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In judging whether the already clichéd “charm offensive” by President Barack Obama is built to last, it’s best to disregard the readouts from the president’s the-meal’s-on-me meetings last week. His dinner with a dozen Republican senators and lunch with Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan were only a prelude to the main event this week.
No, it’s not his visit to the Capitol Tuesday to meet with the Senate Democrats, nor his return trip Wednesday to address the House GOP Conference, nor his third foray up Capitol Hill in as many days on Thursday, when he’ll meet with all the Senate Republicans (and separately with the House Democrats, so he can say he touched all the bases).
Much more than any of these, the event that will define the White House-Congress dynamics for the legislative season ahead — on spending, taxes, entitlements, immigration, gun control and Obama’s efforts to remake his cabinet and the federal bench — comes on Wednesday night.
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