Full Text Political Buzz November 7, 2012: Speaker John Boehner Calls for Bipartisan Action to Avert the Fiscal Cliff

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

FULL TEXT: Speaker Boehner Calls for Bipartisan Action to Avert the Fiscal Cliff

Source: Speaker.gov, 11-7-12

Following is the full text, as prepared for delivery, of House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) statement on efforts to avert the fiscal cliff and the need for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt:

Good afternoon.

Let me start by offering my congratulations to President Obama and the First Lady, and to Vice President and Dr. Biden.

Like many Americans, I hoped the presidential election would turn out differently.  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are good men, and great leaders.  I wish Mitt, Ann, Paul, Janna and their families well.

The American people have spoken.  They have re-elected President Obama.  And they have again elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

If there is a mandate in yesterday’s results, it is a mandate for us to find a way to work together on solutions to the challenges we face together as a nation.

My message today is not one of confrontation, but of conviction.

In the weeks and months ahead, we face a series of tremendous challenges – and a great opportunity.

Just weeks away now looms the so-called fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases mandated by law.

Within months of the fiscal cliff, Congress will be asked to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

Around the same time, legislation will be needed to keep the government running, as the continuing resolution under which it is currently operating expires.

Amid all of these short-term hurdles, we face the greatest challenge of all: a massive debt that is smothering growth, exceeding the size of our entire economy.

There will be many who say that with the election over, we should confront the first of these challenges by simply letting the top two tax rates expire, and pushing the sequester off to a later date.

They’d have us engage in the same short-term, temporary policies that helped to put us in this fix.

In essence, they’re saying: “Let’s have more of the same.  Let’s agree to drive our economy off part of the fiscal cliff instead of driving it off the whole cliff, and call it a day.”

That might get us out of town, but it won’t get us out of the problem.  It will also hurt the economy.

We can’t go on like that.  We can’t keep setting the bar that low.  It’s time we raised the bar.

The American people this week didn’t give us a mandate to do the ‘simple’ thing.  They elected us to lead.

They gave us a mandate to work together to do the best thing for our country.

We know what the best thing would be.

It would be an agreement that sends the signal to our economy, and to the world, that after years of punting on the major fiscal challenges we face, 2013 is going to be different.

It would be an agreement that begins to pave the way for the long-term growth that is essential if we want to lift the cloud of debt hanging over our country.

We won’t solve the problem of our fiscal imbalance overnight, in the midst of a lame duck session of Congress.

And we certainly won’t solve it by simply raising tax rates or taking a plunge off the fiscal cliff.

What we can do is avert the cliff in a manner that serves as a down payment on – and a catalyst for – major solutions, enacted in 2013, that begin to solve the problem.

Mr. President, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives stands ready to work with you to do what’s best for our country.  And that’s exactly what I told the president earlier today.

That is the will of the people.  And we answer to them.

Doing what’s best means fully considering the impact of the policies we might set in motion.

The independent accounting firm Ernst and Young says going over part of the fiscal cliff and raising tax rates on the top two brackets will cost our economy more than 700,000 jobs.

Ernst and Young also confirms many of those hit with the rate increase will be small business owners – the very people both parties acknowledge are the key to private sector job creation.

There is an alternative to going over the fiscal cliff, in whole or in part.

It involves making real changes to the financial structure of entitlement programs, and reforming our tax code to curb special-interest loopholes and deductions.

By working together and creating a fairer, simpler, cleaner tax code, we can give our country a stronger, healthier economy.

A stronger economy means more revenue, which is what the president seeks.

Because the American people expect us to find common ground, we are willing to accept some additional revenues, via tax reform.

There’s a model for tax reform that supports economic growth.  It happened in 1986, with a Democratic House run by Tip O’Neill, and a Republican president named Ronald Reagan.

In 1986, there too were skeptics who doubted the economic benefits of tax reform.

Those skeptics were wrong.

As Stanford economist and former Treasury Secretary George P. Shultz put it, the 1986 reform “is sort of the unsung hero of the very good economic times we had for a long time.”

The time has come to revamp the code again – and if we do, he argues, “you’ll get a gusher. . . there will be a response, and revenue will come in.”

But the American people also expect us to solve the problem.

