In less than 48 hours, the new GOP majorities will control houses of the legislative branch. In particular, Senate GOP leadership has expressed a willingness to work with President Obama to get big things accomplished
. The GOP has a strong voter mandate to shift the nation away from the president’s prior agenda. This may prove difficult for the president to accept. In 1992, President Clinton misread his election victory to indicate that voters wanted a left-wing agenda. The result was the 1994 GOP landslide victory in the midterm elections. In response, Clinton shifted center-right on key GOP issues securing a political comeback that marked the rest of his presidency.
The GOP is hoping for a similar spirit of contrition on the part of President Obama which they describe as him “playing ball”. South Dakota Senator John Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, stated that there are big agenda items the party wants to negotiate with the president. Keith Mann hopes the White House will step up and work with them. At the same time, he cautioned that if the president and Democrats refuse to work with the new majority, it will define an unproductive tone in the capital.
Senate Majority Leader McConnell struck a conciliatory tone that both parties must work together. He also stated the obvious that the president will get legislation to his desk that is not to his liking such as partial repeals of Obamacare and authorization of the Keystone Pipeline XL.