Kerry accepts Canadian beer in hockey wager


Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, left, shakes hands and gives a case of Molson beer to Secretary of State John F. Kerry. (Paul J. Richards/AP)

That was Secretary of State John Kerry upon accepting a case of Molson Canadian beer on Thursday from Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird, after winning a wager on the women’s world ice hockey championships. It translates as “this is not a gift.”

Was that a slight to our friendly neighbors to the north, who had just called the beer a “cadeau” (which means “present”) ? Sounds like an ungracious way to respond to a decent amount of decent brew. How very undiplomatic.

Not exactly — Kerry was making a joke, explaining (in perfect French, mais oui) that he didn’t consider the beer to be a “gift,” but rather the spoils of victory flowing from the defeat of the Canadian team by the U.S. squad in the Wednesday championship.

Meaning, thanks, but we earned those suds!

Both leaders seemed to enjoy settling the bet, though Baird hinted that the friendly rivalry was far from finished.

“I look forward to seeing you again,” Kerry concluded.

“Absolutely,” Baird replied. “When the [Ottawa] Senators beat the [Boston] Bruins.”

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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