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A Reflective President Obama Looks to New Realities of Washington

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By Tony Best, Special to the NNPA from The New York Carib News –

A reflective U.S. President Barack Obama, chastened by the Democratic loss of their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives but buoyed by his party’s ability to hold the Senate has put job creation and accelerating the pace of economic growth at the top of his agenda for the next two years.

Accepting blame, not only for the loss of the House and his party’s reduced strength in the Senate but also for the defeat of at least nine governors across the country, Obama acknowledged that he hadn't done enough to change the culture and ways of doing business in Washington. However, he defended his Administration’s emphasis on health care reform, stimulating the economy and other signature measures, which he insisted were vital to stop the economic free-for-all he had inherited.

Speaking during an hour long news conference at the White House the day after the mid-term elections, the President said that he felt bad about the loss of so many prominent and dedicated public servants who were defeated in House, Senate, and gubernatorial races. But, he vowed to put more Americans back to work and to improve their earning and spending power.

Job creation is an important question for Republicans and Democrats, he told reporters.

The President seemingly took solace in the Democrats ability to retain the Senate by the narrowest of margins, especially the victory by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, a feat which public opinion polls in the two weeks before Tuesday election had put in doubt. Obama vowed to work with both Republicans and Democrats to accelerate the pace of growth.

But the somber atmosphere at the crowded news conference at the White House didn’t extend to Albany in New York as Andrew Cuomo sailed to an overwhelming victory in the race for Governor to succeed David Paterson. The sweet taste of victory enjoyed by Cuomo, who defeated Conservative Republican candidate Carl Paladino by close to a two-to-one margin wasn't the only joyous note for Democrats in the Empire State. Eric Schneiderman handily thumped Dan Donovan, Staten Island District Attorney, to become State Attorney General and Thomas DiNapoli overcame a strong challenge from Republican Harry Wilson to remain State Comptroller.

While the Democrats cruised to an easy victory once again in the Assembly, they may have to wait several days to know if they are going to retain the majority in the State Senate. With the 59 seats declared so far evenly being divided, about three remain to be decided and that could make a difference between sweeping the Republicans or sharing power with them for the next two years.

In Massachusetts, Duval Patrick won a second term as Governor. Once again, New Yorkers voted once again to restrict members of the City Council, the Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate and Borough Presidents to two terms. In a referendum, most City voters said two terms was enough.

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