It's not hard to find potshots aimed today at President Obama and tonight's White House happy hour. To Mary Mitchell, its a "cheap political trick." To Michelle Malkin, its proof that Obama is a "racial opportunist." Maybe there was another point, one that David Paul Kuhn has identified in a column for Real Clear Politics. The beer summit isn't so much about race as it is about the male ego, he writes. More specifically, three very large, very publicly wounded male egos in need of repair. Kuhn takes them on with a "prepared White House script" for the beer summit. Here are some highlights from the "likely conversation":
"Gates: Why didn't you ask the president about bowling, Mr. Crowley?
Crowley: Because the president sucks at bowling. And it's Sgt. Crowley, Dr. Gates.
Obama: Look, take it down a notch guys. Let's avoid titles, gentlemen. Let's not draw class distinctions. We're all beer-lovin' regular Joes here. Like that plumber."
Just after the professor's arrest, Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi honed in on a similar theme, saying that the arrest was not just about race, but "also about power and machismo--on both sides."
And then there's the media hyperventilation over the president's choice of beer for the meeting. Anheuser-Busch president Dave Peacock said he "would be proud if Budweiser, Bud Light or any of our beers are chosen for the White House meeting." And Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak told Bloomberg News that the President is "trying to send a message that he's an average American and these are two other average Americans."
So how does the saga end? Only Obama, Gates, and Crowley will know for sure. But Kuhn would like to see the three men share a fist bump: "Crowley: So on three, Mr. President, we're doing a terrorist fist jab? Skip, calm down. It's satire."