First came a fancy dinner in which President Obama treated Republican senators to lobster thermidor and Colorado lamb açaí. Then came phone calls, Oval Office meetings and more dinners. Finally on Monday, Obama took his charm offensive onto the golf course.
“Well,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “he’s willing to try anything.”
With deals on the budget and other pillars of his second-term agenda still elusive, Obama on Monday continued his “inside game” of trying to broker compromises by personally engaging with willing lawmakers. At least once a week, Carney said, Obama has been talking to Republican senators “looking to get things done.”
Later this week, however, Obama is scheduled to ramp up his “outside game” — staging the first in a series of public events across the country designed to jump-start his second-term economic agenda.
Obama plans to travel Thursday to Austin, where the tech-sector jobs market has been booming, to kick off his “Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour.” Carney said the trip is designed to highlight an economic success story “in spite of some of the obstacles that we face here in Washington to do the right thing.”