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Obama agenda: Defiance and accommodation

AP’s Babington: “President Barack Obama walked a narrow path between ambition and realism, defiance and accommodation when he addressed reporters for the first time since winning a hard-fought election that gives him four more years to carve his place in history. While he avoided terms like ‘transformational,’ Obama signaled that he still hopes to accomplish big things in spite of Congress’ almost paralyzing partisanship. That could include an overhaul of immigration laws, which could become a coveted bookend to his 2010 health care revision. There was a bounce in Obama’s step Wednesday in the White House East Room. But there was no dancing in the end zone, no taunting of defeated opponents.”

The New York Times: “If there was still any thought that President Obama and Senator John McCain might eventually move past their once-bitter White House rivalry toward a cooperative governing agenda, it was all but dashed on Wednesday.”

The Boston Globe: “President Obama aggressively defended ambassador Susan Rice on Wednesday, using his first postelection news conference to pointedly rebut Republican charges that the diplomat misled the American public in the aftermath of the attacks in Libya.”

Politico: “President Barack Obama just finished his second presidential campaign — but he’s not finished lashing out at his opponent from his first. Obama’s irritation at his 2008 rival, Arizona Sen. John McCain, flared Wednesday during the president’s first news conference since winning reelection. It was a startling moment in an otherwise unremarkable appearance — and hinted at lingering tensions with McCain.”

USA Today: “President Obama hasn't picked his nominee to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, but he made clear Wednesday that he doesn't think much of Senate Republicans' warnings that he not choose United Nations envoy Susan Rice.”

Bloomberg: “President Barack Obama’s spirited defense of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has moved her a step closer to being named to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

National Journal: “Obama Calls Out Bullies From the Bully Pulpit.”

“In the midst of a political tempest that has engulfed his former CIA director and his top military commander in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama is traveling to New York City to view recovery efforts from the massive East Coast storm Sandy,” the AP writes. “While there Thursday, Obama will meet with affected families, local officials and first responders who have been dealing with the deadly storm, which slammed into New York, New Jersey and other East Coast states late month, killing more than 100 people and leaving millions without power.”

“President Barack Obama spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi Wednesday night about rocket attacks being launched from Gaza into Israel and escalating violence in the Gaza Strip,” AP writes. “The White House said Obama reiterated U.S. support for Israel’s right to self-defense from rocket attacks being launched against its civilians and urged Israel to ‘make every effort to avoid civilian casualties’ in its response.”

National Journal: “President Obama is pressuring lawmakers to complete work on immigration next year. If they were starting from scratch, such a major endeavor would seem impossible. But under the Obama administration’s vision, it is more than doable because he is simply picking up the conversation where it left off in 2007, when an massive immigration bill died on the Senate floor.”