Would Obama Talk to Women Over Beers?

The president needs a female version of the beer summit.

Photograph: Photo by Istock

FDR chatted at firesides. LBJ drove folks around his ranch. Bush 43 bonded through biking. Every president has his own style of relaxed communication, and apparently a backyard beer (this one now scheduled for Thursday at 6:00 PM) is going to be Obama’s. But even though the so-called beer summit seems a friendly way to smooth over the Harvard brouhaha (now officially the brewhaha), it also gives off a frisson of boys’ club. If Ruth Simmons, the African-American president of Brown University, had some kind of showdown with a white female police officer, would POTUS be so quick to proffer two cold ones? In a word (hyphenated):  Nuh-uh. Yeah, yeah, lots of women drink beer. But it just wouldn’t seem…seemly. On the other hand, our empathizer-in-chief might think of the perfect female forum. Maybe, as our first president with metrosexual potential (perfect grooming and Dijon mustard on his hamburger: yes!; mom jeans in the baseball stadium: no!), he’d suggest that all three of them sit down for a mani-pedi party (could the water be a little warmer, please?).

But whatever the venue, what matters is the access. So we invite you to a virtual sitdown with the president. As a woman, what would you tell or ask Obama over beers?  (Besides, of course, "Isn’t there any Amstel Light?")

 

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