President Barack Obama has invited vanquished rival Mitt Romney to lunch at the White House on Thursday. The food should be first-rate. The conversation?
Exchanging substantive and constructive ideas isn't really the point, of course; both parties likely just want a post-2012 election public burying of animosities.
White House spokesman Jay Carney announced the meal Wednesday in a statement: “It will be the first opportunity they have had to visit since the election.”
There will be no press coverage, of course.
Following his reelection, Obama said nice things about his ex-opponent, including that he’d like to sit down with him and hear Mitt Romney’s ideas about the economy.
“He presented some ideas during the campaign that I actually agree with,” said Obama.
It behooves Obama to be gracious, of course, having won just 51 percent of the vote.
With large margins of Americans telling pollsters they want Democrats and Republicans to work together, the lunch offer is at least a nice gesture to that effect.
It could set a tone of civil discourse that the administration may want to continue to project in the months ahead ... okay, maybe not, but wishful thinking?
For Romney, the White House lunch must be a far easier, and yet more difficult task.
Only weeks ago he thought the Oval Office would be home. Now it’s just an exclusive club that deigned to admit him for an hour, and he can't exactly turn down the offer.
From his days as Massachusetts Governor, Romney clearly knows that Americans want their politicians to work together, and bolsters the Republican brand by appearing.
Romney also needs to rebuild his status within the GOP, as well as within the country, following his loss and the claim that Obama won by giving people gifts.
What we wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall ...