Obama to engage in beer diplomacy

July 28, 2009

Over the decades, we’ve had ping-pong diplomacy, shuttle diplomacy and cowboy diplomacy. And now we’ve got beer diplomacy.

President Barack Obama is going to sit down for a beer on Thursday night at a picnic table outside the Oval Office with the two main players in a racially charged case — Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge, Massachusetts, police Sergeant James Crowley.BASKETBALL/

The first diplomatic task may be in selecting the beer for each attendee.

Crowley told Obama he wants Blue Moon, a Belgian-style white beer brewed by Molson Coors. Gates is said to prefer either Red Stripe or Beck’s. Nothing fancy for Obama, who was criticized on the campaign trail for musing about the price of arugula. He is sticking with the good old American brand, Budweiser.

Obama said last Friday that he hoped the episode will be a “teachable moment” about why can’t all of us just get along with each other. Crowley was called to Gates’ home on July 16 to look into a possible break-in and arrested the Harvard scholar, who forced open the door of his own home because he didn’t have a key. Words were exchanged.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama hopes to have an informal discussion.

“I would not construe this as formal discussions. This is about having a beer and de-escalate,” Gibbs told reporters.

“I think the president wants to continue to take the temperature down a bit, look more for constructive things that can come out,” he said.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Molly Riley (Obama with beverage at a basketball game)

74 comments

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This is all well and good except why promote a deadly dangerous drug like alcohol in this way when there is a much safer alternative: cannabis. The president and this cop and this professor should all share a nice spliff have a few laughs and then maybe consume some hot wings. I know I will not allow my children to watch these ‘public officials’ imbibing yeast excrement just because it happens to be legal.This is pure hypocritical BS.

Posted by Mr. Nerby Donahue | Report as abusive

A teachable moment for children. What Clinton did for marijuana (“I did not inhale”) and oral sex (“I did not have sex with that woman”), Obama is going to do for race relations (police are supposed to put up with whatever if you are black) and beer (a great way to make friends).

Posted by Glenn | Report as abusive

Why does the president need to use alcohol to discuss this incident? I’ve never heard of family disputes resolved more easily when alcohol is involved. What message does this send to our children as well as out adult population? Have a drink and make it all better?Is this an ethical demonstration of appropriate adult behavior by our President?

Posted by Mr. Robert McLaughlin | Report as abusive

That’s a pretty light beer there, Mr. President. Weak sauce!!!

Posted by Nathan | Report as abusive

Mr. Robert McLaughlin— Talking things over while having a beer is now an ethical issue? Do you think it will become some drunken brawl at the White House? These are things that worry you enough to write in to this blog? Is this the first news story you have read lately? An”ethical demonstration of appropriate adult behavior”? Really?Am I asking to many questions?

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

Well I thought alcohol actually gets people more agressive and less tolerant????

Posted by Allan | Report as abusive

I hope Obama also mentions to the world that beer is not the only vehicle for conflict resolution for the benefit of our kids. He must also stress that there is a difference between social drinking and alcohol abuse. Because i feel that it is only through abuse that we have brauls instead of the intended reconcilliation…

Posted by Sibusiso | Report as abusive

Thanks to Gates for being a militant and Obama for getting involved before getting the facts this cop has exposed them for what they are.Having a beer in this picture is nuts. If I were the cop I would demand it be changed to an alcohol free meeting or backout altogether.Harvard must be so proud!

Posted by george | Report as abusive

Beer is one of the worlds oldest beverages, and possibly the reason people started agriculture. To imply that a civilized discussion between adults over a beer is a just promoting drunkenness is certainly ignoring our own Western culture. Drinking with ones enemy is a long tradition in making peace. It’s about letting down one’s guard, and finding common ground. It’s unnecessary to politicize this as statement about alcohol policy.And as the guests are from the Boston area, might I recommend a Sam Adams lager!

Posted by Erling | Report as abusive

Just the teachable moment our kids need…drink alcohol to solve problems!!! Way to go Mr. Fearful Leader…

Posted by Lefty | Report as abusive

@glenn: I’m not sure you read the article in full – there was no apparent cause for Gates’ arrest. Police are required to tolerate anger as a part of their job, so if the reason Gates was arrested falls in the category of being angered at the lunacy of such an incident, then Officer Crowley is technically at fault.I think a calm discussion would be the perfect way to solve this, but I don’t imagine Thursday will be particularly calm considering the President is organizing it.@Robert: Since this is not a family dispute, the involvement of alcohol does not send a message to children any more than children having ever seen alcohol in the first place. Since alcohol is both a legal substance and socially acceptable, this is most assuredly an ethical demonstration by Obama. Any child influenced by the event would be able to recognize that the true value of it is in the decision to settle things through discussion instead of escalating them out of proportion.@Nathan: Agreed!

“President Obama, I think your healthcare plan is a swell idea! Let’s all sit around chatting about nothing and swilling mass ammounts of an alcoholic substance that is made of yeast and turns to sugar. Afterwards we should light up some Marlboros and eat some McDonald’s Dbl. qtr pounders, with cheese.” Captain Irony said. Then he saluted the flag and said, “God Bless America!”

Posted by Captain Irony | Report as abusive

PLEASE! The nit picking grumble grumble tone of the comments about alcohol miss the big point. Here we have a caring, humane President who is trying to take an ugly incident and come out of it with something good. This positive gesture may cause someone somewhere to pause, think, and make a better choice, and perhaps avoid a racial collision or even save a life. Cheers!

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

To Nerby(post #1) – Your post is beyond ridiculous. I’m amazed that you even bring up marijuana in your comment. If you’re joking then you got me.To Robert(post #4) – Why? Because he’s a human being. This is not a “family dispute”. They are having a conversation over a beer. Unreal that you are taking this so seriously. If you’re an alcoholic I apologize. If you’re not then you should be.

Posted by JP | Report as abusive

Beer is sold at just about every restaurant, every grocery store and every major sporting event in the United States. A good portion of Americans have a drink once in a while to break the tension. Even people who don’t drink much will at least hold the glass to not appear to be so stiff. Especially at parties, first dates and other social situations. Casual instances like this typically welcome a drink. I could see this being an issue if it was work or business related, but it isn’t.

Posted by Joe Taylor | Report as abusive

Nothing wrong with a beer. Prez made too much of this incident but it could turn out to be a learning lesson for all…stay cool and drink a beer before you jump to conclusions…

Posted by Marvin | Report as abusive

I don’t see why this is such a big deal. They’re having “a beer”. They’re not sitting around getting hammered. I don’t see how we’re comparing having a drink to using illegal drugs because they’re “safer”? And then you have the issue of “sending a message to our children”. Get over it. If you don’t like it use it as an example of what not to do, don’t just whine about it.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Really people? It’s a beer. Get over it.

Posted by Noah | Report as abusive

Good old American beer Budweiser? Try good old Belgian beer Budweiser….

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

It just goes to show how valuable President Obama’s time really is. Maybe he could replace Jerry Springer as a problem solver?

Posted by Perry | Report as abusive

I have had many family events go better with a little beer or wine. Perhaps my family is a little to far down the heathen slider-bar or something, but I hardly think one beer is a hearty endorsement of drunken idiocy. Clearly all three men drink beer as they have preferences.Clearly, they aren’t lightweights – because I sure as heck wouldn’t want to drink with the leader of the free world if I was! Also – about the pot references – it’s still illegal “Mr. Nerby Donahue ” and one of the guys is a cop who would lose his job. Keep attending 420 days and wearing your cannibis t-shirts.

To the comments above: Having a beer with someone is more of an expression about building rapport and relationships than about imbibing. I think those who see this as a way to promote their prohibitionist ideologies shows how this society is ready to denounce, defame, and demoralize any one in countenance to their own –selfish- views and often misconstrued moral code. In other words, Way To Go Obama!!

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

Hypocritical BS is correct. Mr. Nerby Donahue you beat me to the punch. Cannabis is much safer than alcohol and it’s a shame to see the President pushing HIS vice of choice, after having made statements on the campaign trail about marijuana decriminalization. A quarter of the country has already passed medical marijuana bills. THIS IS WHAT THE VOTERS WANT.

