WASHINGTON, November 28, 2012 — There’s a season for everything. A season to campaign. A season to savor or to mourn the election. Now it’s the season to bury the hatchet, mend bridges, kiss and make up. All the political clichés. In other words, move on.
That’s why it is a good idea that President Obama invited former Governor Mitt Romney to literally break bread with him at the White House. The two men who battled it out for the presidency less than a month ago will have lunch Thursday in a small private dining room just off the Oval Office. The luncheon will be closed to the press and photographers.
On Election night following a rather acrimonious campaign, President Obama had said, “In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.”
Then again during a November 14 press conference, Obama had given some clues as to what he might want to discuss with the former Massachusetts governor:
“There are certain aspects of Governor Romney’s record and his ideas that I think could be very helpful. To give you one example, I do think he did a terrific job running the Olympics. And you know, that skill set of trying to figure out how do we make something work better applies to the federal government.
“There may be ideas that he has with respect to jobs and growth that can help middle-class families that I want to hear,” Obama had added. “I’m not either prejudging what he’s interested in doing, nor am I suggesting I’ve got some specific assignment.”
After licking his wounds, Romney had in off-the-cuff remarks to wealthy donors remarked that Obama’s campaign “focused on giving target groups a big gift,” meaning African Americans, Hispanics, young people, and women. Most dismissed his comment as sour grapes and others bet Romney wouldn’t be meeting with the President any time soon.
But President Obama as part of his strategy to move the country away from the fiscal cliff has been reaching out to small businesses, the middle class, corporate CEOs, and unions. Inviting Romney in for a sit-down, man to man, makes sense, especially if there is one thing Romney does have, it’s business acumen and he is worth listening to.
While in Washington on Thursday, Romney plans to also meet with Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, his former veep running mate. Ryan has been tapped by House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) to be one of the leads on the fiscal cliff negotiations.
This will be Romney’s first political outing since his defeat on November 6. Previously he had been spotted at Disneyland and at the gym and movies with his wife. For the past three weeks he has been secluded in his Southern California home. There is talk that he will soon have an office at the venture capital firm that his son Tagg Romney founded in Boston, Solamere Capital.
As for the agenda for Thursday’s luncheon, that is all hush-hush. This is one of those times when you have to wish you could be a fly on the White House wall.
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.
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