One day after pulling off a stunning upset Senate victory in Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown declared that he would be a "new breed of Republican" who's "not beholden to anybody."
Brown's defeat of Democrat Martha Coakley Tuesday night shocked the state Democratic Party which had held the seat for 46 years under Sen. Ted Kennedy. The ripple effect of his come-from-behind win also rattled the national Democratic Party in Washington.
At a press conference in Boston, Brown thanked voters who supported him and extended a hand to his opponents, saying he will retain his "big tent philosophy" when he represents Massachusetts in Congress.
"The campaign's over, and the thing that I've been most appreciative of is the fact that people I'll be working with have been very gracious in saying 'game's over; let's get to work,'" Brown said.
Brown won 52 percent of the votes to Coakley's 47 percent in Tuesday's special Senate election, sparking a debate about what the outcome means for President Obama and Democrats nationwide.
Republicans believe their win in the bluest of blue states, where a Republican had not been elected to the U.S. Senate since 1972, amounts to a popular rebuke of the president's agenda.
"The voters have spoken," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "They want a course correction. We should listen to them. Today."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said that change of course must include killing the health care reform bill in its current form.
"Last night a shot was fired around this nation. A shot was fired saying no more business as usual in Washington, D.C.," said McCain on the Senate floor. "Stop this unsavory sausage-making process called health care reform where special favors are dispensed to special people for special reasons in order to purchase votes."
In the House, Republicans were equally dismissive of the Democrats' legislative approach saying it reflects "arrogance."
"The people of Massachusetts have stood up and said enough is enough," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-OH. "The American people about ready to pull their hair out and about ready to throw every Democrat out of here."
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., who also called yesterday's results a "rejection of arrogance," said he hopes Democrats will "now listen to the priorities of the American people."
Democrats are saying the loss in Massachusetts was a localized incident that doesn't impact the popular mandate they retain.
"Some elections go your way. Some elections go the other way," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "The American people demand that we work together as partners, not partisans, to improve their individual lives."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., addressed the challenges Brown's election may pose to Democrats' legislative plans but said, "We will move forward with those considerations in mind - but we will move forward."
"For the Democrats, this is clearly not the change they expected, but it's certainly the change the people of Massachusetts -- like the people in New Jersey and Virginia -- wanted," Steele said.