Tales from the Trail

For Portman, it all comes down to beer

Rob Portman is upset about the tax laws that make a real American beer hard to find.

The senator from Ohio, who is seen as a leading candidate to be Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick, spoke out at the Reuters Washington Summit against tax policy that puts American companies at a disadvantage.

“I’m a beer drinker and I’m particularly upset by the fact there is no big U.S. beer company any more,” said Portman, a former budget director who criticized the Obama administration for failing to overhaul corporate taxes in the United States.

“Sam Adams is now the largest U.S. beer company, with one percent market share. All the rest are foreign owned now and driven by tax policy.”

Portman called for a revamped tax system “so Budweiser can stay an American company.”

Obama more bartender than mediator at beer summit

The White House was working hard to lower expectations about Thursday’s beer summit, characterizing the president’s role as more bartender-in-chief than mediator.

So don’t expect apologies or even a rehash of the day Massachusetts police Sgt. James Crowley, who is white, arrested prominent Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, who is black.

USA-POLITICSIn fact, don’t expect to hear much at all.

“I don’t anticipate sound at the meeting,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. “The president is not going to announce anything tonight.”

Obama and Hannity – beer-drinking buddies?

ELKHART, Ind. – President Barack Obama and conservative commentator Sean Hannity are hardly political allies, but Obama on Monday briefly entertained the thought they could at least share a beer.

 At least, Obama seemed to like the beer part.

OBAMA/STIMULUSHannity, a talk show host who is one of Obama’s harshest critics, offered recently to buy the president a beer after Obama said “hardcore” Hannity fans would not want to share a brew with him.

 At a town hall meeting in Indiana where Obama was selling his stimulus package, a woman who identified herself as Tara questioned why some of Obama’s cabinet appointments could not handle their own taxes.