*President Obama met for lunch on Thursday with Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and other progressive columnists to discuss a number of issues, chief among them the oil spill in the Gulf.
According to the Huffington Post, attendees also included Gail Collins of the New York Times and Gerald Seib, the Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, all of whom were spotted leaving the West Wing at roughly 1:45 p.m.
Huffington Post co-founder and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington was invited to attend but could not make it due to a scheduling conflict.
The lunch lasted more than an hour, said a White House spokesman. But no further details were offered. Maddow was among the cable news hosts and pundits who were unsatisfied with President Obama’s Oval Office address about the oil spill Tuesday night. On her Wednesday broadcast, she offered a version of what she wished the president had said — complete from a fake Oval Office. She said she wished Obama had announced three major developments in the response to the disaster:
1. “Never again, will any company, anyone, be allowed to drill in a location where they are incapable of dealing with the potential consequences of that drilling.”
2. “I’m announcing a new federal command specifically for containment and cleanup of oil that has already entered the Gulf of Mexico, with a priority on protecting shoreline that can still be saved; shoreline that is vulnerable to oil that has not yet been hit.”
3. “I no longer say that we must get off oil like every president before me has said too. I no longer say that we must get off oil. We will get off oil and here’s how: The United States Senate will pass an energy bill. This year.”