Obama: Beer summit is not a beer summit so don't call it that!

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    President Obama shares a light moment with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo just hours before the historic beer summit with Harvard professor Henry Gates and Cambridge police officer James Crowley.
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Don't call tonight's "beer summit" a "beer summit."

That's what President Obama is saying an hour before the beer summit meeting with professor Henry Gates and Sgt. James Crowley.

Lowering expectations? Probably. Will his statements diminish the wild media interest in the beer summit? Nope. CNN and MSNBC both have a ticker on their networks with a countdown until the beer summit begins.

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What's wrong with calling it a beer summit?

"It's a clever term but this is not a summit, guys," he said to reporters following a meeting with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines. "This is three folks having a drink at the end of the day, and hopefully giving people the opportunity to listen to each other. And that's really all it is."

"This is not a university seminar," he said. "It is not a summit. It's an attempt to have some personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped and so symbolic that you lose sight of just the fact that these are people involved, including myself, all of whom are imperfect, and will hopefully instead of ginning up anger and hyperbole, everybody can just spend a little bit of time with some self reflection and recognizing that other people have different points of view."

Obama said he was "fascinated with the fascination" over tonight's beer summit. Further, he said that he would be surprised if the press made the beer summit the top story instead of the meeting he had with the president of the Phillipines.

"But the press has surprised me before," Obama said.

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