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Will President Obama really down a cold one with Fox's Sean Hannity?

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hoists a cold one during the primary campaign

Analysts of presidential politics have long argued that Americans will often vote for the candidate whom they'd rather have a beer with.

Leading up to the last election, young people overwhelmingly said they'd rather hang out with President Obama for a drink than Sen. John McCain. And in a 2004 nationwide poll, 57% of undecided voters picked President Bush over Sen. John Kerry -- even though Bush isn't a drinker anymore.

But what if the president doesn't want to have a beer with you? Or, more specifically, what if he doesn't want to have a beer with Sean Hannity?

During Obama's Indiana town hall meeting on Monday, a woman suggested he sit down for a drink with the Fox News anchor.

"I didn't know that he had invited me for a beer," Obama replied. "Generally, his opinion of me does not seem to be very high."

"But I'm always good for a beer."

We'll see about that. Hannity, a noted conservative strongly critical of Obama, invited the president on his show Wednesday to join him for a beer (video below). No word yet from the president whether he'll actually take Hannity up on the offer.

But the news media is taking the opportunity to highlight its fascination with a beer-swigging president.

The Chicago Tribune has an interesting piece on the culture of presidential boozin'. "It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Americans hoisted their presidents off a pedestal," the Trib writes, "and plunked them down on a bar stool."

On a similar note, the Feds recently shut down the Sixpoint Brewery's Hop Obama beer as part of an effort to curb products attempting to profit from the president's likeness.

Hannity probably won't be throwing back Hop Obamas or other microbrews if the president takes him up on the offer. "What is Barack Obama's favorite brand of beer? I'm sure it's domestic."

If it happens, let's hope the experience isn't as awkward as the Onion's fictional bar meet-up between Bush and a voter.

-- Mark Milian

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Photo credit: Associated Press

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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