With his election victory behind him, President Obama now turns his focus to planning his second term. He again faces a divided Congress - a Republican-controlled House and a Senate led by Democrats. But a second term presents an opportunity for the president try to set a new agenda and maybe change his approach to governing.
I'd like to thank Carol Shea-Porter, Ann McLane Kuster, Jeanne Shaheen, Kelly Ayotte, Maggie Hassan and ... Jocelyn Chertoff.
On Tuesday, Democrats Shea-Porter and McLane Kuster won congressional seats from New Hampshire. They'll join Democratic Sen. Shaheen and Republican Sen. Ayotte in the nation's capital in January when the 113th Congress convenes â€” giving New Hampshire the first-in-the-nation all-female congressional delegation.
If you fell asleep Rip Van Winkle-like earlier in the year only to wake up Friday, you might be forgiven for thinking no time had passed.
Because on Friday, President Obama called for higher taxes on the wealthy to be part of any agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, while House Speaker John Boehner strongly indicated that proposal was a non-starter with House Republicans.
But, of course, we just had an election in which the president won a second term and, through that, some political capital. Exactly how much remains to be seen.
When Democratic Senator Kent Conrad announced his retirement, his seat in North Dakota was all but written off to the Republicans. Instead, on Tuesday, North Dakota voters chose Conrad's onetime protege at the State Tax Commissioner's Office, the state's former attorney general, Heidi Heitkamp, and she joins us now from her home. Welcome to the program.
SENATOR-ELECT HEIDI HEITKAMP: Thank you so much for having me.
Until news broke of the Petraeus resignation, today's top story was the country's fiscal crisis. Across-the-board tax cuts will expire at year's end, and mandatory spending cuts will kick in. It's caused a post-election scramble to dodge this so-called fiscal cliff. Well, today, President Obama made clear any deal must include higher taxes for the wealthy. He also sounded an optimistic note pointing to remarks earlier today by the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Today in Washington, D.C. more talk of the need for compromise to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. And the surprise this afternoon, the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus after he admitted he had an extramarital affair. We'll talk more about Petraeus in a few minutes with our regular political commentators.