Posted by Justin | Report as abusive

Right across the line from Illinois is St. Louis MO, the beneficiary of Budweiser’s sponsorship. No wonder BUD is what he is promoting.Can BUD now proclaim it the “drink of the President”?I wonder if he checked with his PR people to see if drinking beer would promote his image as “someone who’s like me?”Did PR check to see if that might effect the habits of teens?How does beer drinking square with Obama’s Christian beliefs?How will Muslim countries react?To drink or not to drink, sure brings up questions.

Posted by Grandmapeg | Report as abusive

Beer is a social drink. President Obama is trying to defuse an ugly situation which has deep racial overtones. By inviting the two to the White House, the President has made a smart move

So, if having a beer is the way to resolve problems, then the next time there is a fight inside a bar by 2 overly drunk guys, I guess the best answer would be for the bartender to give them more alcohol and have them talk it out?

Posted by Pat | Report as abusive

If he wants to diffuse the situation, how come it’s only between these three? From the sounds of it, there’s a helluva lot more peeved off people out there. And, not to be an arse about it, but I can already see the racist comments coming out against Crowley for choosing “Blue Moon, a Belgian-style white beer”. Why can’t we just knock off the racial BS on both sides? I seriously doubt race played any part of this until Gates started spewing at the mouth. Respect and earn respect from one another and we’ll be much better off that fighting amongst ourselves!

Posted by Sean in Florida | Report as abusive

Wow I can’t beleive the asinine criticism I am seeing, clearly some of you have alternate agendas, and some will find fault with whatever he does. I’m sorry but your behavior (comments & posts) are exactly the cause of racism in America today. Simply and inexcusably pathetic, this is a great gesture to bridge the gap that has been plaguing our justice system for so long. He is actively trying to keep America together and not divided. And to even suggest that the president do cannabis is just plain dumb.So many people are benefiting from the policies he as enacted and the economy will become better but we all have to work together and not try to attack the President because you didn’t vote for him. What Crowley did was wrong and hopefully he can use this as a learning experience to correct his behavior.

Posted by Rapheal Golden | Report as abusive

personally, i can’t believe officer crowley would accept such a lure. so i guess by the end of the evening, they’ll all be sitting around a campfire singing Kumbaya. this event is nothing more than propaganda–as if this is really news. who’s paying for this?

Posted by Caroline | Report as abusive

Glenn: Clam down. It is people like you who try to escalate things that are of no meaning. The president is just like most of the population in the US. He likes to have a beer, and so do the other two gentlemen who will be joining him.Let me say this again, Its Not That Big Of A Deal. So calm down, and go teach your kids what you feel are proper moral and ethics, and don’t try to pawn it off on the president when one of them, oh my gosh, ‘drinks’ a beer.

Posted by Oscar | Report as abusive

I am still surprised at the prohibitionist attitude toward alcohol in the United States. Alcohol is a perfectly fine beverage when consumed in moderation. I feel that he is setting a fine example of how to enjoy alcohol in a responsible manner. A little wine for your stomach. Additionally, Obama has apologized for his remark, and admitted that he shouldn’t have commented on the case without full knowledge of the incident. What he is trying to do is smooth out relations between people, to show that we are all capable of mistakes and the best solutions is to talk things out whenever possible, a lesson I feel is targeted more toward Mr. Gates. Despite all this I to question his choice of Budweiser, dark beer is surely the better choice.

Posted by Jacob | Report as abusive

What a bunch of crybabies here in the comments!The president is teaching the infants involved (and that includes Nerby, Glenn and Robert) that, yes, you can sit down after having a fight and make things well without going to court. And he’s also teaching the kids that, yes, you can have a drink like responsible adults and enjoy it with no adverse effects.Robert: I don’t know how your family was, but in mine, drinks in social situations tended to have mellowing effects, not aggressive ones. That’s because we were all taught how to drink and when to stop. That’s the nice thing about having a big family: you get a lot of good examples.The President wants the people to see that good example and *learn* from it. He’s doing just what anybody in my family would do to defuse a family fight: Create a comfortable, non-threatening situation where the parties will wind down and act like adults. And yes, adults do drink, and they know how to. If you or your family can’t behave with alcohol around, then there’s some serious growing up to do.

