Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley apparently don't need White House security to keep the peace. The two were spotted together Wednesday night in a Cambridge bar, sans cameras, handcuffs, or presidential mediators. This stands in contrast to the last time the men were on the public radar--the White House "Beer Summit" that Obama convened after the police officer arrested Gates in his own home. Now that Gates and Crowley are so friendly, pundits say the summer's racially charged media frenzy does seem a little silly. Ah, the power of hindsight.

  • The Gates-Crowley Affair Was Always Overblown  At The New Republic, Jason Zengerle says he thought the incident was overblown from the beginning (here's his take on the scandal from this summer). "As someone who found the whole Crowley-Gates-Obama beer summit kind of absurd the first time around, I'm actually kind of impressed--not to mention surprised--by the news that Crowley and Gates met for a second round of beers (minus Obama and the cameras) at a Cambridge bar last night. Is it possible something good might come out of that whole media circus?"
  • All Smiles Now  At New York Magazine's Daily Intel blog, Dan Amira takes a look on the lighter side. "The rendezvous ended after only an hour, though, according to the bar's manager, probably after the two men realized they had nothing to talk about besides mutual acquaintance Barack Obama and that time Crowley arrested Gates." After July's beer summit, Crowley and Gates told the press they planned to meet again, and Amira said a second date between the men would be a good way to "see if this budding relationship is for real." 
Other fun reactions from the Beer Summit-loving pundits:
  • Dan Kurtz, Talking Points Memo: "Reunited...and it feels so good"
  • Brightscope, Twitter: "Maybe Obama did earn the peace prize"
  • Ben Smith, Politico: "How about that?"
  • Jay Bookman, Atlanta Journal Constitution: "It's not peace in the Middle East, but it's something"
  • Liam O'Donoghue, Twitter: "Anyone else think they're plotting a reality TV show?"
  • Who Runs Government, Twitter: "Are they friends?"