Some highlights of President Obama's postmortem press conference on yesterday's vote, from Politico and AP.
- He blamed voter anger mainly on the economy and said, "As president, I take responsibility for that." Another mea culpa: "We were in such a hurry to get things done that we didn’t change how things got done. I think that frustrated people."
- Pressed on whether the vote was a reflection on his agenda, he acknowledged that he, too, was "doing a whole lot of reflecting." He said he is "sympathetic" to those who look at new laws and think, "This looks like potential overreach."
- He called the trouncing "something that I think every president needs to go through,” before joking, "Now, I'm not recommending for every future president that they take a shellacking like I did last night.”
- Asked about a potential fight on health care reform: Tweaks are fine (Harry Reid expressed a similar sentiment, notes Reuters), but "we'd be misreading the election if we thought the American people want to see us, for the next two years, relitigate arguments we had over the last two years."
- Obama says he's "eager to sit down with members of both parties and figure out how to move forward together," particularly on issues such as the Bush tax cuts and energy legislation. "I'm not suggesting this will be easy."
- He added, however, that "I do believe there is hope for civility. I do believe there is hope for progress."
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