Senator Dianne Feinstein of California got the call from Hillary Rodham Clinton Thursday afternoon: Could she, would she let Mrs. Clinton use her home in Northwest Washington for a little sit-down with a certain senator from Illinois, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States?
Mrs. Feinstein had made the offer before and it was still good. And so a few hours later, at just about 9 p.m., Mrs. Clinton and Senator Barack Obama arrived for a face to face chat. No staff. No spouses. Just the two of them in Mrs. Feinstein's living room.
The California senator had set up two chairs facing each other. She served them water. Nothing else. Two aides were sent to Mrs. Feinstein's study. And Secret Service agents stayed outside.
And so it happened, The Meeting, that Democrats knew was inevitable, but for a long while thought would never come. It lasted about an hour.
Reporters in the Capitol pressed for every last detail. "They talked for about an hour," she said. "Just them. No staff. There were no press, no staff. They had one person from each campaign that was in my study separately and I guess the security people outside. They got along very well."
She was asked whether she heard any shouting. "No, they got along very well."