At the GOP press conference after today’s summit with the president, both Mitch McConnell and John Boehner said that the discussion had been “frank.” William Safire once wrote that “in diplolingo, the adjective frank does not mean ‘candid,’ as it does in dictionaries, but has a code meaning in talks of ‘these guys were really hollering at each other,’ the opposite of fruitful.” It’s not likely that the Republicans actually hollered, but Boehner and McConnell were indicating that they stated their disagreements plainly. According to Eric Cantor, the president said that he would try to reach out to Republicans more often, but the president’s comment was nothing more than an acknowledgment that the GOP now has a majority in the House and more seats in the Senate.
Did the exercise make any real difference? As other posts have suggested, probably not. It sounded very much like a faculty meeting, and few things of lasting value have ever come out of a faculty meeting.