Of Super Bowl’s and Presidential Perks

This weekend is one of the great gathering days on the calendar in the United States.  Families and friends come together and congregate around the television to watch four-plus hours of advertisements, football and halftime shows.

Come Sunday the American public will fret over which number they have in the five-dollar-per-square house pool, how many cocktail franks to put in the oven, and which beer to stock the fridge with.  The very same thing is also happening over at the White House.  (Okay, maybe not the pool)  The guest list is set, the invites out, and even the beer is picked.

According to reports, the President has chosen a few cases of a Wisconsin beer.   Both the Pale Ale and Amber Ale from the Hinterland Brewery in Green Bay have been shipped from the brewhouse directly to the White House.  Let’s be honest, being able to have a “few cases” shipped straight from a brewery half-way across the nation to your Super Bowl Party must be high on the list of great presidential perks.

Just in case you care, and there is no reason you should, I am going with the President’s apparent pick and taking the Packers.  Enjoy the game!

By Dave McBride

 


Published in: on February 4, 2011 at 9:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Would Samuel Adams be the perfect tonic for Presidential summit?

Ladies and gentlemen, we now have a full-blown media frenzy surrounding what kind of beer will be served at today’s White House meeting between President Obama, Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  (Not to overstate the obvious, but I think it is pretty clear that we here at Pub Talk have been further out in front of this story than even the largest of news organizations!)

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Today, CNN gets into the act with another story about what kind of beer the White House staff should serve.  I think if you look below you will find some terrific selections already offered by our staff, but the CNN story concerns another angle to this subject that we also covered long before CNN thought to report on it.  As I am sure you know, the President has stated a love for Budweiser products.  That’s all well and good.   But in the midst of trying to defend his status as a natural born citizen, we here at Pub Talk thought he would be best served politically by enjoying something produced by an American company, which Budweiser no longer is.

My suggestion was to go with something brewed in Hawaii.  It serves the duel purpose of being American, and showing a strong working knowledge of his own home state.  But there are apparently other options coming from other areas of our great brewing nation…

In a letter to Obama dated Wednesday, Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal strongly urges the president not to drink Budweiser, now owned by a Belgian company. Nor should the White House consider serving Miller or Coors, Neal writes, both owned by a United Kingdom conglomerate.

Instead, the White House should serve the three men — all with ties to Massachusetts — the local favorite, not only because of its popularity in the region but also because it remains the largest American-owned and brewed beer, Neal says.

Samuel Adams Jim Koch has even offered to brew a special batch just for the occasion.  I suppose that is not such a bad idea, but I still think a Hawaiian brew would be the right choice to help settle many of the President’s current political issues…or whatever you call them!

By Dave McBride.  Follow Dave on Twitter!

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Can choosing the right beer help White House avoid political nightmare?

So you have all heard by now that President Obama plans to meet with Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge police department and Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University at the White House over a couple of beers and hash their problems out…okay, well maybe its intended to stop a media firestorm, but I digress.  Either way, the meeting is scheduled for this week and all attention now turns to the details.

Over this past weekend, America Public House Review editor Chris Poh offered a most noble of public services by suggesting some brews that might help ease the tension of said meeting.  Yes, suggesting they serve Loose Cannon Ale may seem to the White House staff to be, on the surface, somewhat snarky.  But perhaps a little humor and self-deprecation should be on the menu. 

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According to this morning’s Boston Herald, none of our suggestions seem to be at the top of the list.  But there still is time…

The beer selection for Thursday’s meeting is not known. Crowley prefers Blue Moon beer. Gates likes Beck’s and Red Stripe. The president drinks Budweiser.

First of all, I find it hilarious that some reporter actually cared enough to ask Gates and Crowley what beer they like.  (I also find it somewhat sad that these same reporters felt their time was best spent asking such a question…)  And I suppose taking their tastes into account may be a good way to break the ice.

However, there does seem to be a potential political disaster here for President Obama.  Doesn’t the president or at least someone in the West Wing realize that Budweiser is no longer an American company?  Couldn’t this lead to rumors that Obama was actually born in Belgium and not Honolulu??  Maybe he should switch to one of the fine beers offered by the Kona Brewing Company…just another public service from your friends at the American Public House Review.

by David McBride

Celebrating Lincoln’s 200th birthday

Like many Americans, I have always held Abraham Lincoln in the highest regard.  Like everyone else who grew up in learning history in this country, Lincoln was regarded by me as the man who freed the slaves, saved the union, and died a martyr for all that is good about our country.  Perhaps those views can now be seen as somewhat naive, but there is no denying the reverence our country still feels for our 16th president.  And to be sure, that reverence is well deserved, even if the probing light of history has changed the view a bit.

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Yesterday, as we celebrated Lincoln’s 200th birthday, I wanted to write a little something about the man I admire so much.  But what was I to say?  Do I really have the authority or skill to write eloquently enough about someone who defined the art of eloquent writing?  So I resigned myself to skipping this project of a post on Lincoln.  That was until I watched President Obama’s speech in Springfield, Illinois last night.

So rather than try and write something, I thought I would simply leave you today with a bit of the President’s speech.  Not surprisingly, he did a far better job than I could have hoped to do…

He understood that strain of personal liberty and self-reliance at the heart of the American experience.

But he also understood something else. He recognized that while each of us must do our part, work as hard as we can, and be as responsible as we can -– in the end, there are certain things we cannot do on our own. There are certain things we can only do together. There are certain things only a Union can do.

Only a Union could harness the courage of our pioneers to settle the American west, which is why he passed a Homestead Act giving a tract of land to anyone seeking a stake in our growing economy.

Only a Union could foster the ingenuity of our farmers, which is why he set up land-grant colleges that taught them how to make the most of their land while giving their children an education that let them dream the American dream.

