Obama to dine with Democratic senators on Wednesday

(Rob Carr/Getty Images ) (Rob Carr/Getty Images )

President Obama will expand his charm offensive to his own party Wednesday night when he breaks bread with 12 Democratic senators at the upscale Jefferson Hotel in downtown Washington.

Obama’s dinner with Democrats, just weeks after two recent dinners he held with a dozen Republican senators each, comes as he is promoting his budget, which angered some Democratic lawmakers because of his offer to trim Social Security benefits.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, organized the dinner, according to a White House official.

The other attendees include Sen. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) as well as Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Ron Wyden (R-Ore.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

On March 6, Obama had dinner at the Jefferson Hotel with 12 Republican senators, where Obama picked up the tab personally, and two of his guests, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), emerged flashing a thumbs-up.

And April 10, Obama invited a separate group of 12 Republican senators to dinner at the White House, where aides said they discussed a range of issues including deficit reduction, immigration reform and gun control.

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.
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