President Obama resumes his charm offensive Tuesday night by hosting a bipartisan dinner for women members of the Senate.
Obama has invited all 20 female senators to the White House to share a meal and talk about policy. Among those expected to attend are Republicans Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Susan Collins of Maine, and Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
There are a record number of 20 females in the Senate, 16 Democrats and four Republicans, an increase from 17 in the previous Congress.
Tuesday night's dinner is part of a larger effort by Obama to reach out to members of Congress.
Since March, he has had two dinners with Senate Republicans and one dinner with Senate Democrats. He has also held four separate meetings with legislators from the House and Senate, all to talk about issues and seek ways to compromise.
There have been no breakthroughs. And despite the sessions, the Senate still rejected Obama's gun-control legislation last week in a frustrating defeat for the White House. But most legislators who have met with Obama say they welcome the outreach and express hope that it will lead to an improvement in the capital's rancorous atmosphere.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed on Facebook and Twitter.