Who is the biggest bro in the presidential race? It's probably the most important question that we'll answer in this election cycle. Barack Obama drinks a lot of beer ("Consumer research," The Washington Post writes, "shows that beer is most popular with the very voters that Obama and Romney are fighting over: middle-America independents.") — but Mitt Romney has an M.B.A. Paul Ryan ("the frattiest veep candidate in American history") loves Rage Against the Machine — but Joe Biden went to the University of Delaware. So who can call himself the Bro Candidate?
To answer this question once and for all, we've created a weighting scoring system in four important bro categories — sports, fashion/grooming, education and beer — and solicited opinions from leading bro experts. Read on to learn who is the biggest bro in the presidential race.
Maximum possible score: 15
Bro: Plays frequent pick-up basketball, fills out NCAA bracket every year, was once guest on Bill Simmons' podcast.
Con: Never played classic bro sport, didn't go to jock school.
Bro: Managed prep school ice hockey team; presided over 2002 Winter Olympics — among the bro-iest Olympiads in recent memory, featuring a breakout performance by champion ski bro Bode Miller. Bro expert Sam Biddle of Gizmodo notes Mitt's bro-y "love of water sport."
Con: At Cranbook, participated in the least bro of all sports — cross country; has a weird habit of saying "sport" instead of sports.
Bro: Standout high school football player, hosted the Syracuse men's lacrosse team in the White House.
Con: Football not that bro a sport, not as big a sports fan as Obama.
Bro: Was on both varsity ski and varsity soccer teams in high school, devoted follower of the P90X workout regimen.
Con: None. I mean, c'mon, ski and soccer teams?
Maximum possible score: 15
Bro: "Classic bro hair."
Bro: Baggy shirts
Maximum possible score: 20
Bro: Punahou School (arguably the bro-est school in Hawaii), Harvard Law.
Con: Occidental College, no fraternity membership.
Bro: Cranbrook, Stanford and Harvard Business; successfully rushed for Phi Kappa Sig at Stanford...
Con: ...but then went on a 30-month missionary trip to France and transferred to Brigham Young University. English major.
Bro: University of Delaware, Syracuse University School of Law; ranked 506th of 688 in his class.
Con: No fraternity membership. But, bro: U of Delaware, and Syracuse.
Bro: Miami University in Ohio; pledged Delta Tau Delta; double poli-sci and economics major; College Republican; interned in Washington, D.C.
Con: Did well in school.
Maximum possible score: 25
"Obama, in many ways, is perhaps the Ultimate Bro: He's charismatic, confident... thinks Kanye West is a jackass, partied a bit back in the day, isn't afraid to belt out a few bars of Al Green, and fist bumps everyone and anyone. On general POTUS swagger alone, you'd be hard pressed to find a Bro that wouldn't want to have a beer with him. In terms of Bro-related job performance during his first term, he wins big points for giving the orders to bring Osama bin Laden to justice and enacting health care reform that allows early twenty-something Bros to stay on their parents' insurance until 26." — Brandon Wenerd of BroBible.com
"Given Romney's teetotaler status I think Obama might win by default." — Sam Biddle of Gizmodo.com
"Romney is the CEO most Bros aspire to work for (or become) out of college: A little bland but driven and financially successful, like your friend's rich dad. He respects the bottom-line. But, for obvious reasons, Romney would be an absolute bore of a drinking buddy and, even worse, a complete buzzkill about many of the things Bros find important (i.e. marijuana legalization)." — Wenerd
"Mitt has classic bro hair, love of water sport, and Harvard is pretty bro-ey. (I know Obama went too, but Occidental cancels that out.) Romney's M.B.A. is very bro... Being a Mormon is super not bro, however." — Biddle
"Biden went to University of Delaware, which is bro central. Biden also has two wikipedia citations noting his frequent all-nighters to compensate for partying — he doesnt drink, but lots of bros swear they're done with drinking in dramatic bro fashion. Here's a picture of Jill Biden posing with some sorority girls; that has to count for something. They seem to be enjoying it." — Biddle
"Biden? He's just a wild card. He's the guy who makes crazy comments while drunk off his ass at the bar and everyone just laughs knowingly with him. He's the Bro you randomly call to go out with because you know it's bound to be a great time." — Wenerd
"Paul Ryan has some obvious Bro traits: He was in a fraternity, he likes sports, he noodles for catfish, he hunts, he pops bottles, and his workout regimen is insane enough to demand respect. In fact, he'd be our go-to friend for fitness pointers. Bros love a good story, so he'd probably also be a great dude for swapping hunting and fishing tales during an afternoon on the water or around a campfire." — Wenerd
"The consensus [on Biden versus Ryan] has been Ryan, but I think that's a copout, despite him getting that FratPAC money. 'Paul' is a pretty pussy name, wouldn't go over well during pledging. But Biden doesn't drink, so I guess Paul Ryan wins it by default." — Biddle
Maximum possible score: 25
Bro: Drinks tons of beer, all the time; brews beer in the White House.
Con: "Discerning Obama's true level of passion for beer is difficult, given that all his recent comments and purchases occurred at orchestrated campaign events," the Post writes. Maybe he's a Muslim?
Con: Doesn't drink. I know, bro.
Bro: Though Biden doesn't drink due to familial alcoholism, a dramatic swearing-off of alcohol is not an unknown bro trait.
Con: Still: he doesn't drink.
Bro: Has taken in $75,000 from the National Beer Wholesalers Association over the last 14 years; has "co-sponsored five pieces of legislation to slash taxes for brewers, distilleries, and consumers"; from Wisconsin.
Con: All of his beer-related legislation has been so-far unsuccessful.
Paul Ryan has the highest score, making him the biggest bro in the presidential race. But I'll leave you with a little Zen koan — a broan, if you will: isn't scoring high on a test the least bro activity possible?
Image by Jim Cooke, Photos via Getty and AP. Thanks to Brandon & Sam for their expertise.