Literally the Best Debate Drinking Game In the History of Alcohol or Debates: Reason’s 2012 Vice Presidential Debate Drinking Game

Lots of political junkies live for presidential debates, but the truly addicted know that it’s the contest of wills between the vice presidential candidates that provides the purest form of political entertainment. 

In part that’s because the stakes are so much lower, relatively speaking. Tonight’s big question comes down to this: Who gets to follow in the footsteps of such political bright lights as Dan Quayle, Al Gore, and, yes, Joe Biden to become the next hapless understudy to the leader of the free world? But it’s also because even the friendliest VP candidates, free of the obligation to look respectably presidential, are frequently cast as campaign attack dogs. That means the vice presidential debates can be much meaner, and thus a lot more fun. 

Part of the challenge for these two particular potential veeps will be to appeal to working class voters who haven’t warmed to President Obama’s professorial style or Mitt Romney’s PowerPoint-ready business executive persona. Biden, who often talks of his working class background in Pennsylvania, will be competing with Ryan, a workout fanatic from Wisconsin with a thing for bowhunting, to appeal to voters in ways that their relatively aloof running mates cannot.

Which is why I’ve got my fingers crossed that Biden will show up to the debate in a freshly-sudsed 1984 Camaro and Ryan will arrive fresh from a workout wearing camo sweat pants, toting a gallon jug of protein powder, and sipping a Muscle Milk. And then the two can compete to answer trivia questions about professional wrestling.

But I’m not holding out too much hope for that outcome. More likely the contest will end up pitting a rambling, hilariously gaffe-prone former Senator who still thinks he has a shot at the Oval Office against a wonky-seeming, policy-factoid-obsessed current House member who probably does still have a shot at the presidency. Biden, the former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will try to outclass Ryan on international affairs. Ryan, the current Chairman of the House Budget Committee, will attempt to school his opponent on domestic policy.

Adding to the excitement, they’ll both be sitting down. Still, here’s hoping the showdown will be as uniquely amusing and hardcore as the candidates — the P90X of debates, literally.

And if not, you can always turn the evening into a drinking game. Here's what Reason's editors will be drinking to tonight. 

Take a sip any time...

  • Biden says “literally.” Take two double shots if he literally, literally uses the word twice in a row. 
  • Ryan references the Congressional Budget Office.
  • Biden accuses Ryan or Romney of lying about their plans. 
  • Ryan answers any question using two or more budget projections. 
  • Biden mentions his hometown of Scranton, PA. 
  • Ryan says the words “premium support.” Finish the bottle if he mentions “competitive bidding.” 
  • Biden says the Romney campaign is proposing a $5 trillion tax cut.
  • Ryan says they aren’t. 
  • Biden uses the word “Yo!” (with or without the exclamation point).
  • Anyone says the words “Simpson-Bowles.” 
  • Anyone mentions Big Bird. 

Remember: Reason encourages responsible drinking! How else will you know if the candidates are fudging the facts? 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • R C Dean||

    "You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills. Voters only want candidates who have great skills."

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    That would make for a more interesting debate, though. If not archery, maybe have them run the Wipeout! course or something.

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    Pedro for President

  • Peter Suderman||

    Budget balancing skills?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Federalism skills.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    BO is definitely Uncle Rico and Biden is Kip. Romney as Pedro and Chris Christie as Napoleon doesn't really fit.

  • ||

    Joe Biden: Attack Poodle or Attack Chihuahua?

    YOU DECIDE.

  • Mike M.||

    As entertaining as I'm sure our Vice Loon is going to be tonight, I'm afraid it's going to be a late afternoon and early evening of playoff baseball, capped off by tonight's important game for the Steelers. Got to keep sharp so I can try to hold my lead in the Reason H ampersand R Bigorati Pick'em league.

  • Tman||

    "Important" game for the Steelers? Speaking as a Titans fan I would say you can go ahead and book this one.

    We are simply a terrible football team right now. Matt Noodle Arm Hasselback and Michael "I don't wanna tackle anyone anymore" Griffin versus Big Ben and Your psychopaths on defense?

    Yeah, this should be a snoozer.

  • Brett L||

    I'm ashamed of Michael Griffin. There was a time when Texas safeties were damn hard hitters. He and Quentin Jammer have totally destroyed that reputation.

  • Tman||

    He has simply been embarrassing so far this year. He started to slip the last few years but this year he just looks lost most of the time he's on the field. Anytime there is a breakdown in the secondary you can pretty much guarantee that Griffin is the reason.

  • Sudden||

    Do you miss Cortland Innigan?

    I say Innigan because Andre Johnson beat the F out of him.

  • The Hammer||

    Earl Thomas and Kenny Vaccaro will bring that reputation back.

  • Houkt Un Fanixs||

    Are there any harder hitting safeties than Dashon Goldston and Donte Whitner?

  • Jumbie||

    Everybody picked Pittsburgh. Win or lose doesn't matter.

