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White House Happy Hour: The Photo Op

The White House press pool has just returned after only a minute or so in the Rose Garden, where they found President Obama and Vice President Biden -- both in shirt-sleeves -- seated with Sergent James Crowley and Professor Skip Gates -- each still in full suits. An aide brought a frosty mug to the table for one of the participants, who also reached occasionally from bowls of pretzels and peanuts.

According to one of the pool reporters who was outside, it Gates seemed to be doing most of the talking at the time. No one made any statement to the press. The White House will likely issue a brief readout on the conversation when it breaks up.

Gates' and Crowley's families were invited, and were going to be given West Wing tours, Robert Gibbs told reporters earlier. Representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police were also reportedly going to come to the White House. That may explain Biden's presence -- during his career, he has developed close relationships with police officers and other first responders.

UPDATED: Here's a pool photo showing how far the press was positioned from the beer-drinkers.

beersummit.jpg