Business leaders are resigned to tax hikes and want a quick and clean resolution to the “fiscal cliff.” Obama is more than willing to accept their capitulation, and wants to avoid the substantial damage the business lobby proved it could do to his agenda during his first term, a time of tense relationships between the White House and business. This is a new alliance, and if an alliance of convenience, it’s one with the capacity to change the politics of Washington…

“They’re martialling the business community to talk about why we shouldn’t go over the cliff, which reflects the positive role the business community can play in Washington,” said one financial industry executive of the current efforts.

“It’s certainly a tactical shift, and it remains to be seen if it will morph into something more substantial and enduring,” the executive said.

White House officials say the reengagement isn’t necessarily the goal — it’s a means to a fiscal cliff solution — but a close relationship with business is something they’ve historically had difficulty achieving.