Posted by Marco Z | Report as abusive

wow! what you all fail to notice is that this isn’t about promoting alcohol but pushes the idea that Obama is just a regular guy drinking a regular guy’s drink in an attempt to maintain the peace.why shouldn’t Obama want to fix the sad state of race relations in the U.S.? what kind of person suggests something as backwards as Obama wants police to ignore crime if it’s committed by black people?is this how most americans feel or is it just that you’re still mad that Obama won?@Nathan; too right. bud tastes like water that’s gone off.

Posted by Ned | Report as abusive

Mr.President you had no business getting involved period.Your statement was ill concieived and unfounded. I voted for you, but I am beginning to have doubts, serious doubts about your ability to perform when the momment is stress laiden.I am beginning to wonder if your eloquent rehtoric is ever going anywhere. You owe every law enforcement officer in this country an apology. Mr Gates behaved totally inappropriately. I am glad they arrested him for his rage induced behavior. Was he a Hollywood demigod whose bad behavior is routine? No,he was a loud mouth prideful man who would not allow a police officer to do his job correctly and safely. Apologize Mr. President,apologize!Then mind to the nation’s business not our local police.

Who has a problem with having a beer and talking about a couple of issues are just living in a box.I am a responsible adult, and I find it very common for responsible adults to have a beer and have a nice conversation.I like what Obama is doing, for a change, because he is doing something that a normal american does anyways…He shouldn’t act as if he lives in a box. Like the rest of you fools who complain about this do.

Posted by Edwin | Report as abusive

This is outstanding. Except for you who commented before. What won’t you complain about?The president is taking a different approach to one of our countries greatest issues. Racism.I applaud the president. Not because he is in a sticky situation, but he’s going to sit down with these two individuals and have a beer and chat.These two had a conflict that has caused a stormfire for our country. Both sides were to blame. There should be no questioning in that. The situation was ludicrous, and President Obama is doing the right thing here.Sitting down and having a beer is common ground for these individuals, and just about every other man in this great country. Go Obama!

Posted by Lee Harrison | Report as abusive

I am sure they are going to have a civil discussion over A beer.They are not going to polish off a keg… Last time I checked beer was still a legal substance folks. If you honestly think that this “sends the wrong message”, I think you need to look at your message. You are talking about substance abuse.Perhaps he should have just sent them emails?

Posted by turph | Report as abusive

It’s funny that so many years after Prohibition was lifted, there are still parrots trained to say “lips that touch liquor will never touch mine”. And even funnier still that they’ve been trained to type it as well.

Posted by Claire | Report as abusive

Beer is involved because the police offer jested that they should all sit down and have a beer together.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

what are you guys, pilgrims? what do you propose, oreos and milk? the pint is just a vehicle for resolution, not the focal point.

Posted by Dr. Dan Onimus, PhD, JD, LLM, CFA | Report as abusive

Come on. It’s not like they’re going to down a keg. It’s just a beer. It’s just a conversation. What about the upside? Maybe by drinking a beer and having a civil conversation, the President can show the country and these two hot heads that a good time can be had without having to get drunk (or high). And that in the end we are not all that different when sitting around a picnic table shooting the breeze.

Posted by Kent | Report as abusive

Lighten up! ‘Hey, let’s have a beer and talk.’ is what a lot of regular people do when they want to relax and get some things out in the open. Obama offering to have a beer with Gates and the cop is just his way of trying to keep it light in a sense and show that they are just normal guys having a discussion. So what if the president has a beer? Who really cares??Also, children should be looking to THEIR PARENTS as role models, Glenn. You keep a beer out of YOUR hands and keep track of YOUR OWN behavior and your kids shouldn’t have any problems, right?

Posted by marie | Report as abusive

Does one cheeseburger mean gluttony? Does one beer mean drunkenness? The definition of drunkenness is when alcohol causes you to commit a sin. Timothy, take some wine for your stomach and other ailments. Really apostle Paul, it’s ok to have a drink? I thought alcohol was evil? Or is the truth that our overuse and misuse of alcohol is what is evil? Limited use of alcohol is not evil, but authorized pretty plainly by Paul. Paul had to basically encourage, (maybe even command?) Timothy to take some wine because he was sickly and was not drinking wine and sick because of that decision of total abstinence. If you are sick, you are not only useless to the person you are serving, but a burden as well.

