The media was cordoned off approximately 45 feet away from the patio furniture where the beers were being quaffed, so we have no idea what was being said.
President Obama and Vice President Biden appeared to be doing what they could to keep the mood light, wearing just shirt sleeves and appearing more relaxed than the professor and the policeman, who were in suits and more rigid.
In the less than two minutes that we were out there, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. Jim Crowley did almost all of the talking. It didn’t appear chummy, but then again Gates has said Crowley racially profiled him, falsified a police report about him, and owes him an apology. Crowley says he did nothing wrong, resents being portrayed as a racist, and has said he came here with the understanding that he and Gates had agreed to disagree.
So one might not expect them to be re-enacting a Lowenbrau commercial.
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.
Both Gates and Crowley brought their families to the White House and they toured the East Wing together before the sit-down. Gates brought his kids, fiancé and father. Crowley brought his wife and kids.
The men met with President Obama in the Oval Office before moving out to the Rose Garden. During their sit-down, their family members were given a tour of the West Wing.
-Jake Tapper and Karen Travers