"I truly believe that if we can get the deficit and debt issues solved," Obama told "Morning Joe" last month, "then that clears away a lot of the ideological underbrush. And then now we can start looking at a whole bunch of other issues that, as I said, historically have not been that ideological."
Obama is expected to navigate the new dynamic with a largely stable team of senior aides and cabinet secretaries, though he will have to recruit and nominate some new members.
He has already begun to take stock of who's planning to leave the administration and who would like to stay, aides say. In the next few weeks he will begin examining resumes of possible replacements for top officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Even as all the official business looms, Obama is also expected to make it a priority to take some quality time with his daughters, Sasha and Malia, and his wife Michelle in the days ahead.
Obama spent more than 121 days on the road in the 2012 battlegrounds, headlining 170 events this year, by ABC News' count.
"I do miss home," Obama told WZID-FM in New Hampshire on Tuesday. "One of the nice things is I work and live in the same building and if I'm in town, I'm home for dinner at 6:30…I miss that a lot."
"Hopefully after the election we'll be able to settle back into a routine," he said.