Posted by Truth speaker | Report as abusive

Great idea! Beer has been enjoyed for centuries by mature adult men as they host each other in fellowship and peace. This may start a trend of patience, understanding and tolerance for the non-judgemental males of the world.Great leadership move.Finnegan

Posted by mike schroeder | Report as abusive

Really?!? The president is going to do that. Is there not a priest or someone in the community that can resolve this issue? The president has alot to do. Stuff like this happens everyday and I don’t see it stopping for a multitude of reasons, one being that we have weak community leaders. Shouldn’t the president encourage this to be done on a local level?Oh and Budweiser is owned by a foreign company now so who ever wrote this and called it an American beer needs to check there facts. It might be brewed in USA but it’s making foreigners rich not us.Drink a micro brew Obama. Damn for someone who was a community organizer he really doesn’t have a grasp on the necessity of building strong local economies or strong local community counseling.

Posted by Nick T | Report as abusive

Budweiser sucks, Mr. President. Have a Blue Heron, please, for the sake of the country.

Posted by Portland, OR | Report as abusive

As far as a teachable moment, how about taking this event as on opportunity to learn how to say “I’m sorry”.

Posted by vera meyer | Report as abusive

Not only will this be a great photo op……Can you imagine……this will be the highlight of Officer Ryan’s life! Prof.Gates would have been invited there anyhow……Now his books will sell more copies.A White House visit with the Pres. New initiatives most likely will be announced re racial sensitivity policing.

I absolutely love how our president is handling this. I even like the fact that everyone involved has a different beer preference. We’re all unique. We all have our different backgrounds, and dialogue about our differences is what this is all about.This is awesome!!

Posted by Roger P | Report as abusive

I wish more leaders would follow President Obama’s example. He reacted verbally on the initial surface information that was conveyed in the media, examined the reaction and rhetoric being expressed, and took steps to make this a teachable moment. Sgt. Crowley and Professor Gates were both full of adreneline when they met. Both feeling threatened and feeling like they should be in charge. By providing a dream come true environment, both men will be more likely to listen and understand both sides of the situation. I think both men were at fault for the escalation because neither were willing to back down. Hats off to the President for being both Human and Presidential.

After the bad media coverage of Obama on this issue, it is definately a great leadership decision. All the media attention drawn over such unimportant actions.This is definately a crowd pleaser and goes to show the humane side of the president. For what probably had been a small disagrement, it is time someone stepped up and showed everyone that they can just look back on what happened over a beer and not make such a big deal about it.

I think it’s amazing that alcohol comments, pro and con are being vocalized. What will come of this politically is the question. The reality: This informal sit down is occurring because Obama injected his misinformed, reactive opinion on a situation he had no business getting involved with. Instead of calling a police forces action stupid, a Harvard law graduate and leader of the free world might have opted to continue with his original thinking when he said” I don’t have all the facts.” A more appropriate response would have been, ” We will let due process and investigation reveal what has truly happened and if there was any misconduct either party should be dealt with appropriately.”We have come a long way in race relations… make no mistake. Both parties have ownership. The truth lies in what Obama’s agenda and thought process. We heard it last week, this week he is just trying to save face. I can’t wait to see the media coverage.Pass me a Black and Tan please…..

Posted by Danarius | Report as abusive

The President has made a huge mistake using Beer as a way to resolve an issue. He also should be spending more time in really understanding the terrible health bill he wants to pass without having read it…

I’m amazed, we have a President, the first in nearly a decade that is proving to be human. His agendas are stated and he addresses problems as they occur. When he misspeaks or makes an inappropriate descision, he holds himself accountable. For those looking for a President to act alternatively, please reference the last 8 years and all the lives lost because of his unaccountable descision. That jerk is now my neighbor.I’d like to thank President Barrack Hussein Obama for taking a rational approach to problems in a rather irrational society. Unfortunately, it’s the people of this country that have caused catastrophe right alongside its leaders.Our role models and positive examples are disappearing quickly. Education is teetering on near failure (need proof, read the comments on Youtube…..that’s how are chidren really write). Rather than criticize the methodology behind this, take the time to learn a lesson about things that aren’t black and white.This matter goes beyond a race issue, it speaks to our infinite communication problems in a wired world.