Only a union could speed our expansion and connect our coasts with a transcontinental railroad, and so, even in the midst of civil war, he built one. He fueled new enterprises with a national currency, spurred innovation, and ignited America’s imagination with a national academy of sciences, believing we must, as he put it, add “the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery…of new and useful things.”

The “fuel of interest to the fire of genius”!  What a beautiful sentence.  So how about we raise a glass to Mr. Lincoln?  Who wouldn’t have loved to sit at a pub and listen to him spin a yarn? 

by Dave McBride

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What’s next for David and Goliath?

Make no mistake about it, Barrack Obama’s victory was an upset of nearly biblical proportions.  A rookie senator taking down a popular and well know member of one of the country’s most powerful political families is an amazing achievement.  But it didn’t come easy, and someone as big as Hillary Clinton will not fall very easily at all.  So what is next for this David and Goliath?

It is hard to look into the mind of Senator Clinton and see if she really would want to be vice-president.  She and Obama have fought an often personal fight and as a result her role in an Obama administration would likely be much smaller than her role as the nation best known senator.  But it may be her best path to the oval office.  What is certain is that it is hard to figure out what she really wants.  However, looking into the mind of Senator Obama may even be tougher.

Would he need her or even want her on the ticket?  Three months ago the answer was easily no.  But that was then, and so much has happened since.  Three months ago, Hillary Clinton had not won big in major states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Three months ago, the media had not yet latched onto to this theory that working class white democrats would not vote for Barrack Obama.  Three months ago he didn’t need Hillary Clinton.  But that may not be the case now.

Sure, a governor from a swing state may help the electoral strategy or a southern senator may better balance the ticket.  But will they really have a greater impact than Clinton?  Can anyone besides Hillary deliver to the Obama campaign the 18 million people who voted for her better than she can?  Those questions are what must be keeping the Obama campaign up at night.  But the really difficult question has to be; Can David and Goliath ever fight together and win?

by Dave McBride of the American Public House Review

Published in: on June 5, 2008 at 8:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Six weeks of Pennsylvania and little achieved in the results

So here we are, the day after the Pennsylvania primary.  For the past six weeks, and even for weeks before that, we heard from the pundits that this was going to be crucial.  This primary was supposed to be as big and as decisive as Iowa’s or New Hampshire’s.  Well, I guess it was because it has, like those two, decided absolutely nothing.

We had six weeks of a campaign that ended up being waged in the gutters of the political world.  Once upon a time the Democrats argued about who will cover more Americans with their healthcare proposals, who has the best plan to end the war in Iraq, or who has the best ideas for stabilizing a teetering economy.  But the good folks of Pennsylvania were instead subjected to, boilermakers, bowling scores, and fantasy bullets.  Policy was replaced with nonsense, and all at the cost of millions.  Even the debate, an event that usually brings a pause to the silliness, was a disgrace.

And what is worse is that after weeks of hypocrisy and hyperbole, the results bring nearly nothing.  Both candidates did about what we would have expected six weeks ago.  Sure, Obama cut into Clinton’s lead, but everyone expected he would do that.  And perhaps he forced her into a tenuous financial situation moving forward, but does anyone really believe that will stop the Clintons?  She is still behind in delegates and popular vote and he still has not closed the deal.  But they have managed to damage each other quite a bit.  Congratulations Senators, millions spent in Pennsylvania and all you have achieved is a big “thank you” from John McCain.

The only good news is that it is finally behind us.  The next six weeks will feature the final ten contests.  Will they give us the closure we all desperately crave?  The chances are just as likely they will as they won’t.  As much as the cable media loves this stuff, it is driving the rest of us absolutely insane!

Posted by: David McBride, Marketing Director – American Public House Review

Published in: on April 23, 2008 at 8:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Can the Democrats afford to keep this battle going?

This presidential primary season began with most of us assuming Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic nomination quickly and the Republicans would go on battling it out perhaps all the way to the convention.  Even after Iowa little had changed in that thinking.  Obama looked like an easy winner and no one thought Mike Huckabee would walk to the finish line without first having to fight off John McCain in the west, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney in the northeast and Fred Thompson in the south.

But we could not have been more wrong.  McCain walked to the finish line, while the Democrats can’t even seem to locate the track.  But is this long fight between the two popular senators really damaging the party’s chances to win in November?  That is the question that seems to get asked of every pundit on cable news.  A few of them think it is not hurting the Democrats chances significantly, that exposure can only be a good thing and that the general election is too far off to worry about now.  But I just can’t agree with that assessment.

There are good primaries and there are bad primaries.  A good primary battle is a policy-based primary battle.  In the Democrats case this would be an ideological left versus center battle, think Jerry Brown against Bill Clinton.  It would be a fight where the direction of the party is defined for the general election.  In the past Democrats of fought over foreign policy, trade agreements, and other such topics and came out of the primary process with a nominee whose ideas are supported by the majority of the party and have had the benefit of months worth of debates, stump speeches and town hall meetings to introduce those ideas to the voters.  This would be a long, hotly contested but good primary.

But that is not at all what we have here.  Clinton and Obama are remarkably close on many policies.  Sure there are small differences in healthcare proposals and even some big differences in foreign policy.  But that is not what the media is discussing when covering these two candidates.  Instead we have tax records, former pastors, and exaggerations.  These are the things that can not help a candidate in November.  They can only hurt. 

This is why it is perfectly fine for many in the party to call for this to be decided sooner rather than later.  Perhaps it is not decided just yet, but if the Democrats continue on this path past early May and onto the convention they will be handing a big advantage to the Republicans.  Since these two candidates are so close on policy, the Democrats must ask themselves if this is really worth it.

Published in: Uncategorized on April 5, 2008 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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