The Washington Times:
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.
With the deadline for averting the “fiscal cliff” less than three weeks away, the president’s schedule this week is exceptionally light....
On Monday, Mr. Obama’s only public event was a trip to Detroit, where he held a campaign-style rally with union autoworkers that was ostensibly a push for middle-class tax cuts but mainly showcased Mr. Obama’s criticism of Michigan’s new right-to-work labor law....
.... On Tuesday, Mr. Obama had lunch with Vice President Joseph R. Biden and spoke with Mr. Boehner by phone late in the day.
President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office, Dec. 11, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; and Chief of Staff Jack Lew. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The president spent much of his evening with first lady Michelle Obama posing for photographs with members of the White House press corps[e] and their guests at a holiday party.
Mr. Obama hosted another media party at the White House on Dec. 5.
.... An administration official said the White House is hosting more than 25 holiday parties this month.... In all, about 14,000 people will attend a White House party or reception this holiday season.
On Wednesday, the president held a meeting and conference call with mayors of both major parties from across the country, seeking support for his proposal to raise taxes on families earning at least $250,000 per year. It was Mr. Obama’s only scheduled event of the day, aside from his daily briefing.
White House press secretary Jay Carney defended the president’s schedule Wednesday.
Carney ... said Mr. Obama is working hard to reach a deal with congressional Republicans and that part of that effort is marshaling public support for his fiscal position, with events such as the one in Michigan.
“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.”