The White House has announced that President Obama will meet with House Republicans on Friday.
The House Republicans invited Obama to speak at its annual retreat, which will be held in Baltimore from Thursday to Saturday. The visit will come just two days after President Obama's State of the Union speech, and could be a sign that the president is becoming more open to the idea of working with members of the GOP.
Last week's victory by Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senatorial election ends the Democrats super-majority in the Senate.
Obama's first year in office was marked by GOP claims that they have been shut out of talks on everything from the economic stimulus package to health care reform.
According to a report in the Washington Post by Perry Bacon, Jr., Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), No. 3 in the House GOP leadership and the organizer of the retreat, said House Republicans wanted a stronger relationship with Obama and said the GOP's goals of working with Obama and winning this fall's elections are not in conflict.
"We serve our party best when we serve our country," Pence said. But he added that "the conversation with the president has to be a two-way street."
With public backlash growing over Democrats attempts to ram through unpopular legislation it would seem Obama has little choice but to at least appear to be moving to the center. Obama's poll numbers have been in a free fall lately and continuing to shut out the GOP and refusing to listen to the concerns of the American people doesn't seem wise.
Several Columbia area residents I spoke to on Tuesday expressed anger and dissapointment over the way Obama has governed since taking office.
Columbia resident Kevin Hopkins, who says he voted for Obama, says he now regrets his vote.
"I really believed Obama when he said he was going to try to change the tone in Washington," Hopkins said. "But he is the most partisan president I can remember. It's like he doesn't care what the people want, he just wants to push through his agenda."
Amy Snider, also of Columbia, says she feels betrayed by Obama.
"I voted for him because I thought we needed a change. Someone who would make the two parties work together and stop all the partisanship," Snider said. "That's what he promised, but it hasn't happened. If anything it's worse. I won't vote for him again."
Lexington resident Leroy Holmes has a different view of Obama's first year.
"I think he's done a great job so far," Holmes said. "He's trying to make sure the little guy is taken care of. He's trying to create jobs and make sure everyone has health care. I don't understand why so many people are criticising him."