By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Key GOP officials and Senate leadership aides, in advance of this week's health summit on the White House grounds, have suggested a possible avenue for President Obama to work toward a bipartisan deal.
Just as when former President Jimmy Carter brought warring Middle East parties to Camp David to cut a peace deal, the moderate Republican insiders are suggesting a closed-door Camp David weekend huddle where both sides can discuss and possibly agree on elements of his bill. They are hoping that Obama will raise the idea at or right after tomorrow's televised healthcare summit.
"That would be a good starting point for broader legislation," says one of those who have reached out to White House officials. The suggestion is to have six Republican and six Democratic senators meet with Obama and his team over a weekend to hash out an agreement on pieces of the healthcare and insurance reform bill that there is agreement on. "Obama should say that we aren't leaving until we have a deal. It could work. Things happen in those kinds of arrangements," said the source.
However, the White House has not told those pushing for a Camp David summit whether it is something Obama favors. "I don't have high hopes," says the GOP source.