President Obama has come around on the prospect of having a drink with Mitch McConnell. And it appears the Kentucky Republican, who was elected Senate majority leader Thursday for the new Congress, plans to join the president for a glass of bourbon, according to the Associated Press.
A day after Republicans handed Democrats an Election Day defeat by taking control of the Senate, Obama extended an olive branch during a White House press conference. “You know, actually, I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell,” Obama told reporters. The president hasn’t always felt that way. At the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner, Obama responded to criticism that he hadn’t put in enough face time with Republicans in Congress. “Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell,” Obama joked, adding, “I’m sorry. I get frustrated sometimes.”
Republicans, too, are sounding a bipartisan note in the wake of the midterm elections. But McConnell told GOP leaders Saturday in Kentucky that the premise of the so-called “bourbon summit” remains to be seen, according to the AP.
Meeting over drinks is not without precedent in the Obama White House. In 2009, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and police Sgt. James Crowley, the Cambridge officer who arrested Gates at his Cambridge, Mass. home, sat down with the president on the Rose Garden patio for a “beer summit.” Gates consumed a Red Stripe, Obama a Bud Light and Crowley a Blue Moon.
It remains to be seen which Kentucky bourbon Obama and the top Republican in the Senate will go for.