Let Me Start: Charm Offensive

President Obama returning to the White House on March 5, 2013. (Photo by /Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
President Obama returning to the White House on March 5, 2013.

President Obama is set to meet with House Republicans today on Capitol Hill. After years of obstruction, disagreement and - in some cases - downright vitriol - the House GOP conference is hardly friendly territory for this president. So why is he going? Republicans in Congress haven't budged despite losing a presidential election: Rep. Paul Ryan's budget is a retread of rejected ideas and it shows an unwillingness to change. The president also wants to revive talks on a grand bargain that nearly everyone -- including himself -- considers practically dead. And what's worse for the president, he's losing the upper hand in the public opinion polls. A new poll from The Washington Post and ABC News finds the public has a dimmer view of the president's economic plans. Steve Schmidt and Robert Gibbs join us tonight.

Our colleague Ed Schultz has an exclusive interview with the man some say is responsible for winning President Obama a second term: the as-yet-unnamed bartender who secretly recorded Mitt Romney's infamous 47 percent speech. He tells Ed that he debated whether to release it, but in the end wanted the people who couldn't afford the $50,000 entrance fee to see and hear what Romney really thought. And for Romney - as we know - it was devastating.

Senator Claire McCaskill has some choice words for fellow Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. She says the Tea Party favorite wants to drive off the right edge of the world.

The Conservative Political Action Conference -- CPAC -- starts tomorrow. Donald Trump will be there, but the very popular Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey will not. And as Politico points out today -- the CPAC muddle is evidence of how adrift today's GOP really is.

Who's the most endangered governor in America? It may well be Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania. The unpopular Republican trails all five potential Democratic candidates in a new poll.

And finally, Bush is running. No, not that Bush. And not that office. George P. Bush -- Jeb's son -- is running for Texas Land Commissioner. That's one race -- and one state -- where his last name probably won't hurt him.