Bad Hops


Misplaying the ball has been the key to the Obama administration’s response to the arrest, two weeks ago, of Harvard professor Skip Gates.

The much anticipated beer summit did nothing to change that. Shoved into a corner of the White House grounds, the Vice President joined Obama and the incident’s principals around a table that was too big, and too empty. Couldn’t they have pretended to make it casual and fun. Serve a burger or a dog? You fly people in from out of town (consider the carbon footprint issues!) then have a cold, unfriendly photo op?

Alas, the four sat awkwardly and waited patiently as a waiter walked across the lawn to serve the much over emphasized brews. It wasn’t a summit, as it turns out, but a tasting… the key to the White House being to escape without any further blunders that might keep the story alive a single day longer than necessary. The media was kept far away so there could be, of course, no teachable moments.

BONUS – The White House was so determined that the moment be quick and uncomfortable that there were apparently no napkins offered. Watch the President of the United States wipe his left hand on his pants after having a few nuts, perhaps – the only food that seems to have been offered.

In a subsequent press conference, Sgt. Crowley showed himself to be confident and gracious – putting to rest any attempts that might have been planned to further portray him in a negative light.

Most poignant of all is a letter written by Sgt. Leon Lashley, on the scene with Sgt. Crowley at the Gates residence two weeks ago, which he gave to Crowley to give to the President.

Lashley complains of having been labeled an Uncle Tom for expressing his support for Crowley, and asks Professor Gates to do some soul searching over his behavior and the negative impact it has had on the people involved.

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