Sr. WH official calls Obama’s outreach to GOP ‘a joke’

Sr. WH official calls Obama’s outreach to GOP ‘a joke’

He is dining with Republicans after advisers openly mocked suggestions that he do so. He is visiting Capitol Hill after telling aides that such a gesture was beneath him and the dignity of his office. And, as an ultimate indignity, he is talking to reporters. What’s gotten into President Obama?

A better question might be what has left the president – and the answer would be: Much of his political capital.

Obama’s sudden burst of public outreach coincides with a drop in his approval ratings, noted first by Democratic pollsters advising the White House last week and now surfacing in a spate of public polls. This raises the uncomfortable question: Is this schmooze-a-thon a legitimate act of humility and leadership or a cynical public display?

I can’t answer that question because I don’t pretend to know Obama’s state of mind. I can tell you that some of his advisers are no more convinced that this strategy will work than they were a few days ago.

“This is a joke. We’re wasting the president’s time and ours,” complained a senior White House official who was promised anonymity so he could speak frankly. “I hope you all (in the media) are happy because we’re doing it for you.”

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