Thanksgiving wishes with a little politics on the side

Obama with daughters and turkey

This month's election results and politics in general may be topics of conversation at Thanksgiving tables across the country today, but President Obama says the holiday is really a time to put everything into perspective.

"We've just emerged from a campaign season that was passionate, noisy, and vital to our democracy. But it also required us to make choices - and sometimes those choices led us to focus on what sets us apart instead of what ties us together; on what candidate we support instead of what country we belong to," the president said in his weekly address.

"Thanksgiving is a chance to put it all in perspective - to remember that, despite our differences, we are, and always will be, Americans first and foremost. "

Mr. Obama talked about the fact that there are still families that were affected by superstorm Sandy - some who've lost everything - who don't have the luxury of enjoying Thanksgiving around their dinner tables.

"It will be a long time before life goes back to normal," he said. "But in the midst of so much tragedy, there are also glimmers of hope. Over the last few weeks, we've seen FEMA personnel, National Guard and first responders working around the clock in hard-hit communities."

"As Americans, we are a bold, generous, big-hearted people," the president continued. "When our brothers and sisters are in need, we roll up our sleeves and get to work - not for the recognition or the reward, but because it's the right thing to do. Because there but for the grace of God go I. And because here in America, we rise or fall together, as one nation and one people."

Meantime, in the Republican address, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., sounded similar themes before pivoting to politics.

"A hard-fought campaign has just come to a close. Far too many Americans remain out of work. Our national debt exceeds the size of the economy and threatens to derail our children's future. As a mother of two young children, this is a constant worry, as is the cost of gas and groceries," she said.

"Yet today, we will honor the Thanksgiving tradition with wishes of peace and grace," McMorris Rodgers continued. "We'll pray for those less fortunate. We'll think of servicemembers away from home, and give thanks for them and their families. Our hearts will go out to families still without power after Hurricane Sandy."

McMorris Rodgers took the opportunity to talk politics, however, calling on the president to work with Republicans to deal with the upcoming fiscal cliff.

"The same spirit of service and optimism that brings us together today should inspire us all year round.

"That's why, here in Washington, D.C., Republicans have reached out to President Obama in the hope of working together to help our economy grow and solve the debt that threatens our children's future," she said.

"Republicans believe this is an opportunity to finally solve problems that Washington has ignored for too long, whether it's a tax code that's too costly and complicated or entitlement programs that are on the path to bankruptcy. No more short-term band-aids or shopworn excuses. We can do this right."

"Republicans are ready and eager to get to work, and we hope President Obama is as well," McMorris Rodgers continued. "Because America is a country whose people can do anything, and whose leaders can envision a limitless future."

  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' senior political editor.