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Could Beer Re-Elect Obama as President?

Could Beer Re-Elect Obama as President?

New polls show gains with male beer-drinkers — a key demographic Obama needs

With all the media attention following President Obama's beer choices, beer stops on the campaign trail, and finally, his homebrew recipe, politicos have to wonder whether the beer-drinking is working in Obama's favor. Turns out, new polls show it is.

Three new polls in the last week show huge gains for Obama with male voters over his opponent Mitt Romney; and it could be because of the "dude next door" image both men are trying to achieve. Said the Wall Street Journal, Obama is trying to shed his prissy-drinker image (his staff says he's a big martini drinker), by making several beer stops along the campaign trail. (And The Daily Beast points out that he's come a long way in his beer taste; back in 2008, he asked whether popular Pennsylvania brew Yuengling was a "designer beer." Ouch.) Now, Romney is trailing Obama in the "likeability" polls; 23 percent for Romney compared to 58 percent for Obama.

And Joe Sixpack, the Philadelphia Daily News beer reporter, broke down Obama's support among beer lovers, and it's true. In a new infographic, he found that in states with the highest density of breweries, the top 25 states all went to Obama in 2008. The District of Columbia won out; with four breweries in its small space, and it went to Obama. Likewise, states less densely packed with breweries voted Republican. Wrote Joe Sixpack in his article, "Here's how I interpret it: The density of breweries in a state is at least partly related to the density of its population; the more people, the more breweries. Obama performs better in densely populated states because urban populations tend to be more diverse and liberal."

Could all the beer guzzling pay off for Obama in the end? Could the new initiative to produce his homebrew clinch a win in November? We'll have to see.


Brewers want Obama's beer recipe

The people want to know what's in the brew. The latest document requested of the White House isn't about the economy or national security. It's about beer recipes.

The White House has made no secret that it churns out brews that include Honey Porter and Honey Blonde Ale, made with the honey from Michelle Obama's White House garden and equipment the Obamas bought with their own money. But ever since President Obama last week admitted he was traveling with a stash of White House-brewed beer on his campaign bus, beer enthusiasts want to know how it's made.

Individuals calling themselves “homebrewers across America" filed a petition on the White House website demanding that the Obama administration cough up the recipe for the special suds.

“In keeping with the brewing traditions of the founding fathers, homebrewers across America call on the Obama Administration to release the recipe for the White House home brew so that it may be enjoyed by all,” the petition reads.

One user on the social media website Reddit took the more formal move of submitting a Freedom Of Information Act request for the White House brews.

“Disclosure of the requested information to me is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest,” read the request.

It continued with this kicker: "Also, if you could send me a copy autographed by the president, you'd be the coolest FOIA officer in the federal government, and who could resist that title?"

It's unclear if that bit of humor or the very nature of the request would put the FOIA on the top of the pile at the Office of Administration. But by the looks of things, petition may never yield a head. The administration will not formally respond unless the petition garners at least 25,000 signatures within one month. As of last count, the petition had just over 2,000 signatures.


How Barack Obama Became the First President to Brew Beer at the White House

Who was the first president to brew beer on White House grounds? The tempting answer is a Founding Father or president from the pre-Prohibition era, but home brewers didn’t practice their craft at the White House until 2011. Barack Obama was the first president to host a White House brewing session, and Sam Kass, Obama’s former senior adviser for nutrition policy, was instrumental in making that happen. Tony Cohn, host of Smithsonian’s behind-the-scenes Sidedoor podcast, spoke to Kass to find out more. To hear the rest of the interview, including a tidbit about the Obamas’ favorite drinks, listen to Sidedoor’s bonus mini-episode.

I read that President Obama’s administration was the first that had brewing in the White House. Could you tell me a little bit about that?

That's my understanding. You know, obviously, there could be some beer that we don't know about, but the person who ran the archives for the White House did research and looked through all the records and sort of found no evidence of any beer being brewed, or liquor distilled, on the grounds of the White House.

Washington was distilling various spirits in Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson was making wine in Monticello, but at the White House proper, we don't know of any evidence that there was a president who brewed beer.

Whose idea was it?

I guess I'd give credit to the American people. There's been a transformation in beer culture over the last 15 years. Not only are there thousands of small breweries popping up all over the country, but people are brewing beer in their basements all over the place, and I just thought it would be great to join in that sort of great American tradition––or a budding tradition anyway––and brew some of our own beer.

