Possibly my favorite thing about politicians' speeches is that they offer, figuratively wrapped in a beautiful silk kaftan and laid at my feet, an opportunity to drink the hell out of that bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey to the rambling words of a powerful person with questionable integrity, all the while pretending that I am politically informed. If you have to ask why, you obviously have been missing out on some of the greatest alcohol-charged political events ever, to be enjoyed from the comfort of your home. But come 9 p.m. EST next Tuesday, President Obama's 2015 State of the Union address will give you a chance to redeem yourself in the form of the eternally beloved *drum roll* SOTU Drinking Game.
The rules to a SOTU drinking game are as easy as pie: You pick a bunch of words that Obama is expected to say repeatedly, and drink whenever he does. It's simple, it gets you where you need to go (in this case, straight to drunken oblivion), it's no-nonsense — kind of what a really good friends-with-benefits situation is like, if you think about it. But if you haven't quite kept up with recent events, I present to you my list of words and their variations that I am 100 percent confident will guarantee an excellent night.
On domestic issues
- Obamacare / Healthcare
- Immigration — Beware this word! It will probably be repeated many, many times, as Obama has announced that he will exercise judicial power to push through comprehensive immigration reform, and is up against a headstrong GOP-dominated Senate.
- CIA / Torture — A big one, considering the harrowing details of the investigation report on the CIA's tactics.
- Terrorism / Terrorist — Can't avoid this one, unfortunately.
- College — The Chief recently proposed that community college should be free for those willing to work for it, so he'll definitely reiterate something along those lines.
On foreign policy
- North Korea / Sony — The Interview kind of sucked, but no weirdo foreign dictator will ever stop American movie studios from its right to distribute garbage films.
- France — Obama is sure to recognize France in his address, following the terror attacks on the French capital last week that left 20 dead, including three of the assailants.
- Cuba — Expect some mention of our southern neighbors, because of the whole historic U.S.-Cuba deal, lauded by many, vehemently opposed by some (ahem, Marco Rubio). Side note: it might be super easy to travel to Cuba sometime soon, so I'd suggest taking a break from listening for words to actually listen to them!
- America. America, America, America.
- Young Americans
- Folks — This is, hands down, Obama's favorite word. He's used it at least 348 times in news conferences. While acknowledging the report on the CIA, POTUS said: "We tortured some folks."
- Freedom — USA! USA!
- Republicans — Obama's numero uno nemeses; the Goliath to his David.
- Congress — Obama often urges Congress to make moves, and it's no surprise, considering the 113th Congress was the least productive in modern history; maybe the new, GOP-led Congress might fare better?
The best thing about the SOTU drinking game is that, though you really don't need to be all that politically-inclined to play it, it does give you a chance to somewhat catch up on current events. Also, if that annoying smart-ass at work asks you the next day whether you caught the address, try to lace your response with as much sass as is humanly possible, despite nursing the brutal hangover that is sure to come, like the stalwart you are. I promise it will be worth it.
Enjoy responsibly, folks.
Images: Rosanne Salvatore; Giphy (4)