"Mr. President, this is your moment. We're ready to be led, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans. We want you to lead — not as a liberal or a conservative, but as the president of the United States of America. We want you to succeed. Let's challenge ourselves to find the common ground that has eluded us."
With these words, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, seemed today to be making an effort to launch a new approach to working with President Barack Obama and the Democrats after yesterday's federal elections.
Boehner said that in negotiations on avoiding the 'fiscal cliff,' House Republicans are ready "to accept new revenue under the right conditions," which included not raising taxes on the middle class and "curbing special interests and deductions" in a "fairer, simpler, cleaner tax code."
The Speaker was speaking to reporters in the Capitol on the day after the national election saw the president re-elected and the Republican party fail to take control of the U.S. Senate.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, also made a statement to reporters: "I am going to do everything in my power to be as conciliatory as possible. We want to work together."
Reid added, "He [Boehner] is not drawing any lines in the sand. I am not drawing any lines in the sand."
This certainly strikes a different tone from the past. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who in once infamously declared, "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president," did not sound quite such a cooperative tone in his congratulatory message to the president:
"The American people did two things: they gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office, and they preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives.
"The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president's first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control."
What do you think? Are these the beginnings of a new attitude on the part of Congress or only words uttered in passing?
Note: If the poll to the right does not display, refresh the page.