Washington Babylon — February 4, 2009, 12:43 pm

Obama Strategy for Managing G.O.P. Opposition: Cookies

Somehow, I doubt this approach is going to work. Obama won an overwhelming mandate, I wish he’d start acting like it.

Can the shrill tone of Washington be changed through a presidential act of contrition? Or, perhaps, an enticing platter of oatmeal raisin cookies? This week, President Obama has already served up both at the White House.

To one set of visitors, a gathering of Democratic and Republican members of Congress whom he invited to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, he carried around the freshly baked cookies as he mingled with his guests. To another set of visitors, the five broadcast and cable television anchors he invited to the Oval Office on Tuesday, he extended a blunt mea culpa and said he took responsibility for nominating aides with tax troubles.

With two weeks of the presidency now under his belt, both of these cases offer a window into how Mr. Obama may try to build relationships — and dispatch controversies — during his time in office. Since the inauguration, one of the hottest tickets in town has been an invitation to the White House. And Republicans have been scoring them nearly as often as Democrats.

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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