[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/26/borger.obama/art.obamajobs.gi.jpg caption="President Barack Obama has pledged to work with Republicans on his economic stimulus package."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - If there was one message that resonated loud and clear from the Obama campaign, it was this: Let's get past all of the partisanship and work together to get something done.
Turns out, President Barack Obama actually meant it. He's been meeting with congressional Republicans (and will trek to the Hill again Tuesday).
He's been listening to their ideas, incorporating some tax-cut ideas. And, yes, he's also been turning some down. After all, as he told Republicans last week, he was the one who won the election.
So what we're watching now as the stimulus package takes shape is the legislative equivalent of the first date: Republicans meeting with the new president, sizing him up. Obama deciding whether the GOP is serious about working with him.
"He [Obama] came to a conclusion early on in his political career that partisan polarization is a large part of the problem," says a senior Obama adviser. "Both in reality and in the minds of the American people."
Ah, but it's never that simple.