For President Donald Trump, this weekend was supposed to be a celebration.
On the first anniversary of his presidency on Saturday, with the stock market roaring and his poll ratings finally rising, he had planned to rest at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, feted by friends and admirers.
Instead, Trump stayed in Washington after he was unable to avert a government shutdown.
His failure to win passage by the U.S. Congress of a stopgap bill to maintain funding for the federal government further damaged his self-crafted image as a dealmaker who would repair the broken culture in Washington.
Even as the White House began pointing the finger at Democrats, the Republican president came under fire.
"It's almost like you were rooting for a shutdown," Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said of Trump on Saturday.
Trump, who in July 2016 said: "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it," has asserted that past government shutdowns were the fault of the person in the White House.
In a "Fox & Friends" interview after a 2013 shutdown, he said then-President Barack Obama was ultimately responsible.
"The problems start from the top and have to get solved from the top," Trump said. "The president is the leader, and he's got to get everybody in a room and he's got to lead."
As this new shutdown, the first since 2013, looked increasingly likely on Friday, Trump made a last-ditch effort to behave as the kind of problem-solver he has long claimed to be.
First, he postponed a long-planned weekend trip to his winter home Mar-a-Lago, where a lavish $100,000-a-couple fundraiser on Saturday would extol his first year in office.
He had little choice. Critics would have hammered him for attending such an event while government workers were being put on leave and many government services curtailed.
Then Trump called Schumer, and, after a positive conversation, invited him to a meeting at the White House. It was intimate — just the president, Schumer and top aides. Republican leaders were excluded. The idea was to find some common ground. It lasted 90 minutes.