DENVER (Reuters) - A man shouted "get that
man a beer" and sure enough, President Barack Obama soon had a cold pint
in his hand and prepared to play billiards with Colorado Governor John
This Tuesday night out on the town in Denver, which included
slices of pizza with a group of people who had written to him, was
Obama's way of escaping the confines of Washington, where partisan
gridlock reigns supreme.
It was a case of "the bear is loose," the president's own
description of the times when he is able to break free of the
trappings of Washington and experience what everyday Americans see.
Of course that's nearly impossible with the crowds that are
attracted to his every move and his security detail. Shaking hands
with dozens of bystanders along a Denver street, the "bear" came
face-to-face with a person wearing a horse's head mask, in honor of
the Denver Broncos NFL football team.
Inside Wynkoop Brewing Company, a local brewery that prides itself
as being 337 steps from the Colorado Rockies' Coors Field, Obama met
with Hickenlooper, a Democrat, and they took sips from pint glasses
of Railyard Ale amber beer as dozens of people snapped selfie
Moving over to the green felt billiards table, Obama and
Hickenlooper faced off. It was slow going at first.
"He's leaving me nothing," Obama said, a mock complaint at the
position on the table he was left with after an errant Hickenlooper
But then Obama began sinking balls and Hickenlooper could not.
"Uh oh!" Obama said of an errant Hickenlooper shot, and pretty soon
the president was waving over to the TV cameras to make sure they
had recorded his victory.
Denver was Obama's first stop on a three-day trip out of Washington
that will also take him to Texas. It is mostly aimed at raising
money for Democratic candidates in the November congressional
But on Wednesday, he will meet in Dallas with Texas Governor Rick
Perry, a Republican who has been sharply critical of Obama's
handling of the crisis involving tens of thousands of unaccompanied
children who have crossed into Texas from the border with Mexico.