He may have won the election, but now President Obama faces enormous challenges in the House and Senate – among Republicans and Democrats. To succeed, he must do what does not come naturally to him: Spend lots of quality time with lawmakers of both parties.
Now that President Obama has won his campaign against Mitt Romney, he has to start another on Capitol Hill. On issues ranging from the impending fiscal cliff to implementation of health-care reform, he needs support from Congress, especially GOP House Speaker John Boehner. The president will have to work very hard to get that support, because his victory in the first campaign does not guarantee success in the second.
Each party in each chamber confronts him with a different challenge.
Much of the mass media interpreted the election as a defeat for the GOP. The House Republicans see it differently. At the start of the campaign, Democrats were hoping that Medicare would be their weapon to take down the GOP majority. They tried to tie Republican lawmakers to Paul Ryan’s premium-support proposal, claiming that it would end Medicare as we know it. Republicans countered the assault by accusing their foes of trying to raid Medicare to pay for the president’s health-care law. They fought the issue at least to a draw, and kept control of the House by a comfortable margin.
This outcome may embolden Republicans to keep pressing for change in Medicare and other social welfare programs. As Winston Churchill wrote, “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”
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