On Monday we heard the president talk about the importance of working together, but a speech at an inauguration is one thing. Can it actually turn into something?
We asked two people from Virginia, who will play a central role in that discussion.
President Obama made it clear; the time for partisan battles is over.
"Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time," he said. "But it does require us to act in our time."
Henrico Congressman Eric Cantor, perhaps the president's biggest rival, agrees.
"We are all one," said Cantor. "We are here united as a people around our leader Commander-in-Chief."
While Cantor said he is ready to deal, he also made it clear that there are some things that are non-negotiable.
"We all have differences as people do," Cantor said. "But the focus on today is setting those things aside and trying to find ways we can work together."
Virginia's newest senator Tim Kaine said disagreements are a part of politics. It's how you handle those disagreements that matter.
"These are the basic rules that anybody in a PTA, on a Parish Council, anybody in a family knows," said Kaine. "We listen to each other. There has got to be some compromise, some give and take."
Kaine believes that if you can remain civil during the most heated confrontations, it is much easier to find common ground where it exists.
"If you just stay friends and communicate, you are going to find other areas where you can make headway," he said.
After two years of perpetually campaigning, the president spent Monday morning promising a new day. Not many of the players have changed, and he argues, time is running out.
"For now decisions are upon us and we cannot afford delay," he said.
The first big battle will be over the budget, something that hasn't been passed in Washington quite some time. A deadline is approaching on the debt ceiling and both sides are threatening to dig in and fight.
And with that, the start of a new four-year-term begins with urgency. At stake, the legacy of a president and the future of a country in the balance.
You can see extended clips from Rep. Cantor and Sen. Kaine on our political blog DecisionVirginia.com.
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