This morning on Fox and Friends, right-wing New York Times columnist Bill Kristol discussed his recent dinner with Barack Obama at George Will’s house. Kristol, who said he enjoyed lamb chops at the dinner, said the meeting “really is supposed to be off-the-record — I really don’t like the fact that people are talking about it.” Nevertheless, he proceeded.
Kristol claimed that Obama did not persuade him or any of the others at the dinner:
I don’t think anyone changed anyone’s mind. Everyone’s a grown up and has developed the views they’ve developed over a lot of years. It was a pleasant discussion, but I think people are putting a little too much emphasis on it and giving it a little bit too much publicity.
But Kristol then pledged that he’ll “end up supporting [Obama] on some things.” He added, “Conservatives are not monolithic. … I do think people actually are going to split up in some interesting and new ways.”
Kristol concluded the interview by taking a sarcastic, subtle dig at liberal pundits who had a one-hour morning meeting with Obama the next day (the Obama dinner with conservatives went for 3 hours):
Yesterday, he met with the liberal columnists. And they had a pleasant hour in the conference room in his office. They got some coffee in some styrofoam cups. We had a pleasant dinner at George’s house, and they had some coffee from the machine in the office. But I wouldn’t read too much into that.
Fox co-host Gretchen Carlson labeled the meeting a “PR spin” move by the Obama team. “To me, this is a brilliant move, it shows he’s willing to extend and outreach to people who normally are going to slam him.”
Larry Kudlow, who attended the right-wing dinner, said: “I was very impressed. He’s a nice guy, terribly smart, well-informed, great smile. He just really engaged. He said he likes to know the arguments on all sides.”
,Giving his reaction to the meeting, Charles Krauthammer joked: “And I’m here to tell you that, speaking for myself, he has succeeded. I am brainwashed entirely. I’m in the tank, and I am a believer of hope and change and, above all, audacity.”