Beer had a prominent role in this White House administration. There was the beer summit, and Obama was often photographed drinking beer in his travels. Can you help us understand that?

I think there's something powerful about beer. It’s food more broadly, but I think beer really captures the spirit of coming together, of sitting down, of sharing human moments, friendship moments, bonding moments. I mean, we all do it all the time. What’s better than sitting down with some friends or even sitting down with somebody to work something out and saying, “OK. Let me buy a beer. Let's talk this over”? And I think it holds a really sacred part of our culture.

Showing the country that we're part of this ongoing narrative and dialogue that's been going on for centuries––well, it’s quite powerful. It's also just naturally what you do if you're a regular guy and you're a good guy, and that's really what the president is. He's just a decent guy. You know, he's quite smart, but he's not fancy. I think it was quite exemplary of who he was and how he conducted himself.

Did you have homebrewing experience prior to the White House?

None of us did. We had no idea what we were doing. But you just give it a shot. And if you have cooking experience and kitchen experience and you know how to kind of follow a recipe, which we did … as long as you are careful, it's not that complicated. So yeah, no, it turned out great. The first beer we did was honey brown ale, and we used the honey from the White House garden for all of our beers. And so we ended up doing a honey brown, honey blonde in the summer, and then we called it a honey porter, but it really wasn't a porter. It was just really dark, but it wasn't heavy at all, and it was absolutely delicious. Like, that beer will sell anywhere.


Shave Ice: Behind Obama's Sweet Treat (History, Recipes, Video)

On Friday, Obama broke from his golf-gym-motorcade-gym-golf routine for a date with daughters Sasha and Malia. The three first visited an aquatic park where they caught a dolphin show, then the party continued over some shave ice, a local specialty, at Kokonuts Shave Ice and Snacks.

Obama also ordered a tuna melt for himself. The President-elect knows a thing or two about tuna: watch him make his signature tuna salad recipe.

And while we're on the topic of Obama's lunch, Obama befuddled the world when he ordered of spam sushi, or spam musubi earlier in the week. Read more about it.

But back to the Obamas' love affair with shave ice.

Here they are eating it in Hawaii in August.

Obama joked with reporters traveling with him that he would eat his lunch first, to set an example for his daughters. The president-elect then ordered a mound of shave ice, colored orange and green.

He laughed as the children and family friends ordered their snacks, which included flavors such as pina colada, vanilla and cherry.

"I'm not arguing anymore," Obama said in faux exasperation when one of the group's young members asked for a complicated blend of flavors poured on her midday dessert. "I gave up."

He also offered to buy journalists a plastic bowl of the slush -- a second offer this week, coming after he offered beer to reporters waiting while he played golf last Sunday.

"Guys, here's your chance," he said. "No? I'm telling you, this is really good."

No one took him up on the offer.

So what's all the fuss about?

Shave ice can be found everywhere in the Hawaiian Island - in coffee shops, mom and pop stores, shave ice stands, lunch wagons, crack seed stores, and especially at any and all public events. In Hawaii, shave ice is thought of as a snack and a thirst quencher. No trip to Hawaii is complete with tasting shave ice.

Mainlanders call them snow cones, but locals in Hawaii call it shave (not shaved ice). Unlike a mainland snow cone, shave ice is not ground ice. The shave ice is so fine that flavorings are absorbed into the ice rather than settling to the bottom of the cup as with a snow cone. In other words, it is the gourmet's snow cone in tropical flavors. In Hawaii, shave ice is sold in cone-shape cups.

An authentic shave ice starts with a block of ice that is spun across a razor-sharp blade (which shaves the ice creating a soft snow-like texture. Then it is packed into a paper cone, and flavored syrup is poured over the ice. Just as everyone has a favorite store, there are favorite flavors, too. Strawberry. Coconut. Lime. Li hing mui. Bubble gum. Liliko'i. Of course, if you can't decide on just one, go with the ever-popular rainbow shave ice.

December 26th


Obama Presents White House-Brewed Beer To Firefighters

President Barack Obama presented White House-brewed beer to a group of Virginia firefighters Tuesday afternoon.

The AP reports Obama stopped at a fire and rescue station in Norfolk and presented beer to the battalion chief and four firefighters so they could "test it out."

"It's a whole case," Obama said. "I am going to call you up and see if we have the right recipe."

The White House released two of its beer recipes in a blog post titled "Ale to the Chief" on September 1. White House Honey Ale and White House Honey Porter were among the flavors given to the firefighters.

