Yahoo News reports that Obama attended a dinner party at George Will's home, where a bunch of "Conservative" columnists were in attendance. Larry Kudlow confirmed that besides himself and Will, Peggy Noonan, Paul Gigot, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer "and others" were there. Kudlow reported that it was a smoochfest (my word, not his) and that all of them were impressed with the President-elect and "wish him the best."
There are so many things going on here. First, with the possible exception of Krauthammer and some of those unnamed, the "Righties" were all part of the Rockefeller Republican set who believe that the Republican party must be more like the Democrats in order to win electiions. They all want to be "reasonable" when dealing with politics. This in spite of the fact that the Republican candidate who just got trounced in the presidential election has been one of the most conciliatory and compromising Senators imaginable. Obama chose his audience carefully, slumming among the friendliest foes he could find. The tone was reported to be extremely cordial and polite, with discussion but no antagonistic conversation.
Now, imagine if Bush had tried something similar with any of the Liberal media anywhere along the way. First, no Liberal media figures have been even remotely friendly or even forgiving of George W. Bush. They have been in attack mode for eight years, except for a brief honeymoon after 9/11. (For example, Bush was heavily criticized for his "extravagant" inaugural expense of $50 million in 2005. Compare that to the media love lavished on Obama's $120 million inauguration this year.) Bush would have been lucky to escape without bloodshed.
There is a rift in the Republican party between those who are mired in Washington DC political and social circles, and who will accept defeat in elections and principle to keep their place on the guest list, and those who believe that Republicans stand for a certain set of principles (such as smaller government and fiscal responsibility) who desire to defeat Democrats politically, socially and in the battle of ideas.
For those of us who want Republicans to do battle, these are cold times indeed. President Bush, despite his rhetoric when campaigning for President, proved to be one of the "Rockefeller" Republicans, rather than the more populist "Goldwater" Republicans. The Republicans who were at that party were, for the most part, those who are willing for Republicans to bend a principle in order to win an election. The flaw with that philosophy was demonstrated in the 2006 and 2008 elections.