Tales from the Trail

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.”

Crowley busted Gates on a charge of disorderly conduct after a confrontation at the Harvard professor’s home. The policeman had been dispatched to the scene to investigate a report of a possible burglary in progress. Words were exchanged.

The 58-year-old Gates, a well-known documentary filmmaker who walks with a cane as a result of a childhood injury, had returned home from a trip to China to discover his door jammed.

Obama to engage in beer diplomacy

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.

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.

OBAMA-RACE/Crowley, who is white, arrested Gates, a prominent black scholar and documentary filmmaker, after going to the professor’s home on a report of a possible burglary in progress.