President Obama has invited the leaders of both major parties to a meeting at the White House on November 18, 2010. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority LeaderÂ John Boehner will represent the Republican Party at the meeting. Boehner is likely to become the next Speaker of the House when the 112th Congress convenes for the first time in 2011. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are also expected to attend.
White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs is describing the pow-wow as a social working dinner, according to BCC News.Â The meeting will be the first real opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to show they are serious about working together in the aftermath of 2010’s contentious mid-term elections.
Polls cited by anÂ article in the Bemidji Pioneer show that 72 to 80 percent of voters want the two major parties to work together to solve the nation’s problems. Only 15 to 22 percent say they want the Democrats and Republicans to stand firm on their convictions. Unfortunately, some politicians in Washington do not appear to be getting the message.Â McConnell has said that the Republican Party’s top priority should be defeating President Obama in 2012, not working with Democrats to create jobs or fix the economy.
The early stages of the next presidential election are already underway, with potential GOP candidates making frequent visits to the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. With this in mind, it is probably unrealistic to expect Republicans to put their partisan interests aside for the sake of national unity. Still, it seems clear that voters now prefer bipartisanship and results over division and one party rule. It’s a lesson the GOP should keep in mind moving forward.
Article Â©2010 David Anderson for Gather.com. All rights reserved.