Column: Presidential Debate Means One Thing: Drinking Games

This story was written by Morgan Harvey, Daily Trojan

With tonights debate the fourth and final for the McCain-Palin, Obama-Biden showdown there is only one thing to do to commemorate the occasion: debate drinking games.

Theyve been played with movies and TV shows, drinking on certain words to make the entertainment, well, more entertaining. Now they are transforming politics.

The first debate between Republican nominee Sen. John McCain and Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama took place Sept. 26 in Oxford, Miss. With Jim Lehrer as moderator, the word of the night after the economic crisis on Wall Street was Main Street. It was said approximately 1,729 times between the two candidates, making it the perfect word to start the drinking competition it gave hope for the following debates.

With the second debate, the audience saw the magical chemistry between vice presidential nominees Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Democratic Sen. Joe Biden, bringing such words as Joe Six-pack and Maverick to the drinking game forefront. Every time those delightful words were said, we just had to take a drink. And when Biden had that great zinger saying McCains health care plan was the ultimate bridge to nowhere, a chug of beer was necessary.

Saturday Night Live even profited from the fun with Tina Feys final line as Palin: Oh, and for those Joe Six-packs out there playing a drinking game at home Maverick.

If the vice presidential debate was the highlight of the series thus far, then last weeks second presidential debate was definitely the climax of boredom. Tom Brokaw as moderator should have prompted an intellectual showdown in Nashville, Tenn., but with the town hall setting and the questions repeated from the first debates, it lulled even the most enthralled political minds into a coma.

It could have been a great drinking night with power ball words, fundamental, pork barrel and earmark and those double drinks of pork barrel earmarks being constantly said. But alas, I fell asleep. So for making it through the debate, you should have had an extra drink.

But what will happen tonight? Will it be a town hall snoozer or a VP hit?

The debate takes place at Hofstra University in Long Island, N.Y. It is the first time the presidential debate returns to New York after the first televised debate aired in which Richard Nixon sweated his way to defeat against John F. Kennedy. Lets hope everybody remembers to wear deodorant.

Moderator Bob Schieffer has promised to make this debate interesting by keeping the candidates on topic.

Im going to do my very best to keep them on track, Schieffer said. And if they try and get off track, Im not going to be bashful about saying, Gentlemen, that was not the question.

Drinking rule #1: If Schieffer readdresses a candidate to make them answer the question, drink.

Both McCain and Obama have tried to stress either their bipartisanship or how much they agree with their opponent as if we dont know they would love to jump across the Senate aisle and strangle someone during a vote.

Drinking rule #2: If either candidate says my friend Sen. McCain/Obama or my friends, drink.

Tonights debate format will have both candidates sitting arms length across from each other around a table it wont be as relaxed as the town hall setting, but maybe that is what we need. There will be last minute preparations leading up to the debate at Hofstra, such as giving candidates the actual water glass they will be drinking from to know its weight.

Drinking rule #3: If, by chance, passion exists at this debate and one candidate throws their water glass in the others face, chug your drink.

Politicians are infamus for avoiding questions, for talking around a subject. For Palin, it was accepted that if she didnt know an answer, she should talk about something she did know or tell an amusing story.

Out of these potential presidents who are facing a tumultuous time in history with the war killing our soldiers and Wall Street killing our bank accounts we need someone who will give a straight answer, not a spoof of a quip just to win votes.

Drinking rule #4: If a candidate gives a real answer to a question that isnt full of jargon and bullshit, finish your 30-rack of Natty Ice.