July 30th, 2009
12:56 PM ET
13 years ago

Will 'beer summit' quench thirst for harmony or go flat?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is trying to downplay expectations for Thursday night's "Beer Summit", saying President Obama "is not going to announce anything" in terms of new initiatives to address racial profiling and will not address reporters when they are briefly let in to take pictures of the confab.

"You won't hear from the president," Gibbs told reporters. "You won't hear from the glass of beer."

Gibbs said Obama simply hopes "this will help foster a dialogue" by bringing together the president's friend, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and the man who arrested him, Sgt. Jim Crowley of the Cambridge, Massachusetts police department, over a few beers.

Gibbs added that the president will not engage Gates and Crowley in questions about what happened on the night of the incident. "This is not an after-action report," he said.

Instead, the summit is planned to be held in a more casual setting, with White House aides revealing that Crowley and Gates will be bringing their family members for the meeting at the picnic table on the South Lawn of the White House.

Filed under: Henry Louis Gates • President Obama
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. demwit

    Surely Obama will be appologizing, he does it everywhere else.

    July 30, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. dee

    I could care less...I think this has dragged on long enough and the media won't have anything else to focus on once the "beer summit" is over....

    Sad that it had to go this far but of course it wouldn't have if the media hadn't instigated it to the point we are now forced with...

    July 30, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. bcon

    who's paying for these flights from Boston to D.C.?

    July 30, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. makesUwonder

    Proof positive it's always good to think before you speak, right Mr. President?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    July 30, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. David from WI

    I think if the black community would see they are not that far off. They feel that privilege and superiority is the cause of their plight. YES I agree. They need to look a bit 'higher' to see the elitist snobby are whites and blacks common adversary. We can LEARN that this teaching moment shows what the white and black community's have the same types of frustrations and disdain to those that see themselves as our betters or superiors. Class and privilege is more at the core of this issue not wealth or skin color.

    July 30, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. RI Moderate

    A Harvard professor with an arrogant, egotistical attitude

    A cop who has a chip on his shoulder

    A politician who shoots his mouth off

    Will there be anyone there to tell them all to grow up??

    July 30, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. BR

    What a waste if time! Officer Crowley will be outnumbered two to one. The President has already stupidly called the Police Department "stupid" and says Gates is his "friend". So how can this be anything remotely close to an impartial meeting? It's a punblicity stunt in an attempt to take the heat off of the President. He, the President should be man enough to have the where with all to apologize to Crowly and the Police Department for talking when he did not know the facts. So what does he do next, make some off handed remark that he thinks Israel may be about to bomb Iran and then call for a beer meeting with the heads of state there to resolve his lack of judgment.

    July 30, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Lois

    This is the most ridiculous summit ever. Obama has lost all credibility and is an embarrasment to the Oval office. I don't even feel the same about the White House; it is a joke.........

    July 30, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Rick

    Let it go! Already, another individual has been suspended for "incorrect, racial statements".

    Have a beer, shake hands, and address the issues that can be addressed.

    July 30, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. gt

    ya ...3 guys getting drunk and smoking cigs ... what a joke....that will turn the economy around for budweiser or miller .....

    July 30, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. ImaLindatoo

    Whether the beer was flat, the goal surely went flat before the beerfest even started.

    The lengths Obama goes to to avoid saying he was wrong or sorry, bad enough he went there to begin with and now, taking this time and effort for such stupidity, his digits deserve the plummetting he is getting.

    July 30, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. smokey

    frankly I feel this is much a do about nothing..Here er have 2 very intelligent career people who simply over-reacted in a situation..Lets all just break bread, take it for what it worth, learn from it, and please move on to more important and pressing issues like HEALTHCARE! And of course props to Pres Obama who is trying to bring these 2 together and close the issue...

    July 30, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Jeff

    What are we trying to do here? We have got to be the most laughed at country in the world. This "Beer Summit" is supposed to do what exactly? The incident wasn't exactly Rodney King. If I would have to guess it would have been two males trying to prove who had the biggest..... in this situation the officer had the law on his side and decided to pursue that. The professor has race on his side and decided to pursue it. Add the media and the President's comment and you have what has become the biggest circus since Jon and Kate's announced they were separating. Flame me all you want, I think we have become a nation of idiots.

    July 30, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. AJ

    Oh, please!! We'll hear something. Obviously this president can't keep his mouth shut to save his life so why would this time be any different. If it werent for Obama shooting off at the mouth this non-issue wouldnt be an issue.

    July 30, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. Mr. Happy

    The important question is:

    "What's the beer?"

    Who will choose the brand or brands? Will it be domestic or imported?

    Will the Republicans be allowed to propose a choice in this Democracy?

    July 30, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. The Thinking Indepenent

    Interesting to hear from so many that the President's beer choice to "common" their tastes.

    His choice ... a plain, old, ordinary, Budweiser.

    I'll bet these are some of the same people that were calling him an elitiist 8 months ago.

    July 30, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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