Though the beer didn't have a label, the White House says it was a mix of bottles of honey ale, regular ale and dark ale. The Obama White House has been dabbling in homebrews of late, and it released a recipe over the weekend.

One of the firefighters at Norfolk Fire State No. 14, presumably on duty, asked Obama: "Should we wait until tomorrow to drink it?"

"I don't want to get you into trouble with the chief," the president responded.


Over Beers, No Apologies, but Plans to Have Lunch

WASHINGTON — They came, they met, they drank. They did not apologize.

The much-anticipated “beer summit” of President Obama, the Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department in Massachusetts took place Thursday night, accompanied by minute-by-minute reporting from the White House press corps, countdown clocks from the cable news networks, and a last-minute addition by the White House in the form of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

After 10 days of near nonstop news coverage of a case that prompted a thousand news stories about race, the men sat down for less than an hour at a table across from the Oval Office under a magnolia tree.

“What you had today was two gentlemen who agreed to disagree on a particular issue,” a poised and smooth Sergeant Crowley said in a 15-minute news conference after the session. “We didn’t spend too much time dwelling on the past, and we decided to look forward.”

Professor Gates said in an interview, “I don’t think anybody but Barack Obama would have thought about bringing us together.”

The two men and their families first encountered each other in the White House library while each group was on individual tours of the White House on Thursday afternoon.

“Nobody knew what to do,” Professor Gates said. “So I walked over, stuck out my hand and said, ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you.’ That broke the awkwardness.”

Sergeant Crowley added that the families “had continued the tour as a group while the beer talk commenced.” He described the interaction between families as very cordial.

Professor Gates concurred, saying: “We hit it off right from the beginning. When he’s not arresting you, Sergeant Crowley is a really likable guy.”

By the time the two men began their meeting with Mr. Obama, they could already report progress and told the president that they had made plans to lunch together soon.

“I am thankful to Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley for joining me at the White House this evening for a friendly, thoughtful conversation,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “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.”

The addition of Mr. Biden was interesting, for a number of reasons. Mr. Biden was able to draw on his credibility with blue-collar, labor union America and his roots in Scranton, Pa., to add balance to the photo op that the White House presented: two black guys, two white guys, sitting around a table.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Obama had berated reporters for obsessing on the theatrics of the meeting, saying he was “fascinated with the fascination” over the issue, which has been boiling since Sergeant Crowley, responding to a call about a possible break-in, arrested Professor Gates for disorderly conduct even though he had ascertained that he was in his own home.

Mr. Obama added fuel to the fire a week later when he said in response to a question at a news conference that the Cambridge police had “acted stupidly” in arresting Professor Gates, a word choice he later said he regretted.

“I noticed this has been called the beer summit,” Mr. Obama said after meeting earlier Thursday with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines. “It’s a clever term, but this is not a summit, guys. This is three folks having a drink at the end of the day and hopefully giving people an opportunity to listen to each other.”

The press was allowed only a peek at the gathering for about 40 seconds — and from a distance so great that reporters could not hear a word that was said.

Nonetheless, some details emerged:

¶Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden were in shirtsleeves Sergeant Crowley and Professor Gates wore suits.

¶The four drank out of beer mugs. Mr. Obama had a Bud Lite, Sergeant Crowley had Blue Moon, Professor Gates drank Sam Adams Light and Mr. Biden, who does not drink, had a Buckler nonalcoholic beer. (Mr. Biden put a lime slice in his beer. Sergeant Crowley, for his part, kept with Blue Moon tradition and had a slice of orange in his drink.)

¶The four men munched peanuts and pretzels out of small silver bowls.

Reporters and photographers had positioned themselves on the grounds waiting for the gathering to start, when a white family of five showed up. Were they the Crowleys? “Excuse me, may I ask who you are?” a reporter shouted.


Obama in Your Heart

For researchers of emotions, creating them in the lab can be a problem. Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Berkeley, studies the emotions of uplift, and he has tried everything from showing subjects vistas of the Grand Canyon to reading them poetry—with little success. But just this week one of his postdocs came in with a great idea: Hook up the subjects, play Barack Obama’s victory speech, and record as their autonomic nervous systems go into a swoon.

In his forthcoming book, Born To Be Good (which is not a biography of Obama), Keltner writes that he believes when we experience transcendence, it stimulates our vagus nerve, causing “a feeling of spreading, liquid warmth in the chest and a lump in the throat.” For the 66 million Americans who voted for Obama, that experience was shared on Election Day, producing a collective case of an emotion that has only recently gotten research attention. It’s called “elevation.”

