So they meet again—Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, that is. After saying during his victory speech that he wanted to get together with his rival, President Obama issued an invitation to Romney to join him on Thursday for a lunch in the private White House dining room.
The dining room is just off the Oval Office—which most media outlets will be happy to point out is the closest that Romney likely will get to the Oval Office over the next four years.
According to the Washington Post, an aide to Romney aide said it was a “gracious invitation” from Obama that Romney was glad to accept. The Republican challenger also will be meeting with his former running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, while he is in town tomorrow.
Over the last three weeks, as Romney disappeared from view, Obama’s margin of victory actually grew larger as all the ballots continued to be counted. The election margin now stands at about 4.5 million in the popular vote, which works out to a percentage difference of 50.81 percent to 47.48 percent—a margin of 3.33 percent.
Remember when all the prognostications told us the election margin was going to razor thin? President Obama’s popular vote margin is now the biggest margin since Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole, 49.24 to 40.71 in 1996. In fact, only four candidates in the last 60 years have had a bigger margin of victory.
The last time we heard from Romney, he was telling his wealthy donors on a conference call that Obama won the election because of “gifts” he bestowed on constituencies like Hispanics, young voters, and African Americans.
Other than that episode, Romney has mostly faded from public view. TMZ said he took in the movie “Twilight” with his wife, Ann, and dined on pizza afterward, then he went to Disneyland, and was photographed on roller coasters with some of his sons and grandchildren.
Obama had said that he wanted to hear some of Romney’s ideas about making the federal government more customer-friendly and eliminating waste, but he didn’t have “some specific assignment” for Romney but wanted to “see if there are some ways that we can potentially work together.”
“He presented some ideas during the course of the campaign that I actually agree with,” Obama said. “And so it’d be interesting to talk to him about something like that. There may be ideas that he has with respect to jobs and growth that can help middle-class families that I want to hear.”