The charm offensive appeared to bear some fruit last week when 16 Republicans — 13 of whom had dined with Obama — agreed to debate gun legislation. But most of those Republican votes have since peeled away from supporting the Manchin-Toomey amendment that would broaden background checks.
The president also has some wooing of Democrats to do when it comes to his proposals to reach a grand bargain on the deficit, and in particular his proposal to adopt a stingier measure of inflation for Social Security and other federal benefits.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.