WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- As seven new Republican senators prepare to take office next year, Senate GOP leaders say their win in the November elections was the result of teamwork.
Outgoing National Republican Senatorial Campaign Chairman Sen. George Allen of Virginia sought to play up the team aspect of the party's wins by handing out ceremonial footballs to the incoming freshmen members whom he dubbed the "magnificent seven" in a press conference Monday.
"They ran as a team on ideas, issues and values," said Allen, noting they helped propel GOP control of the Senate to 55 members in the 109th Congress, which begins in January.
Incoming members in the House and Senate from both parties began their freshman orientations this week, where they are introduced to their caucus and congressional rules, and begin the process of choosing offices and desks on the House and Senate floors.
Senator-elect John Thune of South Dokota, a former representative who ousted outgoing Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle in the Nov. 2 election, said that he is being exposed to the more "deliberative pace of the Senate."
"We may not have our (floor) desks until well into the session," joked Tune. "We may not have offices till April or May."