THE BLOG
11/09/2012 01:03 pm ET Updated Jan 07, 2013

Will President Obama's Team of Rivals Include Mitt Romney?

Will President Obama's "Team of Rivals" (like Doris Kearns Goodwin's book of the same title), include Gov. Mitt Romney? President Obama, in the first blush of his re-election, says he will be meeting with Gov. Mitt Romney. How would you like to be the proverbial fly on the wall for that meeting? Does anyone else have the feeling this could be more than just a courtesy call?

President Obama from Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, has a track record of emulating President Abraham Lincoln, such as including rivals for the presidency in his administration as Lincoln did. Don't forget Democratic Primary rivals Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton became Vice President and Secretary of State in his first term. Secretary Clinton has said she will not continue for a second term. Also leaving are Secretaries Leon Panetta (Defense) and Timothy Geithner (Treasury).

Much has been made of the differences between these two presidential rivals, President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. But are they so different after all? Obama and Romney are both Harvard Law School alums. (Romney also has an MBA from Harvard.) Both as teens were educated at prep schools. Both have faced discrimination. Obama on race. Romney on his religion. Each knows what it feels like to be an outsider. Romney as a Republican Governor in the state of Massachusetts, viewed by many as the most liberal state in the union. Obama as America's first African-American president with a divided Congress.

Interestingly, both men chose Roman Catholics as their vice presidential running mates, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. Both also chose cities as their voting residences known for their large Catholic populations -- Chicago and Boston.

In their first presidential debate, Obama said he had modeled Obamacare after Romneycare in Massachusetts. Romney was the first governor to get it done on a state level; Obama on a federal level.
In their final presidential debate, to the surprise of many, Romney ended up agreeing with President Obama on many foreign policy issues.

Post-election, we still have the Democrats with control of the US Senate and Republicans in control of the House of Representatives. We re-elected President Obama by a razor-thin margin in Ohio and many of the other battleground states. If we are to move forward as a nation following the last four years of gridlock, reaching across the aisle is sorely needed as many seem to be acknowledging the day after this contentious election.

President Obama with his upcoming meeting with rival Gov. Romney, appears to be leading the way. Just in time for the nationwide release of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field on November 16th based in part on Goodwin's Team of Rivals book.

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