Given second term, President Barack Obama now facing new urgent task (+video)
Obama predicted in the waning days of the campaign that his victory would motivate Republicans to make a deal on immigration policy next year to make up for having "so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community."
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour agreed that a lesson of 2012 is for his Republican Party to change the party's approach on immigration.
"Republicans say, 'We don't want to reward people for breaking the law,'" Barbour told CBS. "The way we need to look at it is, how are we going to grow the American economy and where does our immigration policy fit into that?"
Even before Obama gets to his second inaugural on Jan. 20, he must deal with the threatened "fiscal cliff." A combination of automatic tax increases and steep across-the-board spending cuts are set to take effect in January if Washington doesn't quickly reach a budget deal. Experts have warned that the economy could tip back into recession without an agreement.
Newly elected Democrats signaled they want compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Sen.-elect Tim Kaine, a former Virginia governor who defeated Republican George Allen, said on NBC's "Today" show that voters sent a message they want "cooperative government." But he also says the election results show that the public doesn't want "all the levers in one party's hands" on Capitol Hill.
From Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren said on "CBS This Morning" that those who voted for her opponent, Republican Sen. Scott Brown, expressed a desire for lawmakers to work together. She says: "I heard that loud and clear."
Obama repeated his campaign slogan of moving "forward" repeatedly in a victory speech early Wednesday in his hometown of Chicago.
"We will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there," he said. "As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It's not always a straight line. It's not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won't end all the gridlock, or solve all our problems, or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus, and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin."
Former Obama adviser Anita Dunn told "CBS This Morning" that the president made it clear in his acceptance speech that he will be reaching out, and she warned GOP House leaders, representing Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, to keep in mind that their voters also wanted to keep Obama.
"Clearly there's a lot of momentum and a lot of incentive for people to work together to really find answers to the challenges," she said.
One of those lawmakers Dunn was referring to was GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman who said Wednesday that he plans to return as House Budget Committee chairman. He'll be involved in negotiations with the White House over fiscal policy, while keeping an eye on a possible presidential run in 2016.
Even though the tea party lost some ground with defeat of some of the movement-backed incumbents, Obama still will have to deal with a large faction of those lawmakers in the House and Senate. Republican Ted Cruz, who handily won his race for a Senate seat in Texas with tea party support, said he plans on compromising only if Obama does the same.
"But let me be clear, if he doesn't, if he intends to continue down the path of the last four years, more and more spending and debt and taxes and regulations that kill jobs, then I will do everything I can to help lead the effort to stop that, because I think continuing down that path is damaging this country and would hurt an awful lot of Americans," Cruz said on CBS.
Obama's re-election means his signature health care overhaul will endure, as will the Wall Street overhaul enacted after the economic meltdown. The drawdown of troops in Afghanistan will continue apace. With an aging roster of justices, the president probably will have at least one more nomination to the Supreme Court.
A second term is sure to produce turnover in his Cabinet. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has made it clear he wants to leave at the end of Obama's first term but is expected to remain in the post until a successor is confirmed. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama's rival for the presidency four years ago, is ready to leave. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta isn't expected to stay on.
Some Americans were hopeful for progress in Obama's second term.
"He may not have done a great job in my mind but I kinda trust him," Jerry Shul said Wednesday morning in New York's Times Square. "And I feel like he's gonna keep trying and I feel like when people keep trying in you favor things work out. I have faith in him, I have faith he will get with the Republicans and get something done."
Overall, Obama won 25 states and the District of Columbia. Romney won 24 states. Florida was too close to call Wednesday morning. The unofficial count had Obama with a 46,000-vote lead, but Florida historically has left as many as 5 percent of its votes uncounted until after Election Day.
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