Hey, Sarge, Hey, Professor...This Bud's For You

It may not have risen to the level of Jimmy Carter getting Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin to hammer out the Camp David Accords, but when President Barack Obama sat down for brewskis today with Sergeant James Crowley and Harvard professor Louis Gates, he had the eyes of the world (not to mention the nation's beer companies) on him.

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It's all but unfathomable to think that less than two weeks ago, Gates and Crowley were adversaries in a case of mistaken assumptions run amok. And yet, here they were at the White House, enjoying a few cold ones with the President and his second in command.

Obama, who never issued a real apology (at least not publicly) for his comment that the Cambridge police "acted stupidly" in the arrest of Professor Gates, did accede that scenarios such as this one can lead us to "teachable moments." Whether it's Obama doing the teaching while we watch and learn has not been entirely clear from the President's comments. But what was clear today was that even the worst scenarios can be mended when cooler heads have prevailed. Over Bud Light (Obama), Blue Moon (Crowley), Sam Adams Light (Gates) and Buckler nonalcoholic beer (for teetotaler Biden), the four men (and most important, the two men) talked and drank and agreed to talk again. A playbook for next year's most popular Super Bowl commercial, anyone?

In case you were wondering, they drank out of mugs, not bottles. Now that was a teachable moment.