryan plan” or Romney’s tax returns come up? That’s a drink. And you should finish your glass when Romney mentions he knows a prominent restaurateur or Obama references a hip-hop song.
Craziest rule: Empty the bottle if anyone references a movie released in the past year to explain anything.

(MORE: The 10 Worst Debate Mistakes a Candidate Can Make)

Council on Foreign Relations:Nestled at the bottom of a debate prep blog post, the nonpartisan think tank is even encouraging our teetotaling tonight. Their game is the simplest, with only two rules: drink whenever Romney says “leadership” or “strength” and every time Obama says “folks” or “bin Laden.”
Craziest rule: Seriously, only two rules? That’s pretty crazy.

Reason Magazine: It’s a combination of trivia and boozing here. Reason asks that readers “take a drink and click a link” when any one of their rules is invoked. Take a sip anytime Romney says we should repeal ObamaCare or Obama brings up government funding of high-speed rail.
Craziest rule: Take a drink if anyone declares we have to out-compete our global neighbors.

SomeEcards: What, you didn’t expect this one to be serious, did you? In this satire site’s drinking game, players take a sip when a candidate refers to his wife — and take three shots if Mitt Romney makes a genuinely funny joke.
Craziest rule: Drink an entire handle of liquor if Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tenderly embrace, kiss, or call off the election.

Philly Post: In the game set up by this Philadelphia magazine site, take a shot anytime Obama says “middle class” or Romney mentions Jimmy Carter. If you’re watching on cable news, the pre- and post-game analyses are now bonus rounds: take a shot if Chris Matthews criticizes Romney while Brian Williams looks on uncomfortably. And if you’re keeping tabs on the action via Twitter, take a shot anytime someone makes you so angry that you unfollow them.
Craziest rule: If Steve Inskeep brings another commentator in to discuss things: Have some tea. You’re listening to NPR.

(MORE: Fact-Checking Obama, Romney)

Conservative Intelligence Briefing: Even partisan publications are getting in on the action. Drink when either candidate mentions his opponent in the 3rd person. Take a sip when Obama references Bain or Romney brings up the private sector.
Craziest rule: If a candidate goes over their allowed time, drink until the host stops them.

Clearly, the name of the game here should be moderation: please try to avoid drinking to excess. If the candidates hit all their buzzwords — and since they’ve spent weeks preparing for tonight’s appearances we can only expect they’ll try their best — it’s going to be a long night for those who aren’t careful, followed by a pretty rough morning.

(COVER STORY: Blue Truth, Red Truth)

10 comments
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Suzi Saul
Suzi Saul

Some Obama quotes that you'll never see in front of a national audience:

"When a company town sees its plant closing because some distant executives made some decision despite the wage concessions, despite the tax breaks, and they see their entire economy collapsing, they feel violence."

"a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded (as the military)." 

"I don't know if you've noticed, but rich people are all for nonviolence. Why wouldn't they be? They've got what they want. They want to make sure folks don't take their stuff."

"The philosophy of nonviolence only makes sense if the powerful can be made to recognize themselves in the powerless. It only makes sense if the powerless can be made to recognize themselves in the powerful."

"What's happening down in New Orleans? Where's your dollar? Where's your Stafford Act money?" Obama shouts. "Makes no sense! Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don't care about as much!" 

"We should be investing in minority-owned businesses, in our neighborhoods, so people don't have to travel from miles away. We can't expect them to have all the skills they need to work. They may need help with basic skills, how to shop, how to show up for work on time, how to wear the right clothes, how to act appropriately in an office. We have to help them get there...We don't need to build more highways out in the suburbs."

Is it any wonder that the following occurred in a Philadelphia school: One young woman chose to wear a shirt showing her support for Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy.  Her geometry teacher didn’t like it. The teacher allegedly told the girl to take off the shirt, saying it was like wearing a Ku Klux Klan sheet. The teacher allegedly threatened to use a marker to cross out Romney’s name and that of Rep. Paul Ryan, his running mate.  The teacher also allegedly tried to throw the student out of class. The teacher also allegedly said that Carroll was "a Democratic school."

mephisto00
mephisto00

I have to laugh at the poor Democratic Party people.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Obama is simply going to wipe the floor with him.  Romney is a rich pariah who simply can’t identify with ANY average American through his fog of lies and network of havened money.  He’ll only continue to get booed out of the room by every group of minority and middle class voters he comes across.  His religion and wealth is highly elitist and everyone in this country has had it with his kind.  We’re telling Mitt he can’t buy this election!  Read about the role of his money and his Magic Mormon Underwear are playing in the polls at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

clarissa2012
clarissa2012

Are you suggesting that the only reason we shouldn't vote for Romney is because of the jealousy we have for his success? Because that sounds inappropriate to me. Let's be honest, both candidates receive money from various groups to run their campaign so they both have money. I think what you are saying is misleading because it gives the impression that Obama is of the middle class when really Obama is the president so he is loaded as well. I do agree that Obama has the best chance of winning the election, but I don't believe it is because people severely dislike Romney. I think that Obama has the greatest chance because he is the incumbent. Unless the president really screws up, people are going to vote for him.

Roker
Roker

The president has his head down because he is wise and taking notes plus its probably uncomfortable looking into mitt romneys seemingly constipated face. First Presidential Debate Oct 3, 2012 Obama vs Romney Recorded Full Video Here - http://su.pr/2SiezU

Roker
Roker

The president has his head down because he is wise and taking notes plus its probably uncomfortable looking into mitt romneys seemingly constipated face.

First Presidential Debate 2012 Live Online Recorded Full Video - http://su.pr/2SiezU

JohnDahodi
JohnDahodi

Yes, Romney will not fail but only he will lose his shirt and underwear too, if he will not be careful during the debate and answer to the point carefully rather than making fun of any thing. Romney must know from the beginning that he has almost lost several battles but only left is the war and he cannot afford to lose it or he will be the worst Republican contender for years to come. As such Romney is a good person and human being too. He does care about the poor people being a Mormon, but he is sandwiched between the hardcore right wing religious fanatics of Republican party including brainless tea-party mobs and centrist independents.He cannot take a step in either direction or he will fall. Most of the Pundits have said that chances for Romney to gain anything from this debate is very slim. If he really prove that than the RACE is over tomorrow morning and not a single street dog in America will cry for the demise of Romney;s candidacy.