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Mitt Romney to lunch with President Obama in White House. Why? (+video)

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(Read caption) White House Press Secretary Jay Carney discusses Thursday's planned lunch between President Barack Obama and his former rival Mitt Romney plus the president's willingness to make a deal with Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff.
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Stilted conversation over scallops, anyone? President Obama has invited Mitt Romney to lunch at the White House on Thursday, and while we’re sure the food will be delectable, we’re not sure how much genuine communication will occur.

But is that really the point? Instead, both parties might just want a public burying of mutual animosities. It could be good for them, and the country. Perhaps this will become a US tradition, along with the presidential turkey pardon and the lighting of the White House Christmas tree. Every four years, the combatants in the just-past election will gather in the private dining room next to the Oval Office and air their grievances. (Yes, that’s a “Festivus” reference. If you don’t know what that means, look it up.)

But let’s back up a bit. The White House announced the meal Wednesday in a statement released by spokesman Jay Carney.

“It will be the first opportunity they have had to visit since the election,” said Carney, adding that there would be “no press coverage of the meeting.”

He means no press coverage of the actual words they exchange, of course. That’s because they don’t matter nearly as much as press coverage of the mere existence of the event.

Following his reelection Mr. Obama said nice things about his ex-opponent, including that he’d like to sit down with him and hear Mr. Romney’s ideas about how to improve economic prospects for middle-income Americans.

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