America's most famous beer lover made an 'off the record' stop for a cold one on Saturday afternoon while wooing early voters in New Hampshire. Making his first-ever visit to The Common Man restaurant in the town of Merrimack, President Obama, clad in
his shirtsleeves and dark trousers, bought beers for a couple of patrons, mingled with families gathered for dinner, and talked about his own White House homebrewed beer.
The President was lubricated for his beery meet n' greet with a Common Man Ale, the house brew on tap, though he'd asked for a Bud Light, his sudsy beverage of choice while stumping.
"Cheers everybody. To voting. To America. It doesn't matter what party," President Obama said as he stood in the middle of a crowd by the bar and raised his glass in a toast.
The restaurant is in a stone building that in the 1700s was the home of Matthew Thornton, who signed the Declaration of Independence.
After clinking glasses with his drinking buddies, the President asked if they knew about the White House beer his chefs have been making since 2011.
"It--it is outstanding," President Obama said. "Got great reviews. New York Times reviewed the beer."
The New York Times gushed about the beer earlier this month after the paper asked a professional brew master to test-drive the recipe for White House Honey Ale. The White House chefs, the first in history to homebrew at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, also make Honey Porter and Honey Blonde Ale.
"I was going to bring you a case, but someone forgot it," the President told his companions, looking over at his staff.
In September, the President gifted a group of firefighters with a mixed case of three White House brews during a stop in a different battleground state, Virginia. He also presented The View's Barbara Walters with two bottles as a birthday gift when he stopped by the show to discuss his campaign. In August, he presented one lucky citizen with a bottle of White House Honey Ale during an Iowa campaign stop.
The President's naughty staffers may have forgotten to bring beer to New Hampshire, but they didn't forget the White House M&Ms. The President gifted the special candy to a set of six-year-old twins and their older brother shortly before departing the pub. The box contains red and blue M&Ms, and has the President's autograph on one side and the Presidential seal on the other. The lucky kids got one box each.
There was plenty more love for the battleground state voters as the President worked the room, stopping at tables to chat and pose for photos. Part of a chain, The Common Man the President visited is located in an historic stone building that was once the home of a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
"What do you think of your baby having this big beard?" the President asked a mother drinking at the bar with her son, an engineering student who had a big black beard.
"He said if he'd known you were coming, he would have shaved," the woman told President Obama as they posed for a photo.
Greeting a couple in the next room who said they'd been married 48 years, the President noted he'd just celebrated his 20th wedding anniversary on Oct. 3rd.
"Michelle's attitude is that it takes about 15 years to train a man," President Obama confided. "But the last five have been pretty good."
A woman named Joanne was at the next table. It was her birthday, and she told the President she'd been trying to win the chance to dine with him during the Dinner with Barack fundraising contests. Instead, the President offered "a birthday hug and kiss."
Also at that table was Kim Kojak, who's running for state representative. She told the President that earlier she was campaigning at a local dump, so their meeting was a big change for the day.
"Can you sign our tablecloth and we'll keep it forever?" Kojak asked after they took a photo together.
The President also posed for a photo with a waitress who was earlier blocked by Secret Service from making it into a photo with the other servers. She was very excited, and showed off her Obama campaign sticker on her shirt, and got a round of applause from the customers.
The stop at The Common Man came after the President spoke to a crowd of thousands at Elm Street Middle School in Nashua. The restaurant is in "the former Hannah Jack Tavern, a historical building dating back to 1794 that was once the home of Matthew Thornton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence," according to the campaign.
The President greeted more supporters outside The Common Man before jumping into his limo and roaring off with his motorcade for the airport. He arrived at the airport at 5:28 PM, and arrived back at the White House at 6:44 PM.
The President's itinerary to swing states for the rest of the week is currently subject to change thanks to Hurricane Sandy, but he was scheduled to fly to Florida on Sunday.
Info: The Common Man the President visited is located at 304 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack, NH, 03054 . Phone: 603-429-3463.
*Photos by Scout Tufankjian for Obama for America