As President Obama wraps up his year in Washington, he may have finally overcome the "shellacking" of Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections and could be on his way to working with both Republicans and Democrats - but is he the new "Comeback Kid?"
The term, coined by former President Bill Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign, regarding his own comeback from low polls and bad results in the Iowa caucuses, to a solid second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary and eventually the Democratic nomination.
But, if Obama thinks the victories by the White House in the lame-duck session of Congress including: tax cuts, START and the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" make him the new comeback kid, he wasn't saying one way or the other.
"We took a shellacking and I take responsibility for that. But, I think what's happened over the last several weeks is not a victory for me, it's a victory for the American people. And, the lesson I hope that everybody takes from this is that it's possible for Democrats and Republicans to have principal disagreements. To have some lengthy arguments, but to ultimately find common ground to move the country forward," Obama said at the White House Thursday.
But the president appears to be a realist about the next year, and made clear the differences he has with Republicans over certain issue still exist and will continue to do so into the new year and the new Congress.
"Those arguments have not gone away. I still believe that it doesn't make sense for us to provide tax cuts to people like myself who don't need ‘em when our deficit and debts are growing. That's a debate that's going to continue into 2011," Obama said.
Meanwhile, as everyone in Washington prepares to depart home for the holidays, and for some on Capitol Hill, home for good if they were not re-elected, the president says his metaphor of the car in the ditch from the 2010 midterm elections has finally ended - with the car, and the economy is on level ground and neither Republicans or Democrats have the keys.
"The American people drive the car. They're the ones who are going to be making an assessment as to whether we're putting in place policies that are working for them. And, both parties are going to be held accountable and I'm going to be held accountable if we take a wrong turn on that front," Obama said.
And the president said he believes those on the Hill are aware the moves made in the next year could be a set-up for the 2012 elections.
"My sense is the Republicans recognize that with greater power is going to come greater responsibility. And some of the progress that I think we saw in the lame duck was a recognition on their part that people are going to be paying attention to what they're doing, as well as what I'm doing and what Democrats in congress are doing."