Posted by Anthony Dallas | Report as abusive

LOL … this is one time when I’m really ‘laughing out loud’ at some of the comments made on here. This is a symbolic gesture by Obama to ease racial tensions brought about by the situation and his comments. It is nothing more or less. Why all the angst? Simple … partisan politics. To the people complaining: If it was Obama helping a little old lady cross the road, you would criticize that as well and say that he’s just probably trying to steal the change in her purse. Get a grip and/or life please … for everyone’s sake

Posted by Rob Brooks | Report as abusive

the people complaining about this are the same people complaining that the couple in Minnesota who danced down the aisle for their wedding are WRONG for dancing in a church. get over yourselves. men have been holding discussions over beer for quite some time now. in fact, im pretty sure the “Patriot Movement” was started IN bars!!

Posted by bryan | Report as abusive

Interesting that some suggest the President and his guests smoke cannabis instead of drinking a beer. I’m not sure either substance will make the conversation more lucid, though both have a long history of promoting a friendly, open atmosphere (except when used in excess or abusively, which tends to promote the exact opposite). I must admit the image of these three men cracking beer cans and passing a doobie around whilst discussing race relations is pretty funny, but it’s also a situation which occurs often in reality (except, of course, the President usually isn’t the one relighting the joint when it goes out).

Posted by rckstrdave | Report as abusive

I’m very sorry the President responded this situation. Sometimes it’s better to keep your personal thought your personal thoughts. President Obama needs to be more mindful of allowing himself to be pulled into this situational debates, or whatever you may want to call them. He needs to realize that being President does not mean he has a cure all prescription for everything. If he can just run the country well get us a good health care program, I’d be happy. Sure it’s nice to be a refuree but he need to remember every thing said is magnified and scruitized. There are those individuals which are just waiting to pounce.

Hopefully these meetings will not become Liquor Diplomacy by 2011.

Posted by Matt Simpson Siegel | Report as abusive

Race RelationsSgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department arrested a Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. for disorderly conduct.The facts are, the police responded to a burglary call to Gates house from one of his neighbors. The front door had been damaged from a previous burglary attempt. Gates was in the house and was uncooperative in identifying himself. When Crowley was explaining to Gates his reason for being there, which was he was responding to a burglary in progress, Gates shouted, “why, because I am a black man in America,” interjecting race into it. He continued his tirade calling the officer a racist among other things until he was arrested for disorderly conduct.Gates was outraged by his arrest when a white police officer entered his home without his permission. Even though the policeman was doing his job. Professor Gates teaches African studies and I wonder what is actually being taught in his classPresident Obama said the Cambridge officers acted “stupidly “ regarding the incident. He went on to say that anyone of us would be pretty angry and that it is a fact that African-Americans and Latinos are being stopped disproportionately by law enforcement in this country. He made those statements without knowing the facts of the case. But what would you expect from a Community Organizer.The next day Obama’s teleprompter told him to say I wished cooler heads would have prevailed and the officer involved was outstanding, but stood by his racial profiling comment. Race relations will not get any better in this country when President Obama gives credence and also was influenced by race baiters like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and Jeremiah Wright.My question to Gates and Obama are, “Why the outrage? Why the anger?” The police were doing their job. Gates was the one who escalated the situation. What would they have said if it was not Gates but actually burglars in the house and the police let them go? Also I would not be angry for the police doing their job in trying to protect my property.Statistics show that blacks commit a disproportionate amount of the crime. Therefore, what Obama should be concerned with is reducing the crimes being committed by African-Americans so they will not be “profiled.” Police may be reluctant to do their jobs because of the racial tension caused by Obama’s comments on the issue, thus causing the crime rate to rise.Greg ZottaImperial

Posted by Greg Zotta | Report as abusive

The roman emporers and senators all knew you had to keep the people distracted with Beer, Bread, and Circuses or naked ta tas to stay in power.

Posted by joe sixpaque | Report as abusive

I enjoy the comments on how they love to see the president not “making a big deal out of this”. Uhmm…this has dragged on for about as long as MJ and frankly I don’t think it’s really that big of a story. Is it surprising he (or anyone) said something stupid? Big deal, get over it. I don’t like the guy but I sure don’t really care that he said anything about the “incident”. It’s more insulting they are still talking about it and even MORE ridiculous that he’s having a sit down over it??? Get over yourself. Not making a big deal out of it?? All he’s doing is dragging it out and making a photo op out of this. This does nothing. Ridiculous.

