"So it was a good meeting." That's how John Boehner begins his op-ed in the Washington Post today, in reference to yesterday's face-to-face with President Obama. But it wasn't that good. "While this may have been the first time some of my colleagues have heard the president's arguments so personally and directly, I've heard them all many times before," he writes. Washington may focus on Obama's battle with Republicans, but it's "his engagement with members of his own party" that will determine the budget battle.
"Democrats refuse to make the tough choices necessary to solve our long-term debt crisis," Boehner complains. In Obama's 2011 negotiations with Boehner, he supported reforms like raising the Medicare eligibility age and cutting Medicaid—now, they're off the table. "Instead of continuing to backpedal, the president could put these ideas back in the mix—and make it so that this budget process isn’t just a political exercise that goes nowhere." Obama's charm offensive is nice, but Boehner suggests "shifting the focus from charm to courage." Click for Boehner's full column.