The Washington Post

Obama lunches with Romney. No crowing

The lunch tomorrow between President Obama and vanquished Republican nominee Mitt Romney will be fascinating on so many levels. I would hand over my entire tie collection just to be in the room. But we’re not going to see any of it, I’m afraid. According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s statement announcing the fly-on-the-wall-worthy get-together, the “private lunch at the White House” will be “in the Private Dining Room” and there “will be no press coverage of the meeting.” Dang.

This will be their first meeting since the third debate last month and their first conversation since the Republican nominee conceded the hard-fought election. “In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward,” Obama said during his victory speech. The pair have much to discuss. There’s the fiscal cliff, entitlements and tax reform. Surely, Romney can be himself and give his unvarnished views now that the campaign is over and he doesn’t have to contort himself to fit a brand of conservatism that made him visibly uncomfortable.

What I don’t expect the president to bring up is Romney’s boneheaded belief that Obama promised “gifts” to minority voters. Or Romney’s trashing 47 percent of the country. Not Romney’s 47 percent, mind you. The president is too much of a gentleman to do that. Forcing Romney to eat crow would serve no purpose but to pour salt on an open wound. Besides, walking through the White House gates as a visitor rather than the occupant is crow enough.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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