Should You Drink During Tonight’s Senate Debate?

Cabo Wabo Tequila Shots

In what may be a political first, Julie Soderlund, a media whiz working for former Hewlett Packard chief Carly Fiorina's campaign for U.S. Senate, sent an email out today suggesting watchers of today's 5 p.m. debate (broadcast only in LA, on Channel 7 today; check your local listings for rebroadcasts nearer you) between the three Republican candidates play a drinking game. Julie's suggested instructions for the drinking game are below.

I wish Soderlund had suggested this before last Sunday's gubernatorial debate, a mostly content-free exchange of insults that might have been made more watchable. But you might want to stay sober during this debate, because it's likely to include much more substantive exchanges on jobs, health care, and other issues than the Meg Whitman-Steve Poizner contest.

Why? Because it's a Senate debate, and the federal government -- whether you like it or not -- is doing big things that shape the economy and the job market. You'll hear about the stimulus, about the broad economic impact of health care, about immigration and jobs, and other issues -- because whoever wins this senate seat (the Republican primary winner takes on incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer in the fall) will be joining a legislative body that is making big decisions. Also, the leader in the polls, former Congressman and Schwarzenegger finance director, Tom Campbell, is an academic with a taste for detailed for policy discussion.

The California governor's race is relatively content-free in part because of the state budget deficits. When the state has so little cash, there's very little it can do to advance particular policies. The federal government isn't so constrained because it can print money.

So I urge you to stay sober tonight (I'm a teetotaler myself). But Fiorina backers may feel like toasting her endorsement this afternoon from Sarah Palin, so for you, here are the rules: 

Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Debate Drinking Game

Take half a sip or shot depending on your beverage preference every time: (we feel the half-shot is important to avoid total inebriation within the first 20 minutes of the debate):
Ø Any candidate uses the term “fiscal conservative”
Ø Chuck DeVore or Tom Campbell reference their respective pocket Constitutions
Ø Chuck DeVore and Tom Campbell compliment, praise or otherwise seek to uplift one another
Ø Carly says, “Chuck, you know that’s not true…”
Ø Any candidate says they are the best one to beat Boxer

Take a full shot/sip every time:
Ø Tom Campbell references he was once called the “cheapest man in Congress”
Ø Tom Campbell references Glass-Steagall or Gramm Rudman
Ø Chuck DeVore says he was shot at in Lebanon
Ø Chuck DeVore mentions his high-tech billboard campaign strategy
Ø Carly talks about real world experience in creating jobs, cutting budgets and making a payroll

Extra Credit! Take two shots any time:
Ø Demon Sheep is referenced
Ø HindenBoxer is invoked
Ø Chuck DeVore mentions his “shorty” award
Ø The term “birther” is used

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