Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beer Summit Won't Lead to National Conversation on Race

Allahpundit's got an open-thread, "White House Kegstand Solves Nation’s Racial Problems." But check also, The Politico, " 'Beer Summit' Letdown":

President Barack Obama’s highly anticipated “beer summit” with Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge police Sgt. Jim Crowley was reduced Thursday for viewers at home to two minutes of shaky, silent video of the men gathered around a table in the Rose Garden.

Obama followed through on his promise to bring to the men together at the White House – and suggested he saw seeds of progress for the future.

“Even before we sat down for the beer, I learned that the two gentlemen spent some time together listening to one another, which is a testament to them,” Obama said in a statement after the meeting. “I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart. I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode.”

After the event, Crowley characterized the discussion as “two gentlemen who agreed to disagree on a particular issue. We didn’t spend too much time dwelling on the past. We spent a lot of time discussing the future.”

Crowley also said he and Gates had agreed to meet again – but not for a beer the next time, “maybe an Kool-Aid or an iced tea,” he joked. He also said he first talked to Gates earlier in the day when their two families were taking separate tours of the White House and ran into each other, then finished the tour together.

He called the day “an effort not just to move the city of Cambridge or two individuals past this event, but the whole country beyond this and toward some meaningful discussion in the future.”

Still, the portion of the event aired on TV had an anti-climatic feel, and in many ways was exactly what Obama had said it would be earlier – the men sitting around having a drink. One surprise was the addition of Vice President Joe Biden.

Analysts of race relations said the benefits of the White House encounter were murky, at best.

Jake Tapper adds some details on tap:

The President and Vice President spent much of the time we were out there snacking on the peanuts and pretzels on the table. In frosty mugs, the four men had their beers of choice. For the president it was Bud Light, a beer company once headquartered in swing state Missouri now owned by a Belgian conglomerate.)Vice President Biden, who doesn’t drink alcoholic beverages, had a non-alcoholic Buckler, brewed by Dutch Heineken. Crowley had a Blue Moon Ale, brewed by Toronto, Canada’s Molson Coors Brewing Company. Gates opted for a Sam Adams Light – the only truly American beer in the lot.

The CBS News report at the video is pretty skeptical that tonight's quaffing is going to lead to a lessening of racial tensions going forward. See also, "What a White House Beer Says About Race and Politics" (via Memeorandum).

I'm going to be reading up on this story throughout the night. I'm preparing an essay on the whole thing for Pamjamas Media, so I'll update if I find anything really juicy.

My previous collection of Pajamas articles is
here. You know, I do actually write about things besides Erin Andrews!

7 comments:

Reliapundit said...

BEER WITH BARRY CAN NO MORE END THIS CONTRIVERSY OR RACE REALTIONS IN THE USA THAN A CHAY WITH AHMADINEJAD CAN END IRAN'S NUKE PROGRAM.

THE IDEA THAT IT CAN IS A LEFTIST DELUSION.

AS IDIOTIC AS GUN CONTROL, CO2 CURBS, AND SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE.

NOE ARE ANY GOOD.

Tom the Redhunter said...

Earlier today, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that "...it's our hope that, as the president said, this can be part of a teachable moment..."

There may indeed be something to learn from here, but I hope he didn't mean from our president, because he is just about the last person I'm interested in hearing from about race. Someone who went to a racist church for 20 years, listened to a kook hatemonger preacher, and left only because it was politically expedient to do so, has nothing to tell me.

Yes I know, Obama's attendance at Trinity United is "old news" and we're supposed to just forget about it. Well, I'm going to forget about it. If the left wants to talk about race, fine, let's talk. But let's talk about both sides of the equation, not just one.

Dave said...

Reliapundit,

LOL-Were you by chance matching the White House kegger participants chug for chug?

You know, I do actually write about things besides Erin Andrews!<

LOL-Some of us were beginning to wonder.

By the way, Erin lives just over in Dunwoody, which is just 15 minutes west of me.

Big story around here.

-Dave

Steve Burri said...

Crowley sounds a little sly. Kool-Aid, indeed.

Philippe Öhlund said...

Interesting post Donald! :-)

I wonder if President Obama really was giving a woman a once over at the G8 summit recently?

Grizzly Mama said...

Yeah - I liked the Kool-Aid reference, too! LOL.

shoprat said...

It was nothing but a publicity stunt by a rapidly declining politician.