Two Republican senators on their dinner with Obama

Each independently mentioned one aspect of the conversation that troubled them both: The president, while friendly and forthcoming, seemed to withdraw somewhat when talk turned to continuing the process…

Senator No. 1: When pressed on the question, the president seemed to step back. “His idea of a process is, ‘You guys figure it out and work with my staff, and if you need me call me.’ But in the end, unless the president really gets engaged and forces meeting after meeting, I don’t see how you get past the logjam.”

He will judge the president’s level of “real sincerity” by this: “Does he follow up?” “If he just takes the standoff attitude—my guess is he’s gotta be smart enough to know that’s not gonna work.”

Senator No. 2: “At the end I mentioned, ‘Share [with us] how you see this going forward.’ ” Here the president “got hazy. . . . I told him this will never work without adult supervision from the White House. I don’t think he comprehends that this is part of getting something done.”