Obama Reaches Out to New GOP Lawmakers

The president has called every new Republican senator-elect and most of the GOP House members.


By Kenneth R. Bazinet

President Obama has reached out to most of the incoming GOP lawmakers victorious on Nov. 2, telephoning many of them while abroad traveling to meetings in Asia.

"It's a step in the right direction," said Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner's press secretary Michael Steel.

[See who donates the most money to Boehner.]

Obama, in fact, has called every new Republican senator-elect and most of the GOP House members, making "well over 100 calls" in all, senior presidential adviser David Axelrod told the Huffington Post.

As first reported on our Mouth of the Potomac blog, the President has also spoken to many of the incoming GOP House committee chairmen, including Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), who will take the gavel of the Homeland Security Committee.

[See who donates the most money to King.]

Axelrod says it's "a fascinating time in our history," but is not sure the White House will be able to usher in an era of bipartisanship and work with the new GOP lawmakers. "I don't think anybody really knows," Axelrod said. "I mean, I have watched carefully some of these folks on television. I don't think this is nearly as predictable as people think."

After pummeling Obama and the Democrats during the midterm election season, Boehner's office is taking the high road, at least while the President is abroad. Under Boehner's direction the Republicans have helped restore a nearly lost protocol of not attacking a President while he is overseas, even though a few Democrats strayed from that practice during the Bush administration.