GOP budget chief Rep. Paul Ryan will provide the next backdrop for President Barack Obama’s high-profile political charm offensive.
Both are expected to meet for lunch today at the White House, according to an White House leak given to favored media outlets.
The event will boost media coverage of Obama’s new claim to bipartisan outreach, which can help him weaken GOP legislators’ solidarity and also boost his public-approval polls by appearing to seek bipartisan comity in Washington .
The p.r. angle is important, because the president’s approval rating is a key factor in his ability to spur a big Democratic turnout in the mid-term 2014 elections.
Many GOP and Democratic officials say Obama has focused his second-term efforts on recovering the Democratic House majority that he lost in 2010.
Obama is also trying to persuade GOP leaders to short-circuit Capitol Hill’s renewed focus on passing laws via “regular order,” according to one report about the pending lunch.
“By speaking directly with Ryan, Obama is hoping to enlist a powerful ally in convincing leadership to abandon its insistence on subjecting all future measures on the debt, deficit, taxes and entitlement reform to ‘regular order,’” said the statement.
The White House wants Congress to bypass its recently renewed focus on passing via regular order because “the tortuous committee process [is] dominated by party conservatives,” the leaker said, according to the media outlet, Politico.
If he reduces conservatives’ role, Obama may spur GOP infighting, and may pass progressive regulation that would raise taxes and accelerate the large-scale immigration of Democratic-leaning immigrants.
Any GOP infighting or GOP support of progressive laws would likely weaken the GOP’s ability to keep control of the House in 2014.
The White House also leaked the lunch-news to A.P.
The medias coverage of Obama’s new outreach strategy should be straightforward for Obama’s team, partly because few media outlets will highlight Obama’s deeply partisan actions and claims over the last few years.
Ryan has often been the target of Obama’s bitter invective.
During the 2012 election, when Ryan ran as the vice-presidential candidate with Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama portrayed Ryan as a hard-heated liar. (RELATED: New Obama video drafts media against Paul Ryan)
In 2011, Obama slammed Ryan’s budget-balancing plan as “un-American.”
It “would lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known – certainly in my lifetime… It says, instead of guaranteed Health Care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the insurance that’s available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck – you’re on your own,” Obama said.
Since Obama’s first inauguration, he had exploded the federal governments debt by $6 trillion, and expanded government control over large swathes of the nation’s economic and social sectors. He ha also failed to reduce real unemployment rates or raise wages.