Dan Winslow's possible Senate bid was getting some major support from the bro demographic after Mother Jones reminded everyone he once held a fundraiser that invited people to play beer pong with him. But a (possibly too) thorough investigation reveals that the former Mitt Romney aid may have been playing a literally watered-down, Romney-friendly version of the (possibly too) popular drinking game.
First of all, Dan Winslow is a 54-year-old Republican career politician. A beer-swilling, not-inhaling-but-still-spliff-hitting college bro he is not. But back in the easier days of September 2011, long before he announced he was 99-percent sure he's going to run for John Kerry's open Senate seat in Massachusetts, he held a beer pong-based fundraiser. It cost $100 to get in, but still: It showed that he's pretty cool, if you can afford to hang out at his parties. After Mother Jones put up their story today, people were impressed with how cool a Republican from Massachusetts could be:
This is how everyone should campaign. motherjones.com/mojo/2013/02/d…— Elizabeth Kalmansson (@skigrl88) February 5, 2013
But there's one small detail that's bothering us. Per the Medfield Press (emphasis ours):
Winslow's version was a "game of skill" using water instead of beer. The crowd was a mix of long-time friends and former work colleagues, as well as younger political activists.
On a related note, Dan Winslow's "Beer Pong and Politics" fundraiser last night in Boston was a big success, especially considering how many folks who might otherwise have attended were outside the city, working hard to give Winslow a new colleague in the House. I am getting a kick out of the news coverage the event has generated, and the press's insistence on generating "controversy" where there is none. The good folks who produced this clip from Fox Boston were at pains to find a couple of passers-by willing to express some small degree of indignation at the notion that a politician dared to use "beer pong" (with cups full of water, people!) to generate some interest in politics amongst the conservative yewts of the Commonwealth.
Okay, seriously, who plays beer pong with water?
That's unclear. The census numbers haven't come back yet. But enough people play for the game to warrant its own Urban Dictionary entry, the official dictionary of all bro language:
For lovers of the sport of beer pong (or beirut, however you prefer), water pong is the equivalent, but it can be played in a context in which alcoholic beverages would be inappropriate. The rules of this game are the same as the rules of regular beer pong.
The playing of water pong is generally used to avert binge-drinking laws — or, you know, bad press at a gathering sponsored by a politician. A bar or dorm can hold a "beer pong" tournament, but by playing water pong they're able to stay within the legal restrictions against binge drinking. That's not to say water pong doesn't have its own dangers. Dartmouth banned the game from its campus over fears it might cause overhydration. (Yes, really.)
A quick poll of fellow Atlantic Wire writers showed a fairly unanimous conclusion: playing beer pong with water is silly and defeats the purpose. It is not beer pong when you play it without beer. Yes, beer was present when Winslow played water pong. But close only counts in horse shoes, folks. And Winslow was not playing horse shoes.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.