Mara Liasson

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Joe Biden's first full week as president has been a gusher of executive orders, some big legislative proposals — and a very different model of presidential leadership than his predecessor.

Traditionally, the first week is when new presidents set the tone. For Biden, that's all about taking down the temperature and trying for "unity." But unity means different things to different people.

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Joe Biden's first full week as president has been a gusher of executive orders, some big legislative proposals and a very different model of presidential leadership. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports.

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In a matter of hours on Jan. 6, the Republican Party went from shrugging off its loss of the White House to a party in crisis.

It was becoming clear just before the violent insurrection at the Capitol that the party had lost two Senate runoff elections in Georgia, making President Trump the first president since Herbert Hoover whose party lost the White House, the House and the Senate in one term. And plenty of Republicans blamed Trump for the Democrats' success in Georgia.

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And I want to bring in another voice - that of NPR's Mara Liasson, who was listening in, along with the rest of us, to that last conversation.

Hey, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi there.

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Democrats are trying to figure out what the voters were trying to tell them this year, because it was kind of confusing.

President-elect Joe Biden won the popular vote by 4.5 percentage points — a 7 million vote margin — and got 306 electoral votes, which President Trump once called "a massive landslide victory" when he got the same number in 2016.

But Biden had no coattails.

With another COVID-19 relief bill awaiting his signature or veto, what's President Trump's end game? A new Congress begins Jan. 3, a new president in 24 days, and millions of Americans are struggling.

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Progress on the COVID-19 relief bill, as a lame duck President Trump continues to spread falsehoods about the election amid the continuing COVID-19 crisis and now an alleged Russian cyberattack.

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Well, soon after the Electoral College vote ended with the final ballots cast in Hawaii, President-elect Biden spoke to the nation.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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In the two weeks since it became clear that President Trump lost the election to Joe Biden — a period bookended by befuddling press conferences from his longtime lawyer, Rudy Giuliani — the president has made it clear that he will spend his remaining days in the White House in the same way he spent much of his term in office: fighting.

In the hours before President Trump began to realize that he may not get to "Make America Great Again, Again," the former reality television star who stunned the world in 2016 with his improbable leap to the White House allowed for a moment of candor.

"You know, winning is easy. Losing is never easy. Not for me, it's not," Trump told reporters on Election Day, his voice hoarse from an unforgiving three-week marathon of rallies.

Now, the world is seeing just how difficult it is for a man who built his brand on winning to lose.

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Yesterday at a drive-in rally in Flint, Mich., a tag-team pitch from former running mates.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Two weeks from today, Americans finish casting votes. We are 14 days from November 3, which is Election Day, though with so many people voting earlier by mail, it's really the climax of election season.

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The White House is struggling on Monday to show that it has a burgeoning public health and political crisis under control as President Trump enters his third day of aggressive and experimental treatment for the coronavirus.

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All right. So what, if anything, can voters take away from last night's presidential debate when it comes to substance? We've got NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson with us. Hi, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel.

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