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Obama’s Drinking Problem

Obama with beer
Photo courtesy of cizauskas/Flickr

President Obama has a drinking problem. More specifically, he has a beer problem.  Now that the White House has released its official beer recipe, perhaps beer will play an even bigger role than it already will in the November elections.


The problem began in the heady days of 2009 when beer became the central figure in national race relations. The so-called “Beer Summit” brought together Obama, Obama’s friend and Harvard Professor Robert Louis Gates Jr., and the police officer that Obama accused of “acting stupidly,” Sgt. James Crowley.

The summit was intended to ease the tension caused after Crowley arrested Gates (who happens to be black) for disorderly conduct and then was publicly denounced by the President of the United States. Sgt. Leon Lashley (who also happens to be black) was at the scene of the arrest and claims that Crowley made the right decision. In the end, the beer summit achieved very little, with no individual admitting fault in the matter.

Obama’s next beer stumble is still in process and has to do with the Seal Team 6 members who shot Osama bin Laden. The death of Osama bin Laden is widely considered one of the greatest feats of the Obama presidency, but a new book out this week titled “No Easy Day – The Autobiography of a Navy Seal” may shift public opinion.Not only does the book’s author claim that Osama bin Laden was unarmed during the firefight, it also wags a finger at the president for not following up on a promise to buy a round of beers for the Seals that took out one of history’s most notorious terrorists.

Obama’s drinking problem is not one of over-imbibing, it’s a problem of using beer as a political appeal to the common man. In both of the big beer brouhahas, Obama attempts to express his commonness with the public and to override the intensity of a moment. These drinking sessions either don’t work, or don’t occur. The suggestion of a round of beers is less of a man to man offer of friendship and camaraderie and more of an attempt to woo the voters that view these events on television. When the cameras aren’t rolling (no cameras were allowed during the beer summit conversation) very little happens.
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