And for that reason, in order to garner Republican support for new revenues, the president must be willing to reduce spending and shore up the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our debt.

We aren’t seeking to impose our will on the president; we’re asking him to make good on his ‘balanced’ approach.

The president has called for a ‘balanced’ approach to the deficit – a combination of spending cuts and increased revenues.

But a ‘balanced’ approach isn’t balanced if it means higher tax rates on the small businesses that are key to getting our economy moving again and keeping it moving.

A ‘balanced’ approach isn’t balanced if it means we increase the amount of money coming into the coffers of government, but we don’t cut spending and address entitlements at the same time.

A ‘balanced’ approach isn’t balanced if it’s done in the old Washington way of raising taxes now, and ultimately failing to cut spending in the future.

A ‘balanced’ approach isn’t balanced if it means slashing national defense instead of making the common-sense spending cuts that are truly needed.

Real economic growth eluded us in the president’s first term.  Without it, we cannot solve our debt.

For purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions.

What matters is where the increased revenue comes from, and what type of reform comes with it.

Does the increased revenue come from government taking a larger share of what the American people earn through higher tax rates?

Or does it come as the byproduct of a growing economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code, with fewer loopholes, and lower rates for all?

And at the same time we’re reforming the tax code, are we supporting growth by taking concrete steps to put our country’s entitlement programs on a sounder financial footing?

Or are we just going to continue to duck the matter of entitlements, and thus the root of the whole problem?

Shoring up entitlements and reforming the tax code – closing special interest loopholes and deductions, and moving to a fairer, simpler system – will bring jobs home and result in a stronger, healthier economy.

History teaches that this is the right path to take.

Tax reform, done in the manner I’ve described, will result in the additional revenue the president seeks.

It will support economic growth, which means more revenue is generated for the Treasury.

And it will improve the efficiency of the system, which means additional revenue as well.

We’re closer than many think to the critical mass needed legislatively to get tax reform done.

The president and I talked extensively about it during the summer of 2011.

Senator Pat Toomey and Chairman Jeb Hensarling, with the support of other Republicans, offered substantive proposals in the so-called supercommittee last year that provided revenue via tax reform.

The American people recognize that getting our economy moving again is the only way we will ever be able to balance the federal budget.

The question we should be asking is not ‘which taxes should I raise to get more revenue,’ but rather: ‘which reforms can we agree on that will get our economy moving again?’

There are two paths we can take to get the revenue the president seeks.

Feeding the growth of government through higher tax rates won’t help us solve the problem.

Feeding the growth of our economy through a better and cleaner tax code will.

The president has signaled a willingness to do tax reform with lower rates.

Republicans have signaled a willingness to accept new revenue if it comes from growth and reform.

Let’s start the discussion there.

I’m not suggesting we compromise on our principles.

But I am suggesting we commit ourselves to creating an atmosphere where we can see common ground when it exists, and seize it.

If we can’t find common ground, it means we’ll continue to operate a tax code on a year-by-year basis.

It means we’ll continue to extend major programs for months at a time.

It means we’ll continuously face expiration of the government’s borrowing authority.

And we’ll be on constant downgrade watch from our creditors.

In the New Testament, a parable is told of two men.  One built his house on sand; the other built his house on rock.

The foundation of our country’s economy – the rock of our economy – has always been small businesses in the private sector.

I ran one of those small businesses, and I can tell you: raising small businesses’ taxes means they don’t grow.

If small businesses don’t grow, our economy doesn’t grow.

If our economy doesn’t grow, we don’t have a prayer of digging our country out of this hole we call the national debt.

This is why going over part of the fiscal cliff and raising taxes on job creators is no solution at all.

Instead of building our house on sand, let’s build it on rock.

Instead of raising small businesses’ taxes, let’s start fixing their problems.

Let’s start giving them some confidence and certainty about what the future holds.

For this to work, we need to plan for a serious process, focused on substance, and not theatrics.

It will likely require weeks of work, rather than a weekend of photo-ops.

It won’t happen around a campfire at Camp David, in a secret room at an Air Force base, or – as much as I’d like it – over 18 holes of golf.

This will take time.  But if we’re all striving for a solution, I’m confident we can get there.

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.

Let’s rise above the dysfunction, and do the right thing together for our country in a bipartisan way.