Elevation has always existed but has just moved out of the realm of philosophy and religion and been recognized as a distinct emotional state and a subject for psychological study. Psychology has long focused on what goes wrong, but in the past decade there has been an explosion of interest in “positive psychology”—what makes us feel good and why. University of Virginia moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who coined the term elevation, writes, “Powerful moments of elevation sometimes seem to push a mental ‘reset button,’ wiping out feelings of cynicism and replacing them with feelings of hope, love, and optimism, and a sense of moral inspiration.”

Haidt quotes first-century Greek philosopher Longinus on great oratory: “The effect of elevated language upon an audience is not persuasion but transport.” Such feeling was once a part of our public discourse. After hearing Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, former slave Frederick Douglass said it was a “sacred effort.” But uplifting rhetoric came to sound anachronistic, except as practiced by the occasional master like Martin Luther King Jr. or Ronald Reagan. And now Obama.

We come to elevation, Haidt writes, through observing others—their strength of character, virtue, or “moral beauty.” Elevation evokes in us “a desire to become a better person, or to lead a better life.” The 58 million McCain voters might say that the virtue and moral beauty displayed by Obama at his rallies was an airy promise of future virtue and moral beauty. And that the soaring feeling his voters had of having made the world a better place consisted of the act of placing their index fingers on a touch screen next to the words Barack Obama. They might be on to something. Haidt’s research shows that elevation is good at provoking a desire to make a difference but not so good at motivating real action. But he says the elevation effect is powerful nonetheless. “It does appear to change people cognitively it opens hearts and minds to new possibilities. This will be crucial for Obama.”

Keltner believes certain people are “vagal superstars”—in the lab he has measured people who have high vagus nerve activity. “They respond to stress with calmness and resilience, they build networks, break up conflicts, they’re more cooperative, they handle bereavement better.” He says being around these people makes other people feel good. “I would guarantee Barack Obama is off the charts. Just bring him to my lab.”

It was while looking through the letters of Thomas Jefferson that Haidt first found a description of elevation. Jefferson wrote of the physical sensation that comes from witnessing goodness in others: It is to “dilate [the] breast and elevate [the] sentiments … and privately covenant to copy the fair example.” Haidt took this description as a mandate. Since it’s tricky to study the vagus nerve, he and a psychology student conceived of a way to look at it indirectly. The vagus nerve works with oxytocin, the hormone of connection. Since oxytocin is released during breast-feeding, he and the student brought in 42 lactating women and had them watch either an inspiring clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show about a gang member saved from a life of violence by a teacher or an amusing bit from a Jerry Seinfeld routine.

About half the Oprah-watching mothers either leaked milk into nursing pads or nursed their babies following the viewing none of the Seinfeld watchers felt enough breast dilation to wet a pad, and fewer than 15 percent of them nursed. You could say elevation is Oprah’s opiate of the masses, so it’s fitting that she early on gave Obama her imprimatur. And that for his victory speech was up front in Grant Park, elevation’s moist embodiment, feeling so at one with humankind that she used a stranger as a handkerchief.

The researchers say elevation is part of a family of self-transcending emotions. Some others are awe, that sense of the vastness of the universe and smallness of self that is often invoked by nature another is admiration, that goose-bump-making thrill that comes from seeing exceptional skill in action. Keltner says we most powerfully experience these in groups—no wonder people spontaneously ran into the street on election night, hugging strangers. “We had to evolve these emotions to devote ourselves into social collectives,” he says.

When you start thinking about mass movements, all those upturned, glowing faces of true believers—be they the followers of Jim Jones or Adolf Hitler—you don’t always get a warm feeling about mankind. Instead, knowing where some of these “social collectives” end up, the sensation is a cold chill. Haidt acknowledges that in “calling the group to greatness,” elevation can be used for murderous ends. He says: “Anything that takes us out of ourselves and makes us feel we are listening to something larger is part of morality. It’s about pressing the buttons that turn off ‘I’ and turn on ‘we.’ ”

Even at its most benign, elevation can seem ridiculous to outsiders. Think of how Obama’s opponents love to mock his effect on people. During the campaign, if your chest was contracting while all about you chests were dilating, you may be a Republican. If you were unmoved by Obama, watching your fellow citizen get all tingly, even fall into a faint (too much vagus stimulation, and you’re going down), was maddening. “Other people’s reverence seems unctuous and sanctimonious,” says Keltner.

