Partisans argue over the 'mandate' question

Senator-elect Tim Kaine, D-Va. Senator-elect Tim Kaine, D-Va. Steve Helber/AP
Partisans and pundits parsing the election seem to agree that the signal from voters is that the political parties need to work together, though the question of whether voters sent a “mandate” to Washington remains a sore subject of debate.

Tim Kaine, the Democratic senator-elect for Virginia, said he believed President Obama did win a mandate but that the voters are saying the divisions in Washington need to melt away.

“The president definitely has a mandate,” Kaine said on NBC’s The Today Show. But because Democrats retained control of the Senate and Republicans maintained the House, Kaine said, “I basically think the American public is saying to us ‘We want cooperative government. We don’t want all the levers in one party’s hands. We are going to force you to work together.’”

The risks of going off the fiscal cliff are so great it will force the parties to work together, he said. “There is so much bad that is going to happen by year-end if we go over this fiscal cliff that I think that is going to bring both parties together for a solution,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial page was quick to say that Obama’s victory came without a mandate. “Mr. Obama will now have to govern the America he so relentlessly sought to divide—and without a mandate beyond the powers of the Presidency,” the paper wrote.

For his part, former Speaker and former Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said Republican control of the House should not be underestimated. “Remember, there are two mandates that came out of yesterday. John Boehner and the House Republicans do control the House of Representatives,” he said.

He also said the outcome would force the Republican Party to do some serious reflection.

“Republicans are going to have to take a very serious look at what happened and why did it happen, and why were we not more competitive at the presidential level,” he said on CNN. “This is a very serious moment, and again, those of us who were Republican activists, and some of the supposedly best analysts on our side in the conservative movement, were just wrong. We have to think about, what does that teach us?”
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.