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Political Headlines November 7, 2012: John Boehner Welcomes Big Deficit Deal, Pledges to Work with President Barack Obama

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

John Boehner Welcomes Big Deficit Deal, Pledges to Work with President Obama

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-7-12

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

A day after holding onto his speakership and the House Republican majority, John Boehner signaled openness Wednesday to the inclusion of new tax revenue in a legislative package to address the so-called “fiscal cliff” as long as proceeds are linked to entitlement reform and spending cuts.

But the speaker also indicated that he still prefers to wait until the next session of Congress to enact an all-encompassing solution.

“If there is a mandate in yesterday’s results, it is a mandate for us to find a way to work together on solutions to the challenges we face together as a nation,” said Boehner, R-Ohio. “We can’t keep setting the bar that low. It’s time we raised the bar.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines November 7, 2012: President Barack Obama Phones John Boehner as Harry Reid Urges Compromise on Capitol Hill

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Phones Boehner as Reid Urges Compromise on Capitol Hill

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-7-12 

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Fresh off his successful re-election bid, President Obama placed phone calls to congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to discuss the legislative agenda for the remainder of the year.

“The president reiterated his commitment to finding bipartisan solutions to: reduce our deficit in a balanced way, cut taxes for middle-class families and small businesses and create jobs,” a White House read-out of the call reported. “The president said he believed that the American people sent a message in yesterday’s election that leaders in both parties need to put aside their partisan interests and work with common purpose to put the interests of the American people and the American economy first.”

Obama made similar calls to Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi….READ MORE

Political Headlines November 7, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Cabinet Headed for Shake-Up, Many Changes

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama’s Cabinet Headed for Shake-Up

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-7-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama’s victory Tuesday means he will pivot almost immediately to shoring up the team of top aides and cabinet secretaries who will help him tackle the looming fiscal cliff negotiations with Republicans and the full legislative agenda to follow.

While the president’s staffers have undergone some serious changes during his first term, his cabinet secretaries have remained stable. Several high-profile members are expected to step down from their roles in early 2013….READ MORE

Election 2012 November 7, 2012: Eleven House of Representative Races Too Close to Call

ELECTION 2012

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Eleven House Races Too Close to Call

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-7-12
Republicans have locked in at least 234 seats and Democrats have secured at least 190 winners in the House of Representatives. But with some ballots yet to be counted, 11 races remained too close to call, and at least seven appeared to be headed for recounts.

Democrats appeared to have slight leads in at least eight races that were too close to call Wednesday morning, but a Republican campaign operative said almost all will be double-checked….READ MORE

Election 2012 November 7, 2012: 2012 Presidential Election Political Reactions

ELECTION 2012

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

2012 Presidential Election: Political Reactions

Source: ABC News, 11-7-12

VIDEO: The president is projected to win Ohio and have four more years in office.

ABCNEWS.com

Mitt Romney

“I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.

Speaker of the House John Boehner

“The American people re-elected the president, and re-elected our majority in the House. If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt. I offer sincere congratulations to President and Mrs. Obama and to Vice President and Dr. Biden. I wish Mitt, Ann, Paul, Janna and their families well, and thank them for having carried the banner of our party and our principles with strength, grace, and courage.”

Sarah Palin

“I just cannot believe that the majority of Americans believe that incurring more debt is good for the economy, for our children’s future, for job creators. I just cannot believe that the majority of Americans believe that it’s OK to ignore the constitution and not have a budget.”

French President Francois Hollande

“Your re-election is a clear choice in favor of an America that is open, unified, completely engaged in the international scene and conscious of the challenges facing our planet: peace, the economy and the environment.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

“I extend my sincere congratulations to President Obama and Vice President Biden on their hard-fought victory, and I would like to thank Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for running a great campaign based on concrete solutions to the tremendous economic challenges we continue to face.

“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.

“Now it’s time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely-divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office.

“To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we’ll be there to meet him half way.

“That begins by proposing a way for both parties to work together in avoiding the ‘fiscal cliff’ without harming a weak and fragile economy, and when that is behind us work with us to reform the tax code and our broken entitlement system. Republicans are eager to hear the president’s proposals on these and many other pressing issues going forward and to do the work the people sent us here to do.”