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive

Exactly…the people who whine and moan about this would be whining and moaning about something else if this didn’t happen. You give importance to issues because you CHOOSE to. It’s no wonder the economy is in chaos…after reading conversations like this and many many others, it’s quite evident that people have too much time on their hands and productivity is not even a word in their vocabulary or mindset. I’m waiting for someone to “label” a person’s personal taste preference in a particular beer, as liberal or conservative. Everyone must be labeled so “give it a name”!!! I believe a spirit of acceptance (in all areas) would move everybody along these days but in the anal mind, a good “movement” is hard to come by!

Posted by Trax | Report as abusive

As a craft brewer I am disappointed to hear that none of these men, especially Obama, will be enjoying a local and/or craft brewed beer. The article cited Budweiser as a “good old American” brand. That brand is based in Belgium now that it’s a subsidiary of InBev. I fear that if the president truly prefers bland mass-produced swill then there is no way he could possibly have the strength of character to push for the single payer health care system this country needs. And yes, ideally they would share a doobie as well.

Posted by Jesse | Report as abusive

I agree that people whine way too much and don’t offer any solutions to issues. They also read too much into things. If the President likes Bud so be it! I think he’s trying improve communications and foster a little good will. Don’t we all need that!

President invites you to his home for a beer you drink what’s in the house. Nuff said.

Posted by James Roberts | Report as abusive

This is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of. Does obama expect us to think that this is just three guys at the corner bar discussing an insignificant issue over a beer? Give me a break.I’m disappointed that the officer is going to this charade without demanding an apology from both of these clowns. It’s interesting that Gates sounds alot like Jeremiah Wright and some of obama’s other race baiting friends and yet they can find no trace of racism in the officers background; but it always been okay to bash whitey without any backlash.

Of course he’ll use beer diplomacy. Isn’t that’s how it’s done in Chicago? Give your foe something that will intoxicate him. (funny how the word toxic, is in intoxicate, eh?) Then either try to make a fool out of him, or get rid of him.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Doesn’t the president have more important things to do than to sit around drinking beers with 2 law enforcement officers whom he labeled racists? When will people stop crying racism everytime they don’t get their way, or life throws them a curveball?

Posted by Zefrum | Report as abusive

Oh the irony…Mr. Obama is attempting to look like the peacemaker in an incident that he helped spin out of control. Perhaps cooler heads will help oust the second (or third) failed presidency in a row.

Posted by Devin | Report as abusive

“President invites you to his home for a beer you drink what’s in the house. Nuff said”Agreed.For those who continually spew the stupid question why won’t people stop crying racism….blah blah…here is a thought; why don’t you search out the crimes committed against blacks and punish those responsible. Only this time never mention race or racism and see who disagrees.

Perhaps while he is drinking the Budweiser, the Pres can stimulate the California economy by smoking some Cali weed. That stuff could de-escalate a rhino attack.Since Budweiser has been sold to a foreign company, perhaps Obama could persuade Inbev to sell back Rolling Rock, so it could once again be brewed in the glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe? Not a micro brew, but once a fine beer. I couldn’t agree more that Obama should be drinking a locally brewed beer. Think globally, drink locally.Cheers

Posted by CaliBudsPlease | Report as abusive

we love it when our tax dollars go to banks and then wasted on such trival matters. why is it necessary for the president to engauge in such low level particulars? it seems a bs stunt to make him more likeable. But in reality he is likeable, but he has singlehandedly payed for failures and supported organizations that should have gone under so the rich people really in charge get acquisitions for pennies on the dollar. Every baby born is already in debt 80k. Thats is a nice nest egg. Oh, not a nest egg.

Posted by weloveit | Report as abusive

Yes, he’s the President. But can he not sit and have a relaxing beer and sit with a couple of guys that he feels like he wants to sit with?? What’s so wrong about that? If you don’t ever do that, then perhaps you should take some notes off of the guys that is leading your country. He IS the leader for a reason, hmm?

Posted by ky | Report as abusive

[...] officials in expensive suits to fast food restaurants. If needed, have an extra drink and becomes beer diplomacy. (aka  cheeseburger, or hell burger diplomacy. Not to mix with pisco diplomacy or poppy [...]