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Obama budget takes heat from all quarters (+video)

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"The president is showing a little bit of leg here, this is somewhat encouraging," said Senator Graham. "He has sort of made a step forward in the entitlement-reform process."

"He showed some leadership," Graham added. "That puts the burden on us."

Which is exactly what Obama’s liberal base fears, a fact all too clear to the White House, which sought to clarify its position Sunday.

"This chained CPI that’s being referred to here, it is something the president will only accept on two conditions," senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on ABC’s “This Week.” "One, it’s part of a balanced package that includes closing tax loopholes that benefit the wealthiest, and two, that it has protections for the most vulnerable, including the oldest seniors."

On Wednesday – the day he officially unveils his budget for fiscal year 2014 – Obama will dine with a dozen Republican senators.

"The president's focus, in addition to the regular order process that members of Congress say they want, is to try to find a caucus of common sense, folks who are willing to compromise, that don't think compromise is a dirty word, and try to get something done," Mr. Pfeiffer said Sunday on "This Week.”

But Obama might want to schedule a meal with liberal lawmakers and pundits as well.

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