by Robert Costa

Washington– Greetings from the West Wing. President Obama, Vice President Biden, and administration aides are huddling inside. House and Senate leaders should arrive momentarily.

The scene at the White House is dreary; the skies are charcoal gray, the grounds soaked by a now-spitting rain. A few staffers are putting up Christmas decorations out front, including large strands of red ribbon.  Others are milling about, sipping Starbucks. The press is huddled, waiting for the black SUVs to swoop in.

The items we hear will be discussed: tax cuts, jobless benefits, START, and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ The president will deliver a statement to the press in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building following his meeting with congressional leaders.