    It's kinda like the debate that way.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Why is Reason trying to kill off its loyal Hit-ampersand-Run commentators?

  • Flatulent Monkey||

    To be fair, for many of us playing this game would constitute a slightly above average weeknight of drinking.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Exactly. But I'm not an alcoholic, alcoholics go to meetings. My only drinking problem is that I'm not drinking right now.

  • Brett L||

    You make it sound like a problem when you write it that way.

  • ||

    Judging from the last debate Reason drinkers did not even watch the debate let alone play the game.

    They just drank and watch Farscape reruns instead.

  • SweatingGin||

    Last debate put me literally on the floor. Can't do that again tonight.

  • YinxDoo||

    lol, those bought and paid for politicians really crack me up man.
    www.PrivacyGet.tk

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "Remember: Reason encourages responsible drinking!"

    The heck you say, those rules could get people killed, stone dead!

  • Tman||

    My favorite part about this debate tonight is that The Obama campaign has been reduced to depending on Joe "You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent" Biden to rescue their suddenly flailing and desperate campaign.

    That's just hilarious to me. Joe Biden versus The guy who tore apart Obama during the Obamacare debates.

    HIGH Larious.

  • Ken Barber||

    Do you want me to even be ALIVE on election day?

    This drinking game is just begging for early liver failure...

  • Sudden||

    Do you want me to even be ALIVE on election day?

    Actually they don't. Better chance you'll cast a vote for Obama if dead.

  • Penis Carrot||

    You don't have to use MD 20/20 or other bumwater. Start with one of those nice foo foo lo-cal beers.

  • A Serious Man||

    I guess I'm lucky for liver's sake that I can't buy alcohol until my 21st birthday, which is after the election.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    You could probably substitute with your usual juice box or chocolate milk.

  • A Serious Man||

    I do like chocolate milk, particularly that big plastic blob of milk that you stab with a straw.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    You and I have differing definitions of "can't".

  • The Hammer||

    So get some cocaine, which is much easier to procure if you are underage, and substitute a line for a drink.

  • Rational Thinker||

    How dare Reason attack Paul Ryan, the great libertarian hope.

  • Mike Laursen||

    He's only a halfling-libertarian. We're allowed to make fun of him 50% of the time.

  • ||

    This reminds me, I polished off my vodka last night. I will have to acquire a fresh supply.

    With those rules I will have to take half-shots to stay conscious.

  • Proprietist||

    Sorry guys, can't participate. Laphroaig Quarter Cask is the only correct-temperature alcohol I have in my house since my refrigerator died and it's far too precious to down in one sitting.

  • Brett L||

    They have things like "gas stations" and "coolers" in your neck of the woods?

  • Proprietist||

    In Dallas? Yeah right!

  • Brett L||

    Just confirms everything I already think about that city.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Nice choice. Have you tried Ardbeg?

  • Proprietist||

    I think I did once, but my single malt experience only goes back about a year.

  • R C Dean||

    I have a bottle of that on order at my local. They usually call me when my specail order stuff gets in, but I'll have to drop by and see on the way home.

    How is it? Really, really, really good?

  • Proprietist||

    Extremely smoky, if that's your thing. I like it, but it's definitely an acquired taste. Not as drinkable as, say, Glenfiddich.

  • Sudden||

    The whole point of those Islay distilleries is to get that smokey, peaty, bomb of a scotch (generally my favorite scotch as well).

  • SugarFree||

    True tales!

    The father of my best friend in high school was a very accomplished and high-functioning drunk. He was a mining equipment engineer and made a lot of money at his job. His co-workers got together and bought him a $70 or $80 bottle of Glenfiddich (1987 dollars) for Christmas. That night he stumbled in, as he always did, and gave the bottle to his 16-year-old son and said "Here, you can have this. I don't drink cheap shit."

  • R C Dean||

    I love me some Islay.

    Currently on offer at the Deanery:

    Caol Ila 12.

    Laphroiag 18 (birthday gift from my paralegal, who knows how to keep the raises coming).

    Macallan 16 (for when Papa Dean comes to visit).

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Quarter Cask is one of my top 3 scotches.

  • R C Dean||

    It sounds divine. I can hardly wait.

  • Spoonman.||

    RC Dean: San Angelo's classiest hooch consumer?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Laphroaig Quarter Cask … far too precious

    $65/bottle here

  • Jan S.||

    I just don't like Laphroaig - it has a really funky medicinal taste. But you'll get my Dalwhinnie when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

  • benji||

    What is going on in that Biden picture?

  • Drake||

    He was visiting Mongolia or a 'stan.

  • The Hammer||

    That was when he got his first brain damage. An arrow to the skull. He was actually of average intelligence before that sad day.

  • Paul.||

    Breaking:

    U.S. Treasury Cowboy Claims Something Done Spooked Economy

    WASHINGTON—U.S. Treasury Cowboy Earl “Buck” Laramie gathered reporters around his campfire at sundown Monday, rustled them up some biscuits and bacon, and broke the bad news that “Somethin’ or someone done spooked the economy” recently, resulting in the nation’s financial system running wild and free across the high chaparral.