Obama himself seemed aware of the dangers that too much elevation might pop his candidacy like a helium balloon hitting a power line. Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer described Obama’s canny strategy to make his rhetoric more pedestrian for the final months of the campaign.

While there is very little lab work on the elevating emotions, there is quite a bit on its counterpart, disgust. University of Pennsylvania psychologist Paul Rozin has been a leading theorist in the uses of disgust. He says it started as a survival strategy: Early humans needed to figure out when food was spoiled by contact with bacteria or parasites. From there disgust expanded to the social realm—people became repelled by the idea of contact with the defiled or by behaviors that seemed to belong to lower people. “Disgust is probably the most powerful emotion that separates your group from other groups,” says Keltner.

Haidt says disgust is the bottom floor of a vertical continuum of emotion hit the up button, and you arrive at elevation. This could be why so many Obama supporters complained of being sickened and nauseated by the Republican campaign. Seeing a McCain ad or Palin video clip actually felt like being plunged from their Obama-lofted heights.

Disgust carries with it the notion of contamination, which helps to explain the Republicans’ obsession with Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, and Jeremiah Wright and their frustration that more voters didn’t have a visceral reaction that Obama had unforgivably sullied himself by association with these men. But this time, elevation won. And expect that on Inauguration Day, even if the weather’s frigid, millions will be warmed by that liquid feeling in their chests.


Beer Geeks Determined to Unlock Obama's Home-Brew Recipe

Ever since President Obama began carrying around his own White House-brewed beer on the campaign trail, beer geeks have been eager to learn its secret recipe. With a reporter's determination, they've filed a Freedom of Information Act request and formal petitions for the sweet nectar's secret sauce. Unfortunately, a reporter's job is a harder than it looks, and the search for the truth isn't going so well.

RELATED:Here's the President's Personal Beer Recipe

What we know about the beer, which has been featured as a campaign prop during the president's Iowa travels, is that it goes by the name White House Honey Ale. The brewski's honey comes from Michelle Obama's garden beehive on the south lawn and it's bottled in a small brewery in the White House. While this is the first time it's made its way on the campaign trail, the Honey Ale started surfacing at White House events in 2011 including the Obamas' Super Bowl party. But that's about all we know.

RELATED:The White House Homebrew Is Delicious

So last week, a group of enterprising beer enthusiasts petitioned the White House via the administration's "We The People" site vowing to answer citizen questions that collect enough signatures. "In keeping with the brewing traditions of the founding fathers, homebrewers across America call on the Obama Administration to release the recipe for the White House home brew so that it may be enjoyed by all." Unfortunately, as Government Executive's Tom Shoop notes, their efforts may come to nought: "The petition had only 276 signatures, well short of the 25,000 needed to get an official response." 

RELATED:White House Continues to Stonewall: No Beer Recipe Forthcoming

However, America's thirstiest patriots tried another route. On Internet hivemind website Reddit this week, a user set off a joyful thread after submitting a Freedom of Information Act request to the White House for "all information including created recipes or instructions relating to the brewing of White House Honey Ale or other beer made by White House staff."

RELATED:President Obama Magically Silences a Crying Baby

"This is brilliant," said one user. "That's awesome, dude," said another. 

RELATED:Washington Freaks Out over a Petty, Day-Long Logistics Dispute

Unfortunately, they were thwarted again: The White House is not subject to FOIA requests—a point the know-it-alls at Pro Publica were happy to point out today:

For now, it looks like the recipe will remain a secret, barring some random act of kindness carried out by a government bureaucrat. Is it a lost cause? At least one Reddit user thinks not:

I'm a minor government functionary. You'd be amazed at the things we'll do for you if you make a bizarre request in a reasonable and slightly humorous way. If I'm amused, I'll go above and beyond, and you can't get it if you don't ask.


Obama beer summit provides gold mine for comedians

Although many were pleased with President Obama's decision to have Harvard professor Henry Gates and Cambridge police officer James Crowley over for a beer on Thursday, it might have polled best with one particular constituency: comedy writers.

Judging from the stockpile of jokes that late night comics told over the past week, the beer summit was comedy gold for material. Night after night, joke after joke, Letterman, O'Brien, Fallon, and Maher milked the meeting. And they produced some funny stuff.

