So this evening President Obama will hold a “beer summit” with Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley and Harvard Professor Henry Gates. Each person attending the summit has made their beer choice for the summit that may clue us into the agenda and strategy of each participant going into this discussion. So today’s blog will be a highly speculative blog on how each person's choice of beer might send certain signals to those across the political landscape.
President Obama – Budweiser or Bud Light
There has been some speculation as to which of these two “Bud” beers Obama will actually be drinking though both would be classified as the choice of mainstream America (the broadest appeal of the three participants). If Obama is trying to reach across party lines he will likely go with Budweiser because it is red however if he is trying to strike a tone with his party he will likely go with Bud light opting for the bluer label which will send the right message to his base in the blue states.
While Budweiser is known as the “King of Beers” (a choice speaking of power and authority) the choice of Bud Light might grant President Obama a little more of an appearance of humility (because he doesn’t appear to need to loose weight) so pay attention to how he comes into this conversation for a insight into his overall strategy.
But perhaps his message is more phonetic in the choice of Budweiser in that he wants to be perceived as a “bud” but also as “wiser” than the other 2 fellows at the table. However using that argument Bud Light would speak more of a "light" friend or more of an acquaintance, which may be what would work best for Obama in this situation where he is already known to be a friend of Gates.
Professor Henry Gates – Red Stripe
This is a great choice for a couple of reasons. First, it bolters his solidarity with his own race being that Red Stripe is the most popular beer bottled by country made up of descendents from Africa. Secondly, since the color red is specifically mentioned in its name this could be seen as a gesture to reach out to those in the red states who might tend to be sympathetic to Crowley in this story.
Seargant James Crowley – Blue Moon
Sticking with the red state/blue state debate Blue Moon is a good choice of beer because Crowley is reaching out to those who might more likely side with Gates or at least Obama from the blue states. Then again there is the obvious message of “once in a blue moon” which might allude to how rare it is to drink a beer with the president (or how rare to get caught up in such a heated national media frenzy for that matter). On another note Blue Moon is also the only beer of the three mentioned that is actually owned by a U. S. company (Coors) as Budweiser is now owned by Belgian-Brazillian conglomerate InBev which could be taken as a bit more of a patriotic choice.
Summary – All of this political speculation aside, if I were to judge the participants on the taste of their choice alone I would have to say that Crowley would be the obvious winner (with a slice of orange!) while Gates would come in a close second. As for President Obama, "come on you're the president of the greatest super-power nation in the world, can't you do better than Bud?"