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TheStreet Open House

Burying the Obama 'Anti-Business' Myth

WASHINGTON D.C. ( TheStreet) -- It's official. We can finally stop calling President Obama the "anti-business" president.

Yet it seems we are only allowed to do it by first reminding everyone that Obama was "anti-business" before he was not "anti-business" -- and that if Obama is no longer "anti-business," the transformation can only be measured in the length of a lunch with the CEOs of the biggest corporations in America.

The "turning point," of course, for the "anti-business" President was when he chewed the fat with capitalist bigwigs on Wednesday, including the CEOs of Cisco Systems (CSCO), Google (GOOG), American Express (AXP), Honeywell (HON) and Boeing (BA). White House frenemy and General Electric (GE) CEO Jeffrey Immelt was seen breaking bread with the President, too.

Even the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who probably would risk losing his job by saying anything nice about a Democrat in the White House, was ready to share his lunchbox with Obama. Sort of.

Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs for the Chamber of Commerce, told Reuters after the lunch that "inviting a relatively limited group of favored CEOs to the White House every so often did not equal genuine engagement with business."

Still, the major media didn't miss the opportunity to stage Obama's "pro-business" meeting with the CEO elite as an attempt by the President to finally slough off that annoying "anti-business" stamp he wears on his forehead.

The AP described the relationship between Obama and the business world as "testy" and said that the lunch was a "reset" for Obama as he seeks to extend an olive branch to corporate America.

Reuters referred to the "strained relations" and opined that the President was seeking to turn a "new page."

The Wall Street Journal noted the "rocky relationship" between Obama and the business world.

And with Obama "wooing" business leaders, the New York Times described the lunch as a White House "charm offensive."

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