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Reply #34: Actually, the Irish are proudly making much of him "downing" it... [View All]

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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-11 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #25
34. Actually, the Irish are proudly making much of him "downing" it...
"He's the first president I've seen drink the black stuff like he's not ashamed of something."

DUBLIN Downing a Guinness is a rite of passage for any visitor to Ireland, but too often the VIPs, including some U.S. presidents, disappoint the Emerald Isle. Not President Barack Obama... he didn't hesitate Monday when offered a pint of the dark brew. Obama downed it in four slurps and won cheers across Ireland for it.

"The president actually killed his pint! He gets my vote," said Christy O'Sullivan, a government clerical worker who was taking a long lunch break to watch live TV coverage of Obama's visit to Moneygall, the tiny village where his maternal great-great-great grandfather lived and worked. "He's the first president I've actually seen drink the black stuff like he's not ashamed of something."

Previous American presidents didn't fare as well as Obama. In 1984, Ronald Reagan rejected the Guinness and instead posed for photographers with a pint of Smithwicks, a locally brewed red ale. He didn't finish it. In 2006, George W. Bush, a recovering alcoholic who drinks non-alcoholic beer, wasn't asked to pose with a pint of Guinness at all. Many expected more from Bill Clinton, but ended up deeply disappointed. In 1995, Clinton stopped at a Dublin pub bearing his family's Irish name of Cassidy but barely sipped his stout. Aides said he didn't want to be photographed drinking anything alcoholic, but the resultant image was hardly an endorsement of the product. Clinton had abandoned his almost full half-pint.

But on Monday, an American president finally savored his pint the way a local expects. Audiences watching the moment deliciously drawn out by Obama for close to a minute shouted encouragement at their TVs and cheered as he took a hearty swallow and polished it off. Mrs. Obama drank her half-pint, then got behind the bar herself and pulled two pints.
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