Drink orders in for Obama meet with policeman, professor
President Barack Obama’s peacemaking efforts with a Harvard professor and a Massachusetts police sergeant are still up in the air, but the drink orders are in.
Obama invited Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley and Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates to the White House for a beer last week as he tried to make amends for inflaming a dispute between the two men.
Gates had arrived home from a trip to China to find his door jammed and had difficulty entering. The two men got into a dispute and Crowley arrested Gates on a charge of disorderly conduct — touching off a debate over whether the incident involved racial profiling. The charge was later dropped.
Obama inflamed the situation at his news conference last week by saying he thought the police “acted stupidly” by arresting in his own home his friend Gates, a 58-year-old man who uses a cane to walk because of childhood injury.
Obama called Crowley and Gates last week to try to calm tempers. At Crowley’s suggestion, he agreed to invite the two to the White House for a beer.
The timing may be up in the air, but the drink orders are apparently known.
Asked what beer the president might have, Gibbs observed that Obama drank a Budweiser at the baseball All-Star Game a couple of weeks ago.
“Sgt. Crowley mentioned when the president offered this on the phone Friday that he likes Blue Moon,” said Gibbs. Blue Moon is a Belgian-style white beer brewed by Molson Coors.
Gates told the Boston Globe he was a fan of Red Stripe, a Jamaican lager, and Beck’s, a German lager.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Obama at White House Friday after calling St. Crowley); Reuters/Brian Snyder (Crowley and Sgt. Leon Lashley, who was present when Gates was arrested, at a news conference July 24)