So the beer summit between President Obama, Prof Henry Gates, and Sgt James Crowley finally happened Thursday afternoon. VP Joe Biden also joined the party to make it an even four drinkers. I have had beer with people I don't like. I think I've even drank with people I hate. Alcohol breaks down barriers and kills everything...including brain cells. The question for this beer summit was, does it solve anything?
First, an analysis of the beers. Obama went for Bud Light. Good choice for an American President, although the beer is now officially Belgian-owned. Not good for a beer connoisseur as I'd have trouble with that as my beer of choice. Gates decided on Sam Adams Light, settling on it after rumors of Red Stripe or Beck's. A better choice than Obama for sure. Crowley had a Blue Moon. Decent choice, as it shows somewhat of an everyday man with sophisticated taste. Biden downed a Buckley's. Honestly never heard of it before yesterday. Apparently it's non-alcoholic. Say it ain't so Joe!
Since we don't know what was discussed, we'll have to make assumptions based on their tone and Crowley's press conference later in the evening. It appears to have been a success for the two primary persons, Crowley and Gates. While they may never agree on what actually happened, or see each other's side, from the looks of it, they may agree to disagree. Obama gained points that he lost when he called the actions "stupidly", as he appeared to be there to act as a moderator. Biden, I'm afraid may have slipped. I like Joe, but a few things went against him. Maybe this was the President's fault, but Biden was not initially invited. Him showing up at the last minute is like the guy you don't want to show up at happy hour come up to you at 5:01 and ask "So we headed down to the pub?". That can be somewhat forgiven. But Buckley's? If his choice is not to drink alcohol, I respect him for that, but why endure yourself through the taste without the benefits? Just have a soda or iced tea.
Another thing that bugged me? The suits. Sure Obama just got off the phone with the Joint Chiefs or whatever, but home is next door. Change into those mom jeans from the All-Star game! Biden, couldn't you pack an extra set of clothes to bring to the office? For Crowley and Gates, I guess if the President invites you to the White House, you have to dress up. But I would have given them props if they showed up like any other tourists with camera straps around their necks, Hawaiian shirt on, and shorts and flip flops.
Back to to actual point of the meeting. This is what makes America great. Neither side appeared to budge, but they were cordial and maybe the flames have been fanned. I wonder if we've ever had a beer summit in the past. Imagine if we sat down with Khruschev for some shots of vodka. Would the Cold War have ended decades earlier?
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