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Obama Dines With Conservative Columnists

President-elect Barack Obama has filled his administration with the occasional critic, but he met with the real team of rivals Tuesday night. 

The incoming president dined with a table full of conservative columnists and commentators at the home of George Will just outside Washington.

Little is known about what was discussed at the unusual rendezvous since the dinner was off the record, meaning those in attendance are expected not to spill the beans about any details. But by breaking bread with some of his top critics, Obama could defuse tension and even soften their assessments of his early days in office.

Notable guests at Will's home included the National Review's Rich Lowry, columnist Charles Krauthammer, The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol, U.S. News & World Report's Michael Barone, The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan and Paul Gigot, The New York Times' David Brooks and columnist Larry Kudlow. Several of the guests are frequent FOX News guests and contributors.

An Obama transition aide said the president-elect plans to attend "similar gatherings" in the months ahead.

Indeed, Obama met with a group of liberal columnists and commentators Wednesday morning, Politico.com reported. They included The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, The New York Times' Maureen Dowd and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.