Prime Minister David Cameron

“I would like to congratulate Barack Obama on his re-election. I have really enjoyed working with him over the last few years and I look forward to working with him again over the next four years.

“There are so many things that we need to do: we need to kick start the world economy and I want to see an EU-US trade deal. Right here in Jordan I am hearing appalling stories about what has happened inside Syria so one of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis.

“Above all, congratulations to Barack. I’ve enjoyed working with him, I think he’s a very successful US president and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

Herman Cain

Cain tweeted, “Obama won on Popularity rather than substance. I predict higher unemp & higher taxes.”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

“The strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever. I will continue to work with President Obama in order to assure the interests that are vital to the security of the citizens of Israel.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin

“We hope that the positive beginnings that have taken hold in Russian-US relations on the world arena will grow in the interests of international security and stability.”

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

“As a moderate Muslim nation, Malaysia stands ready to help the United States as it seeks to better engage with those of Islamic faith.”

Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley

“First, Michael and I want to offer our congratulations to Mitt and Ann Romney – two wonderful people filled with grace, strength and love of country, and two people we are proud to call our friends. They ran a campaign that offered a vision of America that is strong, prosperous and free, and inspired millions of Americans in the process. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their service.

“Second, we congratulate President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on their hard-fought and hard-earned re-election. Since the day he was sworn into office back in 2009, we have hoped and prayed for President Obama’s success as, more than anything, we want to raise our children in an America that’s thriving and that offers our children the same blessings and opportunities it has offered the generations that preceded them. Those hopes and prayers continue today.

“Although South Carolina cast a majority of its votes in the other direction, our country has spoken. As Americans, we must respect this outcome, and, as governor, I will work together with President Obama wherever I can for the betterment of our state and country.”

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski

“Americans want us to work together to solve the difficult problems facing our nation.”

“In his second term, I am hopeful that President Obama will see the value of pragmatism over partisanship,” she said. “Both parties created the challenges we face today, and the solutions can only be found through collaborative efforts — good ideas don’t come with a party label.

“I encourage President Obama and his administration to work with Congress, represent all of America and make a better tomorrow for our nation.”

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich

“I look forward to continuing to build on the important progress we have made not only on Arctic development, but on other critical Alaska issues like supporting our veterans, balancing the budget, permitting mines and improving education.”

“I am also happy to see that voters have sent common-sense moderates from across the country to join me in the Senate.”

“Not only do we share common ground on policies, but we have a like-minded approach of reaching across party lines, rolling up our sleeves, and looking for solutions.”

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

“Tonight, I want to congratulate President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on winning re-election.

“This has been a spirited and tough campaign. The differences between the sides have been clear, widely discussed and vigorously debated. I strongly supported my friends Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I believe they would have provided exceptional leadership for this nation. I cannot thank them enough for their dedication to the principles of our party, and their commitment to helping improve the lives of the people of this great nation. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are honest, decent and selfless. They had big ideas that would achieve good results for all people. I wish them the very best moving forward, and I know they will stay deeply involved in the public life of this nation. We need their positive, optimistic visions as we address the pressing issues facing our country.

“I have disagreed often with the President and Vice President. On many issues of policy we clearly do not see eye to eye. But the President and Vice President are good men who care deeply about this nation. And we are bound together by something far more important than politics and policy: we are Americans, and this is a great country. The campaign is now over. It is time for us to heal and face our tremendous challenges. We will only be able to surmount those challenges by working together. As Governor of Virginia, I will continue working with the President and Vice President to find common ground, identify responsible solutions to the pressing issues of our day, and improve the lives of our fellow Americans.”

Election 2012 November 6, 2012: President Barack Obama Wins Re-election and Promises ‘Best Is Yet to Come’

ELECTION 2012

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama Wins Re-election and Promises ‘Best Is Yet to Come’

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-7-12

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

[READ the full transcript of President Obama’s victory speech]

President Obama won a second term Tuesday night, and he promised his thrilled supporters “that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.”

Obama appeared before thousands of cheering Democrats to the beat of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” after securing a strong electoral lead, although he just eked out victories in key states.

He congratulated his opponent Mitt Romney and said, “In the weeks ahead I am looking forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to discuss how we can move this country forward.”

