Even as they criticize Republicans for their lack of bipartisanship, White House advisers see President Barack Obama's outreach to Republicans as a "joke" and a publicity stunt for the mainstream media. They think it is beneath him--and them--and a waste of time.
“This is a joke. We’re wasting the president’s time and ours,” a senior White House official complained to the National Journal. “I hope you all (in the media) are happy because we’re doing it for you.”
Obama was elected president by promising to unite "red" and "blue" America, and the White House often laments the lack of bipartisanship in Washington. Obama has often refused to develop personal relationships with Republican leaders, most notably during the 2011 negotiations over the debt ceiling.
Another adviser, referencing Obama's dinner with a dozen Republican senators on March 6 (the same night Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was filibustering John Brennan's nomination to be the director of the CIA), said that if the White House finds common ground with Republicans, "it won't be because we had steaks and Merlot with a few senators."
As Stephen Hayes notes at the Weekly Standard, Republicans should proceed with caution when dealing with Obama because he may just be reaching out to GOP leaders "now in order to demonize them once again in the months leading up to the 2014 midterm elections."
"In short, it's a set up," he writes.
Obama has never wanted to compromise with Republicans politically and seems to have no desire to even develop cordial, personal relationships with lawmakers on the other side of the aisle. After winning reelection, in both his inaugural and State of the Union addresses, Obama made it known that he was going to move even more to the left and to leave a lasting liberal legacy.
But Obama and White House advisers seem to so despise Republicans and think compromising is beneath them to the point where they cannot even bear to fake going through the motions of bipartisanship meetings and dinners--even for the mainstream media that adores and protects Obama.