"I think everybody forgets that the election was only a week ago," he said. "I know I've forgotten."
He said he still plans to reach out to his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, to get ideas on improving the government and the economy. And, yes, he must work better with Congress.
"All of us have responsibilities to see if there are things we can improve on," he said. "I don't exempt myself from needing to, you know, do some self-reflection."
Obama won a second term handily in the electoral college, but about 48 percent of the voting public wanted Republican Mitt Romney in office instead.
"I'm more than familiar with all the literature about presidential overreach in second terms," Obama said.
He said the only mandate he got from voters was simple — "work really hard to help us."
Associated Press writers Donna Cassata and Julie Pace contributed to this report.
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