Disaster strikes beer summit: Biden decides to attend; Update: Obama issues statement; Update: “Toast” photo added; Update: Gates issues statement; Update: Obama played only a small part, says Crowley
posted at 7:18 pm on July 30, 2009 by Allahpundit
Video via Greg Hengler. I wonder how long it took Greasy Joe to tell his first “two blacks and an Irishman walk into a bar” joke. Over/under is 11 seconds.
Tapper, live on the scene, relays the excruciating details:
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…
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.
Exit question: How many beers did Biden have before he brought up the birth certificate? I’m guessing one and a half.
Update: Crowley’s holding a press conference right now but it looks like The One won’t have much more to say tonight beyond this:
I am thankful to Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley for joining me at the White House this evening for a friendly, thoughtful conversation. 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. 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.
Update: Looks like Gates will pass on the presser but he’s got a statement of his own out now. Excerpt:
Sergeant Crowley and I, through an accident of time and place, have been cast together, inextricably, as characters – as metaphors, really – in a thousand narratives about race over which he and I have absolutely no control. Narratives about race are as old as the founding of this great Republic itself, but these new ones have unfolded precisely when Americans signaled to the world our country’s great progress by overcoming centuries of habit and fear, and electing an African American as President. It is incumbent upon Sergeant Crowley and me to utilize the great opportunity that fate has given us to foster greater sympathy among the American public for the daily perils of policing on the one hand, and for the genuine fears of racial profiling on the other hand.
Let me say that I thank God that live in a country in which police officers put their lives at risk to protect us every day, and, more than ever, I’ve come to understand and appreciate their daily sacrifices on our behalf. I’m also grateful that we live in a country where freedom of speech is a sacrosanct value and I hope that one day we can get to know each other better, as we began to do at the White House this afternoon over beers with President Obama.
Update: Here’s the video of Crowley’s presser, in which he describes The One’s role as not much more than providing the beer. He and Gates are going to meet again privately but as far as the arrest goes, they “agree to disagree.”