Now that Obama has been reelected, McConnell’s top priority is reforming Medicare and Medicaid, and he knows he needs the president as a partner, not an enemy.

“Given the serious nature of the challenge, I hope the president uses his inaugural address to acknowledge both the seriousness of the debt crisis and lays out ways, working with both parties in Congress, to get our profligate spending under control,” McConnell wrote.

Sources close to McConnell say he wants Obama and his advisors to meet with Republican and Democratic leaders and negotiate before another fiscal deadline forces a hasty, incomplete compromise. McConnell wants Obama to “turn off the campaign” tactics and stop trying to pummel Republicans into submission from the bully pulpit.

McConnell delivered this blunt message to Obama personally in a brief telephone conversation after the election.