National/World

President Barack Obama gets 2nd term: What's next?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

President Obama and the first family left Chicago Wednesday afternoon, heading back to the White House, their home again for the next four years.

PHOTOS: America Votes 2012

PHOTOS: Obama's McCormick Place Celebration

PHOTOS: Obama, Romney on Election Day

VIDEO: Obama Acceptance Speech 2012
VIDEO: Romney concession speech 2012

The president and his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, spent the night at their Kenwood Home after he won a second term Tuesday night.

On his way to O'Hare Wednesday, the president stopped at his Prudential building political headquarters for a hug fest, which included a big one for campaign manager Jim Messina.

One day after his resounding election victory, Obama phoned leading lawmakers from both parties. He discussed the need to find bipartisan solutions on taxes, the deficit and jobs.

The president still faces a looming financial crisis and a Congress that's still divided, so what's next?

"In the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together," Obama said this Wednesday during his victory speech at McCormick Place.

At mid-afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner appeared ready to ease Republican resistance to new taxes. "We're willing to accept new revenues under the right conditions," said Boehner.

But Boehner did not say if revenues included the president's plan to increase taxes only on the wealthiest Americans.

At breakfast, ABC7 political analyst Laura Washington said that after Tuesday night Republicans might be willing to change their image.

"They've got to stop saying 'no.' They've been perceived as the party that's not willing to compromise and nothing is going to happen in Washington until both parties are willing to come forward and compromise," said Washington.

Gov. Romney lost the popular vote as well as the Electoral College. His support lagged among women and was even lower among minorities.

Some supporters called Tuesday's re-election an affirmation of Obama administration policies.

"The American people have made a clear choice and that strengthens the president's capacity to say the course we're on is the right course and that is defending, strengthening the middle class of America," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

But Mitt Romney supporters say the president's popular vote margin was no mandate or guarantee of an end to Washington gridlock.

"He has to do the inside game by reaching out to moderate Republicans who are willing to work with him...a coalition of the willing, so to speak, to break this logjam," said Washington.

"I would hope that there would be some dialogue between the leadership in the Republican Party and the Democratic Party," said U.S. Rep. Danny Davis.

Noting Romney's huge losses among Latino voters, Republican Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock said his republican party must change its approach to immigration reform.

"You can't say that immigration reform is just shipping people back to where they came from. Immigration reform means that we've got to have a solution to fix this problem," said Schock.

Schock, who is mentioned as a possible candidate for Illinois governor in 2014, said the immigration issue as well as redistricting hurt Republican candidates statewide.

Obama received 303 electoral votes to Republican Mitt Romney's 206. The only undecided race is in the state of Florida, which is still too close to call. Obama needed 270 electoral votes to be declared the winner.

Fewer than two million popular votes separated Obama from Romney.

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