"It doesn't frighten me as much as it inspires me," Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said of the incoming Republican majority -- and the fact that President Barack Obama may face an uphill climb in the next election.
Cleaver offered his remarks at a "Welcome Back" reception for Hill staffers and members of Congress. The event was held at the Fed Ex House Tuesday night.
"Republicans have declared that they intend to undo the health care initiative as well as some parts of the financial reform package," he said. "I think it means that the Democratic congress must be at its sharpest when standing before the nation for what we believe will be earth changing provisions for the health care of Americans."
"The time is definitely now to communicate and to show what we've been able to get done so far in his presidency," Clever said. "There's so much that the president has achieved, yet receives no acknowledgement for it. That has to change."
Like many Democratic political leaders, he also feels that the president hasn't had enough time to get the job done.
"The majority of Americans placed inflated expectation on candidate Obama and some even placed all of their hopes and dreams in him," Cleaver said. "No human being could have performed at the level of expectation in such a short period of time."
He's well aware that the next election will not be easy. "It's realistic for our party to understand the enormous challenge we're going to have, to get him back in the White House in 2012," Cleaver said. "It will not be a landslide or an easy victory. We're going to have to scrape and battle for every vote we get."