Great analysis from Jay Cost at RCP about the "Healthcare Summit":
"The bipartisan health care summit is either:
(a) An honest endeavor to build a bipartisan coalition in support of health care reform.
(b) A political stunt intended to win the White House a news cycle or two."
"My instant reaction when I heard about the meeting was that it is a stunt, that the White House felt that they had "won" the battle with the GOP at the House Republican retreat, and so why not do a sequel?"....
"There are three notable facts about this meeting at Blair House that indicate that it's a stunt:
(1) It's televised....
(2) The invitation was extended to the party leaders....
3) It's in February, 2010. This is just nine months from a midterm election where the GOP is expected to do well."
"What is the ultimate purpose of this? Memo to the West Wing: your guy is the President now. It doesn't matter whether he can out-debate the congressional GOP. He gets the credit or the blame for policy output. That is all that matters. This Blair House meeting is just noise that Politico, The Hill and Roll Call will write about for a few days - and that's all it is. This President will be judged on whether the government under his tenure has solved problems, not whether he can out-talk the congressional GOP in some silly debate. In a word, it's not about campaigning - it's about governing." (My emphasis)
Read it all.