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Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in Featured, Politics | 11 comments

Report: Republicans Emerge from Dinner With Obama Optimistic About Deficit Deal

Is this a sign of the world coming to an end? Did President Barack Obama slip something into their drinks? Did Obama win them over them by putting a pillow in his shirt and filling his mouth with lobster Thermidor and doing a Michael Moore impression? And what will Rush Limbaugh say?

According to The Hill, GOPers who had dinner with President Barack Obama at a posh restaurant with the guest list selected by Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham came out of it — brace yourself — optimistic that some kind of a deficit budget deal can be reached.

Has you-know-where frozen over?

Senate Republicans are more optimistic about the prospect of a grand bargain on the deficit after an intimate dinner with President Obama Wednesday evening in downtown Washington.

Obama and a dozen Republicans discussed a range of issues during a nearly two-hour meal at the Jefferson Hotel, focusing mostly on the budget, the issue that most divided them in the last Congress.

GOP senators say no new policy ground was broken as both sides held fast to their battle-tested positions on taxes and spending, but the meeting helped thaw frosty relations and improve the prospects of a deal eventually.

Now here is a quote from a Senator that the political prognosicators at MSNBC didn’t expect to see: the Senator they suggested would come out and blast Obama didn’t.

Who wrote their predictions? Dick Morris?

“I think really what he is trying to do is start a discussion and kind of break the ice and that was appreciated,” said Sen. Mike Johanns (Neb.), one of twelve Republicans who broke bread with Obama. “Most of the meeting was spent on budget and [finding] a way forward. His goal is ours. We want to stop careening from crisis to crisis.”

Johanns said he is more optimistic of reaching a broad deficit-reduction deal this Congress.

“I think he’s very sincere. I think he wants to try to figure something out. Today was a good step and we’ll see what happens now,” he said.

And what about Obama — who journalists basically say isn’t a great political schmoozer and who supposedly dislikes these kinds of events?

Obama had a good time, despite his sometimes bitter policy differences with Republicans.

“The president greatly enjoyed the dinner and had a good exchange of ideas with the senators,” said a senior administration official.

The White House announced the president picked up the tab and paid for it out of his own pocket.

Perhaps that’s why the GOPers were happy.

Will my Cagle column released YESTERDAY be outdated?

It’s too early to tell — and the professional partisan demonizers and polarizers radio talk show hosts and conservative ideological cable news hosts haven’t started in demanding no compromise, a total win, and/or branding them a bunch of RINOs yet.

But hope springs eternal.

Maybe you-know-where HAS frozen over…

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  • KP

    For What It’s Worth …

    Forty five or six years ago Buffalo Springfield suggested:

    “I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
    Everybody look what’s going down…

    There’s battle lines being drawn
    Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong”

  • dduck

    Free dinner and drinks and meeting someone that came down from Mt. Olympus, what’s not to like.
    A meeting, I hope, with members of the House may be a different matter and may be more like a scene from an Animal House brunch. So to save the WH china make it on neutral territory and use paper plates.
    Anyway, the sequester may have been a sobering event for both sides.

  • slamfu

    I doubt we’ll be seeing any actual forward movement. I think the GOP lawmakers might have confused this for the usual meals given them by lobbyists and were just in an agreeable mood out of reflex, and its only temporary.

  • bluebelle

    I loved the quote from Lindsay Graham where he apologized to the Tea Party wing for accepting the President’s invitation to organize the group:

    “How do you say no to the president of the United States who would like to have dinner with some of your colleagues? You don’t,” Graham said.”

  • dduck

    The nattering nabobs of negativism still abound.

  • zephyr

    I think it’s going to take a lot more than a sequester for the GOP to experience a “sobering event”. Maybe losing the House would do the trick.

    “The president greatly enjoyed the dinner and had a good exchange of ideas with the senators,” said a senior administration official.

    Very amusing.

  • KP

    I am saving snarky comments in a file. Like America’s Funniest Home Videos. Then post them in 2014. Feel free to save mine! We can have a laugh-in 🙂

  • zephyr

    Where would political discussion be without snark? The blood would be drained right out of it. 😉 Besides, snark to one person may well be pragmatism to another.

  • petew

    totally unexpected to see Obama employ this social get-together to help end hostilities. Former Presidents like Johnson and Reagan were well known for charming their opponents into making deals, but this has not been Obama’s Shtick. It will be a miracle if many differences were resolved during one meal, but, it’s refreshing to see this type of socialization take place. It used to be a large part of political life in DC and sometimes did get results.

    Despite the fact that wealthy tax payers could easily afford to assume a much greater tax-burden in order to facilitate economic recovery, I think it is understandable that they would resent having to accept more taxes on the income they consider fairly earned.

    Even though controversial, it wouldn’t hurt if Obama really did make some concessions in regards to entitlements, since, if they are made without jeopardizing the poorest among us who desperately rely on the social safety net, this would be a surefire demonstration of sacrifice that would probably cause Republicans embarrassment if they continually refused to accept it.

    Even though some entitlements like SS can be easily fixed, social programs and safety nets for the poor do consume a massive part of the budget, and it would be a great gesture to really do something in regards to lowering their costs.

    And dduck, sorry for coming across as “holier than thou” in a recent post of mine. I also don’t like people who come across that way with me.

  • dduck

    Not necessary petew, all is OK.

  • KP

    z, we completely agree on this. Humor is a thing. Snark can be the same as a good sense of humor combined with some ‘leaning’ in. TMV gets it right.

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