WASHINGTON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday is expected to be grilled about negotiations to avert a looming "fiscal cliff" and the scandal that brought down CIA director David Petraeus when he holds his first news conference since winning a second term.

Obama will have little time to savor his decisive Nov. 6 victory over Republican Mitt Romney as he takes questions from the White House press corps for the first time in months in an encounter in the ornate East Room, starting at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT).

The White House had hoped to use the news conference to mobilize public support for Obama's economic agenda in the face of a showdown with congressional Republicans over an economy-shaking package of tax increases and deep spending cuts set to kick in at year-end unless a deal is reached.

But instead a heavy focus will be on Obama's first words on a scandal over an extramarital affair that cost Petraeus his job and has expanded to include the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Marine General John Allen, who is being investigated for "flirtatious" emails with a woman at the center of the case.

The scandal, which erupted late last week, complicates Obama's efforts to reorganize his national security team following his re-election.

Obama also is likely to face tough questions about where he sees grounds for compromise with Republicans on taxes and spending, how he plans to remake his Cabinet and where he is heading with his second-term foreign policy agenda, including Syria, Iran, China and the war in Afghanistan.

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  • Obama On Taxes

    Roll back Bush tax cuts for upper-income people. He compromised with the GOP and went along with renewing the expiring across-the-board tax cuts begun by his Republican predecessor, even though he wanted to revert to higher rates for couples making over $250,000 and individuals making over $200,000. Obama is still promising to raise those rates and more – and pretty much needs to, because much of his agenda depends on getting more tax revenue from wealthier people. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Romney On Jobs

    Create 12 million jobs in four years. Romney sets a modest bar with this oft-heard pledge; economists think about that many jobs or more will be created regardless of the outcome Tuesday. To add 12 million, the workforce would have to grow by an average of 250,000 a month, a reasonable prospect when there is no recession. Since July, the economy has created an average of 173,000 jobs a month. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Obama On The Deficit

    Put government on a path to cutting deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years. A tall order, and his performance on it over the next four years would help shape his legacy for better or worse. He failed in his first-term promise to cut deficits by half, instead running trillion-dollar deficits for four straight years due largely to the recession he inherited, a halting comeback and big spending to spur the recovery. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Romney On Taxes

    "I'm not going to raise taxes on anyone," a pledge also rendered as, "I will not raise taxes on the middle class." Romney promises not only to keep the Bush tax cuts for all but to bring down rates a further 20 percent. He'd also eliminate the capital gains tax for families making below $200,000 and cut the corporate tax to 25 percent from 35 percent. Although the promised cuts are clear enough, just how he would pay for them is a mystery. He's talked about reducing some deductions and exemptions in the tax code but won't say which. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Obama On Foreign Oil

    Cut imports of foreign oil by half by 2020. For generations, presidents have fruitlessly held out the dream of making the U.S. self-sufficient in energy. But the boom in domestic production may at last be nudging the nation toward that goal. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • Romney On Health Care

    Repeal Obama's health care law, his clarion call since the GOP primaries. Rolling back the massive overhaul, now that it has had more than two years to sprout roots, could be a massive undertaking of its own. Some of his promises in this area are showmanship, such as his pledge to issue waivers from the law to all 50 states on the first day of his presidency. Many states don't want out of the law, and it can't be dismantled with the mere stroke of his pen anyway. In any event, the law's repeal is one big promise he will be judged on, especially by the tea party activists who were suspicious early on about his conservative credentials. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)

  • Obama On Oil Companies

    End subsidies to the oil industry. A leftover promise that went nowhere in the last four years. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Romney On The Budget

    Balance the budget by 2020. Vital specifics are lacking from this pledge, such as which big federal programs he'd cut and how else he would save money when also wants to cut taxes, increase military spending and restore more than $700 billion in Medicare cuts over 10 years. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by Mark Lyons/Getty Images)

  • Obama On Iran

    Prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The U.S. has imposed painful oil and financial penalties on Iran to persuade it to cease uranium enrichment activity, so far without apparent success. Obama has left open the possibility of military action if that's what it takes to stop Iranian nuclear development. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Romney On Energy

