Less than a week after the last debate, and it’s already time for another one. You probably think these happen too often. You’re not wrong. But for what it’s worth, last week’s debate was kind of entertaining. Elizabeth Warren ethered Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar went after each other and Tom Steyer was absent. And it set a TV ratings record—as it turns out, people love seeing billionaires called on their shit.
Expect more fireworks tonight. Bernie Sanders has emerged as the clear frontrunner after a decisive victory in Nevada and the knives are sure to come out for him. Several candidates are battling for the moderate vote and with Steyer back in the fold, we’ve got double the billionaires on stage.
Here are the drinking rules for debate number ten.
Take a Drink If …
Bloomberg is attacked about his sexual harassment allegations and/or stop-and-frisk. We’re rolling over this rule from last week. Warren absolutely hammered Bloomberg on this, but don’t expect her (or anyone else) to consider this finished. This is an attack well worth going back to over and over again.
Any time Bloomberg loses his temper. Rolling this rule over from last week too. Bloomberg has notoriously thin skin and hadn’t faced open fire from his opponents until last week. Odds are good he’ll lose his cool and offer up some kind of death glare or angry response. You’ll know this when you see it.
Bloomberg mentions releasing women from nondisclosure agreements. A big part of Warren’s attacks on Bloomberg were the potentially countless NDAs he’s had female employees sign over the years. In response, Bloomberg release *checks notes* three women from their NDAs. Wow. Brave. Expect him to bring it up, and expect to drink.
Sanders is attacked for/asked about supporting dictators. The knives are out for Sanders, with Bloomberg leading the charge against him. The Vermont senator’s comments about Fidel Castro made the social media rounds Monday, so expect them to be addressed front and center. In fact, drink for every explicitly named dictator and/or country.
Sanders is asked to denounce his “hateful online support.” The Bernie Bro narrative is still in full swing, and Bloomberg’s got pictures of vandalism to his campaign offices that was surely committed by Sanders supporters. Nothing screams violent vandalism like tagging a paper sign and taping it to a door.
Warren is asked about changing her mind on accepting Super PAC money. Less than a day after destroying Bloomberg and delivering her best debate performance, Warren backed off one of her central campaign promises. Her reasons are cynical as hell, but hey, that’s the game. But finish your drink if she rehashes her absurd claim that she’ll “lead the charge” on rejecting PAC money if other Dems do it first.
Klobuchar looks like she wants to kill Mayor Pete. Boy, did this rule hit last week. We’ve moved it up from the “finish your drink” category because we massively underestimated the abject disdain Klobuchar harbors toward Buttigieg.
Buttigieg is asked about his issues with courting black voters. Mayor Pete’s black support is weak and he seems to tighten up every time he discusses race. It’s unquestionably his worst subject and he’ll attempt to paper over it as best he can.
Joe Biden is confronted on lying about his Civil Rights activism. Biden keeps repeating this lie for some reason, and he’s only really been called on it by the internet. Might be cool to see a moderator ask about a decades-old, easily disprovable baldfaced lie, but we know that’s asking a lot. In fact…
Finish Your Drink If …
Biden doubles down on lying about his Civil Rights activism. Because fuck it, right?
Biden says he’s running for Senate. This might seem extreme, but it did happen literally yesterday.
Klobuchar says she’s “been in the arena.” She used this line four times in a single diatribe against Mayor Pete. Obviously we’re not going to tell you to finish your drink every time she says this, but if you want to do that on your own we’re not here to stop you.
Warren describes herself as a progressive who “gets real things done.” This is an obvious dig at Bernie but could easily be used as a line to bolster her progressive bonafides among moderates, the voter block she’s clearly now targeting.
Moderators ask any candidate if they’ll support X in the general election. This is a holdover from the last couple debates and will probably apply for the rest of the primary. Bloomberg throws in a whole new wrinkle, as well as a whole new crop of voters who refuse to hold their nose for him.
Tom Steyer does anything remotely memorable. He’s back! This was a staple rule before we sadly had to ditch it last week. But the likelihood is at least a little higher, since Steyer’s begun attacking Sanders and showing his teeth to other candidates. Even still, Steyer’s a docile, unmemorable kind of guy, so this remains a longshot.
Chug The Entire Bottle If …
Klobuchar actually kills Mayor Pete. Listen, we have to roll this rule over until one or both of them is gone.
Sanders refers to Castro (or any aforementioned dictator) as a “good guy.”
Steyer wins the debate. All it takes is one drunk pundit.