Out of the four, Letterman appeared to enjoy the summit the most, producing the most jokes at the expense of the meeting. And what would an Obama joke be without throwing in the obligatory jab at Joe Biden?

"Big beer fest at the White House. And today, Obama sent Vice President Biden on an emergency goodwill mission for pretzels, so that will be good," Letterman observed.

Fallon played with the tee-totaling vice president as well: "President Obama held his first beer summit at the White House today. Obama wanted Bud Light, Crowley wanted Blue Moon, Gates wanted a Red Stripe, and Joe Biden wanted whatever fits in his beer helmet."

Perhaps Fallon and Letterman share some of the same comedy writers?

"He invited the professor and the cop to come to the White House on Thursday for beer. Alcohol usually cools things off. Have you noticed that? That's where you want to go," Letterman deadpanned.

Fallon went down the same road: "Finally, tomorrow, President Obama has his big beer summit with Professor Henry Louis Gates and Sergeant James Crowley. Yeah, that's a great idea. In my experience, the best way to settle an argument between guys from Boston, just add alcohol."

Of course Letterman had a top-ten list devoted to the event. A couple favorites include: "Let's call Limbaugh and take this party to the next level" and "Tell Geithner to put his shirt on".

Who knew Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was such a rich comic resource? Letterman doubled-down with: "Big kegger at the White House tomorrow. Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. will be there and Sergeant James Crowley will be there, coming over for beer. It's going to be a crazy night. There will be karaoke with Tim Geithner."

Letterman had a double shot of Limbaugh as well: "And then in the spirit of this, I thought it was nice today, Rush Limbaugh called up Professor Gates and Officer Crowley and he invited them over for some OxyContin."

Not surprisingly, Bill Maher was more pointed in his remarks: "So, I don't know if this is a case of racism. The police in Cambridge say it had nothing to do with Gates being black. They said they would have given the same treatment to any minority."

A good comedian doesn't just stop with one joke. Maher produced a combo-meal with: "But it's all coming out okay, because Obama today spoke to Officer Crowley on the phone. He said he was a good man, a good policeman, and they could find common ground. Although he did find it strange at the end of their conversation that Crowley demanded to see his birth certificate."

Fallon said the meeting was one of just many to come: "Obama wants to make this a regular thing. He's already invited Ahmadinejad over for Appletinis."

The ever-jolly Conan O'Brien noted, "Of course, President Obama has invited Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and the policeman who arrested him to the White House. Reportedly, Obama is going to serve them Budweiser. And in the spirit of racial harmony, Budweiser is changing its nickname from the 'King of Beers' to the 'Martin Luther King of Beers.'"

O'Brien proved he could combo-meal it too with: "President Obama, of course, everyone knows, has invited Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and the police officer who arrested him to the White House for a beer. Of course, this could be trouble, because the last time Obama got a few beers in him, he bought General Motors."

Everyone's got their favorite joke. Ours was this gem from Conan: "They had the big beer summit earlier tonight at the White House. President Obama had a beer with Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and the policeman who arrested him. The meeting got off to a rough start when a neighbor called the police to say Gates was breaking into the White House."

By the way, it wasn't just the comedians who had fun with the story. The mainstream news media had a blast with it too. On the night of the summit, Hardball's Chris Matthews compared Joe Biden to Ed McMahon (we included the video below).

We would never tell a joke at the expense of you. And if we did, it would only be on Twitter. So follow us!


Obama White House to brew more beer

It caught the attention of several White House watchers that homemade beer was served at the White House Super Bowl party in February.

Beverages poured during the party included &ldquothe following beers: Hinterland Pale Ale & Amber Ale (Wisconsin), Yuengling Lager and Light (Pennsylvania), White House Honey Ale," according to a pool report following the event.

Lest you think it was just a special occasion, the White House seems ready to make more of its own beer.

The food blog Obama Foodorama reports that "homebrewing is going to continue" at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. "They are the first presidential couple to ever charge their chefs with the ancient &mdash and now wildly popular &mdash art of homebrewing, according to White House Curator Bill Allman."

"It is very safe to assume that there will be more White House beer in the future," East Wing spokeswoman Semonti Stephens told the blog, noting that the Obamas paid for the brewing equipment &ldquowith their own funds.&rdquo

Honey from the White House beehive was used to make the first batch of homemade ale. Would the first lady ever consider growing hops in her vegetable garden?

"Believe me, I've thought about it," White House assistant chef Sam Kass told the blog. "It has definitely crossed my mind."