Since returning from a trip to Southeast Asia on Nov. 21, President Obama has managed to play three rounds of golf but has met face to face only once with House Speaker John A. Boehner, the man with whom he is trying to strike a deal on taxes and spending that could prevent another recession.
“I think you’ve seen the president actively engaged in moving the process forward,” Mr. Carney said. “The president has made clear his willingness to negotiate and compromise.”
Mr. Obama has spoken with Mr. Boehner by phone several times, and the conversations have been described as everything from “curt” to “cordial.” Nobody on either side has ventured to describe them as “productive.” [...]
An administration official said the White House is hosting more than 25 holiday parties this month. A White House spokesman wouldn’t confirm that number but said the president and first lady are hosting parties for “volunteers, members of Congress, White House staff, Secret Service personnel, White House reporters and Americans from across the country.” In all, about 14,000 people will attend a White House party or reception this holiday season.
In addition, Mr. Obama attended a holiday concert Sunday at the National Building Museum and presided over the national tree-lighting ceremony along the Mall on Dec. 6.