Jennifer C. Braceras | Boston Herald | Monday, October 15, 2011 | Op-Ed |

Political junkies live for coverage of political conventions and presidential debates.

They’re like baseball playoffs — the most important games of the year, and the most fun to watch.

While many people find conventions boring and debates too acrimonious, the politically obsessed find them not just informative, but highly entertaining.

So it was only a matter of time before such events were turned into parlor games and drinking contests.

Enter and its accompanying twitter handle @debatedrinking. According to the website, debate viewers should “stock up on your favorite beverages, follow us on Twitter and check back here before each debate to drink along with us.”

How does it work? Each participant selects a candidate to drink to. It doesn’t have to be the candidate you plan to vote for — in fact, tells us, “it’s often more fun if it isn’t.”

Then pour yourself the alcoholic beverage of your choice, tune in, and wait. Every time your candidate says a word or phrase on the website’s pre-set list, you drink. So, for example, if you were watching Thursday’s vice presidential debate and chose Joe Biden, you took a sip every time Biden said “literally” or “millionaire.” If you chose Paul Ryan, you drank every time the congressman said “generation” or “Reagan.” is careful to caution players to “(k)now your limits and please drink responsibly.”

But many on Thursday would have found themselves two-sheets-to-the-wind had they possessed a list with the words “malarkey,” “stuff,” “that’s a fact” or “my friend” — terms Biden used repeatedly in a failed attempt to belittle Ryan.

And if you’d had a list that included actions — eye-rolling, laughing, snorting, throwing one’s hands up, or interrupting — well, then you must have been mighty hung over on Friday.

Those with “Jack Kennedy” on their lists must have known they would throw one back. It was only too obvious that Biden was dying to reprise Lloyd Bentsen’s famous line in an effort to depict Ryan as a presumptuous, young whipper-snapper. (Note to Biden: You’re no Lloyd Bentsen.)

Of course, you’d think that long time observers of Biden would have expected as much from the vice president and chosen to follow Ryan, rather than subject themselves to alcohol abuse. Then again, it’s hard to tolerate Botox Joe Biden without being at least somewhat inebriated, so perhaps the choice was rational.

Even Ryan appeared to be playing along — sipping from his glass (what exactly was in that glass?) almost every time Biden laughed maniacally.

But, all kidding aside: Even giving this administration a pass on its failed economic and foreign policy record, isn’t the fact that this rude and undignified joker sits a heartbeat away from the presidency reason enough to vote Romney?

Can we really take four more years of Vice President Biden?

Can we afford to send the entire nation to rehab?

For those who enjoy politics as drinking sport, there are more debates to come. But don’t expect a chug-fest at the next presidential showdown tomorrow night.

If your Romney list includes phrases like “exceptionalism,” “religious liberty,” or “$716 billion,” you may feel a little tipsy. Or if your Obama list includes “47 percent,” “Let me be clear,” or “inherited” you just might get buzzed. But it is highly unlikely that either Romney or Obama will come unhinged and empty the nation’s beer coolers the way Joe Biden did.


Share This