TIME’s Presidential Debate Drinking Game, Round 2

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AP Photo, Pool

U.S. President Barack Obama drinks Guinness beer at Ollie Hayes pub in Moneygall, Ireland, the ancestral homeland of his great-great-great grandfather, Monday, May 23, 2011.

Like The Dark Knight or Godfather II, the second presidential debate could indeed be the best of the trilogy. To help you pay attention to the “debate that will matter,” TIME’s Washington, D.C. bureau has created their very own Presidential Drinking Game.  Feel free to choose a candidate, or divvy up the categories; but as always, drink responsibly: round 2 may knock you out. (And that’s assuming Joe Biden doesn’t make a cameo appearance.)

Lapel Pin

  • Choose a candidate beforehand.  Drink if your candidate has the larger American flag pin.

 Tie Color

  • If either candidate does not wear a tie that is red or blue, or some patriotic combination thereof, finish your drink.  If either candidate has an eagle on their tie, you might want to vote for them.


After the first debate in which Obama was slammed on his body language, both candidates are being coached on style, not substance.  If either candidate says, “I don’t want to be here” with the following actions, take a drink:

  • Checks his watch
  • Sighs
  • Looks down for more than 5 seconds

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

Big Bird

  • If Obama attacks Romney on Big Bird, drink some juice.
  • If Romney goes after Elmo, add gin to juice.


  • Last night Honey Boo Boo endorsed Obama.  If she is mentioned, toast her with some Yoo-hoo.
  • Last week Lindsay Lohan endorsed Romney.  If she is mentioned, stand up on a table and take a shot of vodka.  Do not drive home.


Democratic strategists were confused why Obama didn’t knock Romney for his 47% comment in the first debate.  Apparently they thought Romney would bring it up. So…

  • If Obama says “47%,” drink 47% of your beer.
  • If Romney says “47%,” chug.

Bain Capital

  • Neither candidate mentioned Bain, Romney’s former employer, in the last debate.  If Romney does, take a Batman shot.

(PHOTOS: Paul Ryan: All Pumped Up for His Closeup)

 Town Hall Format

  • The town hall format encourages the candidate to answer the questioner, not the opponent.  Take a drink if either candidate says, “Let me tell you,” “Look,” or “”Let me be clear” to the questioner, instead of his opponent.


  • The debate is in New York, a state that hasn’t voted for the Republican presidential candidate since 1984.  Drink if the moderator, Candy Crowley, calls on a questioner from Ohio, Florida, or Virginia.

Around the World

  • After the first presidential debate focused solely on domestic issues, and Hillary Clinton took the Benghazi blame yesterday, expect to hear something on the Middle East.  Drink if either candidate mentions Syria, Libya, or Egypt.  Or the Cayman Islands.

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


Both candidates love their family. See who loves their family more, by how many times a family member is mentioned.   The one who makes you drink more wins.

  • If a candidate mentions his wife, sip a Cosmo.
  • One of his kids: a Shirley Temple
  • His father: a shot of whiskey.
  • His mother: a glass of wine.

Take No Prisoners

  • If Romney attacks Obama for not closing Guantanamo Bay, sip a Mojito and smoke a Cuban.

Fired Up

  • If Obama says “Fired up,” take a flaming shot (carefully).  Depending on your political affiliation, you may respond, “Ready to go!” or “Ready to Go?”

 Off Shore Drilling

  • If Romney says “Drill, baby, drill,” lick your hand, dabble salt, drink tequila, lick salt.


  • If either candidate says “Oops” (a la Rick Perry), the game and the debate is over.

(COVER STORY: Blue Truth, Red Truth)