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Why is Obama really meeting with Republicans?

Does President Obama's newly packed social calendar mean the fever of partisan bickering in Washington is breaking? That’s the question today after President Obama sat down for dinner with a dozen Republican senators last night and even picked up the tab himself. But don't hold your breath.

Yes, Obama is engaging in a charm offensive, lunching with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. Next Thursday, he'll join the entire GOP Senate caucus at their weekly luncheon.

But will this gastronomical diplomacy actually lead to a deal to turn off sequestration, or maybe even the elusive “grand bargain” that Obama has been lusting after for almost two years?

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who attended last night’s dinner and chose the other 11 senators on the guest list, thinks it's possible. “What I see from the president is probably the most encouraging engagement on a big issue since the early days of his presidency," Graham told reporters. "He wants to do the big deal.”

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