World awaits Obama's choice in high profile beer sitdown

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Washington, July 29 (ANI): U.S. President Barack Obama, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley plan to sit down for a beer on Thursday.

The three men, surrounded by their families, will raise their glasses at the picnic table outside the Oval Office, weather permitting, CBS reports.

Asked if there would be pretzel or chips present, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs quipped, "We're just going to go straight beer. No sense in diluting it." No word yet on whether beer nuts will be served.

Thursday event will likely be one of the biggest photo-ops of the year, the culmination of the firestorm that erupted after Obama weighed in on Crowley's arrest of Gates at his own home.

Obama initially suggested that the officer had acted "stupidly" - a comment he later walked back - setting off a debate over race that diverted attention from his health care efforts.

Thursday's reconciliation toast isn't just a memorable moment in America's conversation on race, of course. It's also a marketing opportunity. The beers that the men decide to put to their lips will get enormous exposure, not to mention the implicit endorsement of those present.

The White House has suggested that the president will drink Budweiser, the same beer he had at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Crowley is said to be a fan of Blue Moon, the Belgian Wheat Ale often served with an orange slice.

Gates, meanwhile, is partial to Red Stripe and Beck's, the latter being a straight ahead pilsner, according to the Boston Globe and CBS. (ANI)

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