The Obama 'Beer Summit'

July 30, 2009 12:02:34 PM PDT
There's an old belief that it's difficult to hate someone if you just sit down and talk, face to face. Oh sure there are exceptions. But if you think about your own experiences with people whom you don't care for - it's hard not to find some common ground, even some degree of affection and compassion for someone who you talk to. One on one. President Obama has been roundly criticized for how he handled the Henry Louis Gates arrest in Cambridge last week, saying, at first, that the cops had acted stupidly (his word).

He later apologized.

Tonight, in a move that is part Henry Kissinger, part King Solomon, the president has invited Prof. Gates and the cop, Sgt. James Crowley, over to the White House for a couple of beers. Face to face. One on one.

There will be cynics aplenty on both sides, but from my vantage point - albeit a bit fuzzed out from a week in newborn baby bliss - I think it's fairly brilliant.

Would that we could solve the rest of the world's problems like this. Israelis and Palestinians. Iran and its reformers. Afghanistan and the Taliban. All it takes is sharing a drink - non-alcoholic of course!?!

We'll have the latest on the brew and the brouhaha, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, the ongoing New Jersey corruption case may take another dramatic turn tonight or tomorrow. The mayor of Hoboken, the brash and confident Peter Cammarano, is expected to resign soon. There's been much pressure for the indicted mayor to step down - pressure from the governor and others. Cammarano won election last month - barely, with a 161-vote margin. The second place finisher, Dawn Zimmer, would become mayor if Cammarano does resign.

Finally, a word of thanks for so many of you who send good wishes to me and my family. Ella Ritter is doing just fantabulously, as you can see by CLICKING HERE. No surprise, she's trying to talk at the ripe old age of one week! Seriously, thank you so much for all your notes and messages. It's been a magical week.

I hope you can join Liz Cho, Lee Goldberg, Scott Clark and me, tonight at 11 for all the night's news.

BILL RITTER


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