As Monday night's GOP debate drew to a close, I was left wanting. The candidates had said their piece, but one major question lingered, the question on which the world ultimately turns: Which candidate would I most like to have a beer with? Upon reviewing my notes, here are my conclusions:
Ron Paul is someone you might want to have a beer with, but, please, nobody bring up the Federal Reserve.
Herman Cain is someone you would want to listen to talk about beer, preferably in list form, just to hear his beautiful cadence. You should hope he doesn't try to get too specific -- but don't worry, he won't -- because it will quickly become less impressive when you realize he knows almost nothing about beer.
Romney doesn't drink beer, but if he did, he would do it in the least offensive manner imaginable; although, in the back of your head you would be thinking Did he just manage to make sipping from that bottle seem disingenuous? How?! Now if you're looking at a beer company and thinking about a leveraged buy-out, he is your man, and you know where to find him. He's the one over there telling two different ladies they made the best potato salad at the cookout.
Tim Pawlenty is someone you could tolerate having a beer with, but you wish he would stop trying to be folksy. Let the beer do the talking for a while, Tim. You could be telling me where to find a buried treasure and I still couldn't stay interested for more than 15 seconds. You'll get your hopes up when he tells you he's going to call the bartender out for his watery beer, but then he'll saunter up to the bar and say "Great beer, sir! Now, who wants to here some bad jokes awkwardly delivered?"
Newt Gingrich is someone who would insist we fundamentally challenge the way we address drinking beer and then recommend several books he wrote on the subject that are somehow also about Ronald Reagan. By the time he's done talking, all the other guests will have abruptly left, and you'll have to hang out with him alone while listening to him talk about the '90s until Callista comes to pick him up. She'll bring a copy of their latest documentary, though, and insist you all watch it together. And yes, it's about Ronald Reagan.
Michele Bachmann is someone you should have a beer with only if you fully understand the risk of her being sent completely off the rails, because you can't predict how someone with such a precariously balanced psyche is going to react to their first beer. But if you're looking to live dangerously, she's your beer-mate.
Rick Santorum is someone you absolutely don't want to have a beer with. Unless, of course, Dan Savage is there.
So after the second official GOP debate, the answer to the beer question remains inconclusive. It may reach the point -- and I can't believe I'm stooping to this level so soon -- where the candidates should be judged on the articulation of their policy positions.