Presidential Debate Game

The 2012 Presidential Debate Game

The objective of the game is simple: to score as many points as possible. While it is optional to replace points with sips (as in, sips of your favorite beverage), the point system better quantifies results, and keeps us from getting drunk and/or sick.

Since this debate is not expected to delve too deeply into foreign policy, I've omitted likely scenarios that refer to events abroad.

I've separated the Debate Game into 3 categories: Speech, Gesticulation, and Events. Assigned point values for each expression, gesture, or event are listed to the left of each example. Give yourself that number of points each time it happens.

Each time something on the list below happens, and you give yourself points, you have the option to DOUBLE DOWN by placing a $10,000 bet on the event happening again before the end of the debate. If the speech or physical gesticulation or event does take place as you have predicted, you get all of your opponent's points thus far. If the event does not take place for the duration of the debate, you forfeit the game. In other words, 'doubling down' is politically risky, but the rewards can be great.


When Obama says:

(1) "Let me be perfectly/absolutely clear" (or some combination thereof)
(1) "Let Detroit go bankrupt" (in reference to Romney's infamous op-ed)
(1) "Math"
(1) "Voucher"
(1) "Government can't solve all our problems."
(2) "Self deportation" (in reference to Romney)
(2) " us into this mess in the first place"
(2) "Bain"
(3) Mentions "The Congressional Budget Office"
(3) "Forty Seven Percent"
(3) "Double down on trickle down"

When Romney says:

(1) "Job Creators"
(1) "Failed economic policies"
(1) "Another four years"
(1) "...apologize for America" (in reference to Obama)
(2) "Why, just the other day..." (in reference to some damning statement / act made by Obama or his team)
(2) "One hundred percent"
(2) "Let the States decide"
(2) "Inelegant" / "Inelegantly stated"
(3) "Bucket" (in reference to the $17,000 deduction cap)
(3) "Joe Biden" / "Middle class has been buried"

When either Obama or Romney says:

(1) "My opponent"
(1) "The promise of America"
(1) "I think the American People understand..."; "The American People know..."
(3) "Jim" (when appealing to debate moderator Jim Lehrer)


When Obama:

(1) Wags or points a crooked finger
(1) Looks down his nose at Romney
(2) Has a brain fart ('Uhhh...ummmm' and pauses for an uncomfortably long time
(5) Mentions Bill Clinton

When Romney:

(1) Laughs nervously
(1) Mentions the Libyan Embassy attack
(2) Stammers
(5) Picks a fight with the moderator
(5) Mentions Paul Ryan
(10) Successfully executes one of his many prepared ZINGERS
(50) Offers to bet Obama $10,000

When Obama or Romney:

(1) Fidgets
(2) Laughs nervously or grins as the other insults them



(1) Either candidate opens by thanking the University for hosting the debate
(1) Either candidate closes by saying 'God Bless America'
(2) The crowd says 'oooh'
(2) The crowd boos
(5) Jim Lehrer calls a candidate out for not answering the question
(10) During the debate, Gary Johnson mentions Obama being a child murderer
(10) During the debate, Gary Johnson mentions the word 'drone' or 'Guantanamo'
(50) Either candidate mentions Gary Johnson


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