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Post-Mortem



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President Obama will hold a press conference in the East Room tomorrow afternoon:

Aides said they expected Mr. Obama to call for an end to the division that characterized the campaign and for a renewed focus on bipartisanship to solve the nation’s economic and other problems.

The White House is bracing for a bad night, anticipating an outcome that has virtually every political specialist predicting that the Democrats will lose the House but possibly hang on to the Senate. The White House wants to use the news conference the next day to help Mr. Obama reframe his presidency and signal that he heard what the voters were trying to tell him.

On Friday, Mr. Obama will travel to Asia for a long-delayed trip. When he returns, he has a heavy agenda for the lame-duck session of Congress, which will include whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts that expire at the end of the year, an appropriations bill to keep the government operating and an arms control treaty with Russia.

There is no indication that Mr. Obama will do anything in his news conference on Wednesday as significant as what President George W. Bush did after Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006. The day after that midterm election, which turned at least in part on voter frustration with the flailing war effort in Iraq, Mr. Bush admitted he had taken a “thumpin’” and fired Defense Secretary Donald M. Rumsfeld.



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