“I think he has learned from the intransigence of the Republicans that it takes two to compromise and that he’s not going to negotiate against himself,” a senior administration official told The Hill. “Both sides need to be willing to compromise. You can’t just keep moving unilaterally.”

It is all a far cry from the battles of the first term, when Obama was assailed by liberals for not pushing strongly enough for a public option in healthcare reform, agreeing to extend the Bush tax rates at the end of 2010 and, in 2011, accepting almost $1 trillion worth of spending cuts over ten years in return for GOP agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

Of late, perhaps liberated by his relatively comfortable reelection win, Obama’s attitude is more akin to that of a general leading his forces into battle, confident that he can decimate the enemy…

“What you’re seeing is not an evolution of the president’s views,” the aide said. “There’s no change in this. What’s changing is the extent to which he’ll compromise on his views. He’s still a president that wants to get a deal done, but he’s not going to give away the store.”