In a victory speech studded with the soaring rhetoric that first drew voters to him in 2008, Obama reminded the electorate what was still on his agenda — immigration reform, climate change and job creation….READ MORE

Full Text Election 2012 November 7, 2012: Democrat President Barack Obama’s Victory Speech in McCormick Place, Chicago after Winning the Presidential Election over Republican Mitt Romney — Transcript

ELECTION 2012

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Text of Barack Obama’s speech after re-election

Source: AP, 11-7-12

President Barack Obama’s speech in Chicago after his re-election Tuesday night, as transcribed by Roll Call:———

Thank you so much.

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.

I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.

I just spoke with Gov. Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we

love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden.

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough.

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics. The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in.

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.

That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this—this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.

We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president—that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go—forward. That’s where we need to go.

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. 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.

Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.

Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And 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. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do.

But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.

I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.

I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.

I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.

And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.

I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.

Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.

Election 2012 November 7, 2012: Democrats Maintain Senate Majority

ELECTION 2012

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Election 2012: Senate Democratic Majority Holds After Millions Spent

Democrats will maintain their majority in the U.S. Senate, ABC News projects, no small effort in an age of astronomically expensive campaigns and hyper-partisanship.

More than $1 billion is projected to have been spent in Senate races by candidates and outside groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. But unlike in the 2010 and 2008 elections, neither party dramatically altered the balance of power in the Senate after this election.

Democrats defended 23 of the 33 seats in the Upper Chamber that were on the ballot in this election….READ MORE

Full Text Election 2012 November 7, 2012: Republican Mitt Romney’s Concession Speech After Losing Presidential Election to Democrat Barack Obama — Transcript

ELECTION 2012

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Mitt Romney’s concession speech (Full transcript)

Source: WaPo, 11-7-12

Here’s the full transcript from Mitt Romney’s concession speech on Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, 2012.

ROMNEY: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you so very much.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations.

ROMNEY: His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.

(APPLAUSE)

This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I want to thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

And for our country. Besides my wife, Ann, Paul is the best choice I’ve ever made.

(APPLAUSE)

And I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation.

(APPLAUSE)

I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: She would have been a wonderful first lady. She’s — she has been that and more to me and to our family and to the many people that she has touched with her compassion and her care.

I thank my sons for their tireless work on behalf of the campaign, and thank their wives and children for taking up the slack as their husbands and dads have spent so many weeks away from home.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to thank Matt Rhoades and the dedicated campaign team he led.

(APPLAUSE)

They have made an extraordinary effort not just for me, but also for the country that we love.

And to you here tonight, and to the team across the country — the volunteers, the fundraisers, the donors, the surrogates — I don’t believe that there’s ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years. Thank you so very much.

Thanks for all the hours of work, for the calls, for the speeches and appearances, for the resources and for the prayers. You gave deeply from yourselves and performed magnificently. And you inspired us and you humbled us. You’ve been the very best we could have imagined.

ROMNEY: The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.

And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. We look to our teachers and professors, we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.

We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built: honesty, charity, integrity and family.

We look to our parents, for in the final analysis everything depends on the success of our homes.

ROMNEY: We look to job creators of all kinds. We’re counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward.

And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.

I believe in America. I believe in the people of America.

(APPLAUSE)

And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness.

Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.

Thank you, and God bless America. You guys are the best. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks, guys.

(APPLAUSE)

Election 2012 November 7, 2012: Paul Ryan Hangs Onto Congress Seat in Wisconsin

ELECTION 2012

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Paul Ryan Hangs Onto Congress Seat in Wisconsin

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-7-12

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Paul Ryan knows he will be headed to Washington, D.C., again next year even though his presidential ticket failed to win election.

Ryan will begin serving his eighth term as a U.S. congressman representing the 1st District of Wisconsin in 2013….READ MORE

Election 2012 November 6, 2012: President Barack Obama the Projected Winner, Earns Second Term as President

ELECTION 2012

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

President Barack Obama the Projected Winner, Earns Second Term

President Obama won a second term Tuesday night as ABC News projects he will be re-elected, emerging victorious in what had been a deadlocked race into the final hours of the campaign.

Obama’s lease on the White House was renewed with a crucial victory in Ohio.

Celebrations erupted in Obama’s home town of Chicago, while Romney’s Boston headquarters went mournfully quiet.

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