Gingrich: Boehner needs to claim split mandate

Tuesday???s election results produced two very different mandates and a very troubling question for Republicans — including me.

President Obama won a mandate despite 7.9 percent unemployment — the weakest economy since the Great Depression — high priced gasoline, huge questions about his response to Benghazi, and growing proof of government incompetence in the response to Hurricane Sandy.

Mitt Romney fought a hard and with a well-organized campaign. We should be grateful for their tremendous effort.

But the Obama campaign had a strategy and a structure, and they succeeded.

President Obama can and will claim to have a mandate, although a smaller, narrower one than four years ago.

But Speaker John Boehner can also claim a mandate.

After two years of opposing tax increases, fighting to control spending and investigating waste, corruption and incompetence, House Republicans were rewarded with re-election. That is a real achievement.

The next few months will see a test of whether Obama and Boehner can find a common ground between these two very different mandates.

The painful question is how so many senior Republicans — including me — could have been so wrong in our assessment of the election.

Experienced data analysts like Karl Rove, Michael Barone, Dick Morris and a number of others misread the American people.

That failure deserves a lot of painful reassessment.

It will be the subject of a future article.