BEER SUMMIT

Gates, Crowley, Obama Share Drinks

Nothing like a casual brewski between friends—or a highly orchestrated "beer summit" in the White House Rose Garden between the president, a scholar and the cop who arrested him. Yes, the presidential happy hour finally happened. Two weeks after noted black scholar Henry Louis "Skip" Gates accused Cambridge (Mass.) Police Sgt. James Crowley of racial profiling for arresting him at his home near Harvard University, the men clinked mugs of beer Thursday evening with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Obama's beer of choice? Bud Light. Crowley, meanwhile, chose Blue Moon. Sitting at a round table, the men also munched peanuts and pretzels out of silver bowls—as TV cameramen and reporters were kept 50 feet away, after being allowed to view the meeting for less than a minute. The president's aides hoped the "summit" would convey a hopeful message about race relations in this country, and turn down the temperature on an incident that has become "so hyped and so symbolic." At a press conference following the meeting, Sgt. Crowley called it "cordial and productive" and said that he and Gates would meet again.