Despite the claim of a dual mandate, Boehner has signaled the end of efforts to repeal Obama's health care legislation, a cause that animated the tea party and united Republicans who swept to power in the House two years ago.
Numerous Republicans in Congress and among the nation's governors say the party must appeal more effectively to Hispanic voters, who account for an ever-increasing share of the electorate and gave Obama more than 70 percent of their votes this fall. Already there are the first stirrings of compromise talks on an overhaul of immigration law, to include a pathway to legal status if not citizenship for millions who are in the country illegally.
The "tone and rhetoric" employed by Republicans in recent debates over immigration have "built a wall between the Republican Party and Hispanic community," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. conceded a few days after the election.
So much for Romney's statement in last winter's primaries that illegal immigrants can self-deport.
Immigration legislation will wait until 2013 at least.
By then, Obama and Congress will show whether the election produced a government more inclined to compromise, or to more gridlock.
EDITOR'S NOTE — David Espo covers politics and Congress for The Associated Press
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