Thus, he invited a gang of Republican senators to din-dins at the swank (and legendary) Jefferson Hotel, one of the city’s more discreet (and expensive) gathering places. …

What Obama hoped for, Obama got: “Oh, look, he’s going the extra mile!”

Not to be cynical, but does anyone really suppose that a Republican representative or senator is going to go against the party because Obama gave him a call? The president is charming, all will concede. And his smile, such a delightful reward, tempts one to, well, give a thumbs up. It was fun. It was delicious. But read my wine-stained lips: No new taxes.

“It was nothing but a PR move,” says one seasoned insider. “Obama wants to run against obstructionist Republicans. The fact of the matter is, unless something really bad happens, there’s no reason for [Republicans] at this point to cave on taxes. Why would [House Speaker] John Boehner ever cave on taxes at this point?”

As for Boehner’s endorsement of the president’s strategy to reach out to rank-and-file Republicans, this is what one does with lemons. It’s called lemonade.