    "We will achieve North American energy independence by 2020." By that, he means the U.S. would have its energy needs completely met by its own resources and those of Canada and Mexico. As with Obama's pledge to cut oil imports by half, Romney's promise has become conceivable – if still a steep climb – thanks to technology and market forces that have brought vast reserves of natural gas, along with other energy sources, within reach. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by Getty Images)

  • Obama On Corporate Tax Breaks

    "Take away tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas" as part of a plan to invigorate domestic manufacturing. A tougher slog than it might sound. U.S. corporations don't pay U.S. taxes on overseas profits unless they bring that cash back to the United States. Obama says this encourages outsourcing. Republicans say taxing such profits would make U.S. companies move headquarters overseas, not just production. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Romney On Keystone Pipeline

    Quickly approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, delayed by Obama because of environmental concerns, as part of the push for more energy supply. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Obama On Immigration

    "I want to make sure that we get comprehensive immigration reform that gives young people who've been raised here a chance to live out their own American dream." This failed before. Obama would try again, and counts it as the first thing he would do next year after a deficit-cutting deal. Without needing congressional action, he decided on a temporary measure in June letting up to 1.7 million young illegal immigrants stay and work for up to two years. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Romney On China

    Label China a currency manipulator. Central to Romney's pledge to get tougher with unfair trade practices. The move would set the stage for broad trade penalties and could lead to a trade war between the two huge economies. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Obama On Higher Education

    Make higher education affordable for everyone, in part by halving the growth in college tuition over 10 years. Ensure by the end of the decade that the U.S. has more people with college degrees than any other country, recruit 100,000 math and science teachers in 10 years, help 2 million workers attend community college. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)

  • Romney On Immigration

    Overhaul immigration laws. The features of Romney's plan are foggier than Obama's, but he favors a strengthened system of tracking illegal immigrants through their U.S. employers, supports completion of the U.S.-Mexico border fence and opposes any broad-based move to establish a path to citizenship except for those who served in the armed forces. He promises to achieve this overhaul before the two-year work permits granted by Obama expire, and he would honor those in the meantime. Promises those who study legally in the U.S. that "if you get an advanced degree here, we want you to stay here_ so we will staple a green card to your diploma." (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Obama On Climate Change

    "My plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet_ because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke." From his convention speech, this was a rare reference to climate change from a president who pledged strong action in a first term, then fell mostly silent about it after promised legislation to cap emissions failed. Even so, Obama has come at the issue in other ways, treating carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the law and steering billions of dollars into cleaner energy. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Romney On Medicare

    Protect Medicare for those in or near retirement, change it for future retirees. Starting in 2022, retirees could choose to buy their own health insurance, with voucher-like payments from the government, or stay with traditional Medicare. Questions persist about whether the payments would be sufficient and whether traditional Medicare would remain as comprehensive as now. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)

  • Obama On Medicare

    Strengthen Medicare by reducing the cost of health care. Steps already taken under the health care law improve benefits while cutting payments to hospitals and other providers by more than $700 billion over a decade – cuts used to help working-age Americans get insurance. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Romney On Medicaid

    Turn Medicaid over to the states with block grants, a huge change to a major program. Sure to cause a donnybrook in Congress – and an important step for conservatives who want states overall to gain more authority and flexibility from Washington. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by Mark Lyons/Getty Images)

  • Obama On Jobs

    "We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. You can make that happen. You can choose that future." In October, manufacturers added 13,000 jobs after shedding 27,000 the previous two months – not the makings of a renaissance. Obama has set an ambitious target, considering that manufacturing jobs have been steadily declining for nearly two decades. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Romney On Trade

    Seek freer trade with Latin America and other parts of the world, a leading element of Romney's job-creation pledge. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Obama On Big Government

    Consolidate a "whole bunch" of federal agencies dealing with business issues into one new department led by a secretary of business. (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Romney On Day One

    Day One alone: "Start the process of repealing Obamacare" with waivers, cut off federal money for Planned Parenthood and the U.N. Population Fund, reinstate the policy banning federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information, designate China a currency manipulator, "reverse every single Obama regulation that attacks our religious liberty and threatens innocent life," take "bold action" to create jobs, and – perhaps after lunch?_ "do everything in my power to end these days of drift and disappointment." (Text by The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121104/us-presidential-campaign-promises/">Associated Press</a>; Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)