    “Sometimes, with your economy, now, there just ain’t no puzzlin’ it out,” Laramie said as he ladled out beans and watched the sun set over the National Mall. “It might be a rattler, it might be the wind rustlin’ the sage, it might be rumors that strategic metal prices are going to spike and drive up the cost of microchips used in cell phones and computers resulting in a marked decrease in consumer spending. Could be anything, really.”
  • Paul.||

  • Brett L||

    Link? Or is this original spoof?

  • Paul.||

    Pretty quick on that smokewagon, ain't ya cowboy?

  • ||

    but the truly addicted know that it’s the contest of wills between the vice presidential candidates that provides the purest form of political entertainment.

    I think a link to "The Veep" tv show is in order.

    In fact Sudderman should quickly write a review of the show.

  • Paul.||

    You're confused again, JC, that's a documentary series.

  • ||

    I would vote for whatever Julia Louis-Dreyfus ran for and i don't even like small women.

    She is 51 years old?

    Can you believe that?

  • Paul.||

    Watching her in that show just blows me out of the water.

    Whoever does the wardrobe, makeup and hair for that documentary series should win a fucking award or something.

    And putting aside my documentary snark, I would have never guessed that a comedy like that could hilight real acting chops, and Dreyfus has them in spades.

  • Chris Bauer||

    Ryan is carrying a GALLON of protein powder and sipping a second protein powder? I like it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I guess I'm lucky for liver's sake that I can't buy alcohol until my 21st birthday, which is after the election.

    You disgust me.

  • ||

    I am going to go out on a limb and say Biden is going to win this debate.

  • Drake||

    He'll do better than Obama but I'll bet against an outright win.

  • Hyperion||

    He has somewhat of a chance as long as he doesn't open his mouth the entire evening.

  • Sudden||

    He might win on style, but Ryan has the monopoly on substance (if monopoly is still defined as 28% market share).

  • Hyperion||

    If clownishness counts as a winning style, it won't even be a contest.

  • Paul.||

    I am going to go out on a limb and say Biden is going to win this debate.

    On what grounds?

  • Hyperion||

    Because he just has to, else the liberals might start doing harm to themselves.

  • Paul.||

    else the liberals might start doing harm to themselves.

    As opposed to harming everyone else?

    Go Paul Ryan!

  • ||

    Because he just has to, else the liberals might start doing harm to themselves.

    Did you just call me a progressive?

    I will let you on a little secret. I have decided that Romney and Ryan shall win the 2012 election. I'm not voting for them mind you. That is not how it works.

    Only I am allowing them to win by shear mind power alone.

  • ||

    On what grounds?

    On the strength of the narrative that Ryan is guaranteed to win.

    It seems way too strong considering Ryan has never been in a national televised debate.

    Everything seems fucked up lately about this election so absent any qualifications for Ryan I am betting on the counter narrative.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Literally the best alt text ever.

  • The Hammer||

    Literally?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Yo, this alt text makes Big Bird look tinier than Scranton, PA.

  • johnl||

    And well chosen photos too.

  • thom||

    The best drinking game for a these debates is to drink every time you want to punch one of these motherfuckers in the face.

  • Hyperion||

    why do you hate our livers?

  • jensfiederer@gmail.com||

    This is REALLY a bad idea.

    "encourages responsible drinking" and "Finish the bottle" are not consistent when participants might be drinking something other than beer, such as unblended malt Scotch whisky from the isle of Islay.

  • R C Dean||

    Could you elaborate? I'm not following.

  • ||

    You had me at "Drinking Game."

  • Ralph Wylie||

    I mailed in my Absentee Ballot today so I'm gonna skip to the "...finish the bottle" part just so I can get the full effect of Crazy Joe Biden. Maybe then I'll be able to comprehend this idiot, or at least be able to tolerate the wait for the elction results.

  • ||

    Wait.

    Did Biden run in 2008...

    Did he debate Obama? Who won?

    Why the fuck is this not being discussed?

  • Hyperion||

    Wow, 85 comments in 3 minutes?

  • ||

  • ||

    Yes, that is quite awesome.

  • Hyperion||

    Meh, I am so fucking bored that Joe better run out on stage and start chewing on Ryans leg like a wild frothing beast or I just don't see this as being any fun at all.

  • Hyperion||

    The moderator looks like and sounds like a liberal dingbat, tell me it isn't so?

  • Hyperion||

    wTF? Why are they sitting down?

  • Rich||

    Biden: "The last thing we need now is another war."

    You mean, besides Syria?

  • BMFPitt||

    Remember: Reason encourages responsible drinking! How else will you know if the candidates are fudging the facts?

    If you start to think they aren't, seek immediate medical attention.

  • YinxDoo||

    lol, wow you hitthat nail square on the head!

    www.UP-Anon.tk

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