Barack and Joe by Steven Levingston

Barack and Joe by Steven Levingston

Author:Steven Levingston
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Hachette Books
Published: 2019-10-28T16:00:00+00:00

At around 2 p.m. Sergeant Crowley was at a favorite lunch hangout, Tommy Doyle’s Irish Pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, munching on a burger and sipping a Blue Moon Belgian White beer, when his cell phone rang. His conversation was brief, and when he clicked off, according to Peter Woodman, a co-owner of the pub in Kendall Square, Crowley had a look of amazement on his face: “He said, ‘Jesus Christ, you’ll never guess who’s going to ring me.’”

As the New York Daily News recounted the scene, everyone at Tommy Doyle’s soon knew that White House press secretary Gibbs had just warned Crowley to expect a call from President Obama. Cries of “No way!” flew around the place.

Then suddenly the lunchtime clamor fell silent. Someone muted the TVs and the music. In the kitchen, there was quiet instead of the usual tumult. Crowley, seated at a table near a front window, became the pub’s top attraction. A crowd stood around him, waiting. Crowley sipped his beer, his cell phone lying in view in front of him. The suspense played out for five or six minutes in the stillness of the pub.

“You could hear a pin drop,” Woodman recalled. When a couple walked in from the street and asked for a table, everyone in the bar turned on them: “‘Shh! Shh! Shut up and sit down!’”

Finally the phone rang. Crowley got himself ready, took a breath, and answered after three rings.

“Hello, Mr. President.”

Obama, on speakerphone, addressed the cop as Sergeant Crowley.

“Call me Jimmy,” Crowley said.

Obama returned the informality, saying Crowley should call him Barack.

They chatted for at least five minutes amid dead silence in the pub.

“Not a person breathed,” Woodman recalled.

Waiter Kyle Shearer was over at the bar filling an order when the bartender nodded toward Crowley’s table and said, “Hey, they’re on the phone with President Obama.” It hardly seemed possible, but Shearer made his way over. “I couldn’t believe it until I got close enough to hear Obama’s voice.”

Barack and Jimmy discussed the uproar, and Jimmy said he’d like to get past it. In friendly, easygoing banter, Barack asked Jimmy what he was drinking, and the cop learned the president was also a fan of Blue Moon.

When they signed off, the crowd burst into cheers.


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