12/11/2012 10:22 GMT | Updated 12/01/2013 05:12 GMT

Obama Must Make Good on His Election Promises

The American people spoke and sent a message to Washington - and it was more decisive than it has been in a while.

They voted back in Barack Obama to get the job done, they kept the Senate under Democratic control and kept the House of Representatives under Republican control.

But they overwhelmingly rejected the Tea Party.

In short, they voted for divided government and sent a clear message that it is time for the President and Congress to work together to get the US fiscal house in order on a plan that is closer to the one proposed by Mr Obama and the Democrats.

Barack Obama won 332 electoral college votes to Mitt Romney's 206

At the moment Mr Obama has a lot of political capital.

We will soon see what he learned in his first term.

Will he be a more engaged and active leader when it comes to legislation?

Only time will tell.

By his initial actions we will see just what he wishes his legacy to be.

What does all this mean? Americans expect their government to work for them.

The people rejected the Republicans' argument of lessening severely the role government plays in the economy and in their lives - including their health and welfare.

One clear result is that "Obamacare" will remain the law of the land.

Superstorm Sandy may have been a clear reminder of one reason why people need an effective federal government to handle the big problems.

We will now see how the troika of the President, the Senate and the House of Representatives interpret this message.

It is crystal clear that the American people expect results on jobs and the economy.

The troika will be put to the test immediately with the issues that must be resolved before this "lame duck" legislative session of Congress ends.

The President and the Congress have only a few short weeks to deal with the huge problem of the "fiscal cliff".

It is clear that there are several complicated aspects to addressing the issues at hand:

:: The expiration of the Bush tax cuts

:: The implementation of the sequestration (the large across-the-board cuts to all federal spending)

:: The need to look like you are honouring your campaign promises

:: The need to ensure that none of the proposed solutions stalls the delicate recovery which is under way

Barack Obama knows John Boehner will not always be right behind him

This does not even include the time required for meaningful legislative tax or entitlement reform.

The President will be meeting with congressional leaders this week. There is bound to be a lot of "muscle flexing".

However any fix to these problems in a meaningful way will require time and attention.

Since there is little time it seems the most likely solution is to agree to kick the can down the road until the new Congress arrives in January.

This would most likely mean a short term extension of the status quo which gives the President and Congress a bit of time to hopefully agree on some sort of "grand bargain".

However it should be noted kicking the can down the road is not likely to receive a great reception from US or international markets, which are expecting a serious proposal to address mounting American debt.

The Republican Party is clearly going through its greatest identity crisis, possibly since its creation. There is already a great deal of hand wringing about whether the message or the messenger was to blame.

One thing seems crystal clear, no matter what your view - whether too far to the right or not far enough - the demographics and numbers simply can no longer add up to a win for the party in its current form.

The times have changed and this is the first presidential election where a coalition of non-white voters elected the President.

The Republicans need to decide who they are and how they can change their ideology and message to appeal to a broader base - Latino, Asian, Black, Women, LGBT and young voters.

Gen David Petraeus admitted to an affair with biographer Paula Broadwell

Despite their internal party angst, there is no chance that the Republicans are going to let one issue simply fade off their radar screen.

The Petraeus story plays right into this since most Republicans believe his resignation just a week before his congressional testimony is no accident.

This story is either part of a cover-up on the Benghazi incident or simply a very tragic and sordid way to end a brilliant military career.

It is bound to figure when Mr Obama holds his first news conference since June on Wednesday at the White House.

Alongside the fiscal cliff and Benghazi, the CIA director's resignation is sure to be among the hot topics at this long-awaited question and answer session.

Also this week, the Republicans meet to elect their new leadership on November 14.

Most seem to think that John Boehner will continue as House Speaker.

However, in light of the soul-searching going on in the Republican Party, do not be surprised if Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan or some of the other "young guns" try to stage a coup.

The Democrats have decided to delay their leadership election until November 29.

There is talk that Nancy Pelosi may want to step down. If she does the two obvious choices to succeed her are Steny Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen - both from Maryland.

It is rumoured that if Mrs Pelosi steps down she will try to engineer it to ensure that Mr Van Hollen is victorious.

And then there are of course others who might be interested in the top spot.

James Clyburn (No. 3 in the minority right now) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz who chairs the Democratic National Committee.

This post also appeared on Sky News.