"We're humbled by the trust that the American people have placed in us, and as I said last night, our now job is to listen to the people and follow the will of the American people," said Boehner. "It's pretty clear the American people want us to do something about cutting spending here in Washington, and helping to create an environment where we'll get jobs back in our country. We've got a big job ahead of us and that's why you'll see us roll up our sleeves and go to work today."
Asked whether the results of the election indicate a vote against Obama administration or vote for the Republican Party, Boehner said the vote was "a mandate for Washington to reduce the size of government and continue our fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government."
"American people spoke and I think it's pretty clear that the Obama/Pelosi agenda is being rejected by the American people," Boehner said. "They want the president to change course, and I think it's change course we will."
Zelizer agrees, calling the Republicans "total winners" of the midterm elections.
"Republicans have as an asset in not winning the Senate. It's a not a Republican Congress and so it will be hard for the Obama adminstration to blame Congress in two years" for any shortcomings, he said.
But Republicans face a danger if little is accomplished over the next two years, leaving the party appearing to be ineffective come the 2012 elections.
A Washington veteran, Boehner is aware of the struggles the House will have getting legislation approved, according to Zelizer, and will likely encourage his party to focus on "making Obama a one-term president."
"The parties are so polarized, there's a divided Congress and dividied government, so the idea that you can get anything done is sort of a fantasy," he said.
Blumenthal says that the burden is on Obama to capitalize on whatever the GOP decides to do, be it attempt to pass legislatoin or simply use their post in Congress as a podium.
"President Obama must defend the gains he made in his first two years in office," he said.
According to Zelizer, Democrats could benefit from reminding the electorate of the final days of the Bush adminstration where he says Republicans were shown to be great at campaigning and attacking their opponents, but less effective at actually governing.
"The GOP doesn't want to be accused of not doing anything and not proposing anything for the next two years. That's the charge Boehner want to avoid," said Zelizer.