Obama’s tax-cut cave: It’s all about winning back independents

Administration officials now say that restoring the president’s image as a post-partisan leader is more important for the next two years of his term and for his reelection effort.

That is likely to require even more compromise with Republicans in the coming months, forgoing a class-tinged debate that much of his party’s base is itching to have…

His advisers say the tax compromise will help protect a tentative economic recovery essential to his reelection prospects and appeal to independent voters looking for solutions rather than partisan fights. In a Pew Research Center poll taken after the elections, 59 percent of independents said Obama should work with Republican leaders, while 29 percent said he should stand up to them…

“Twenty three months is an eternity in politics,” said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House thinking. “Just look where we were 23 months ago, and 23 months before that when we were a candidacy no one thought would win the nomination. So the answer to how we will change is probably: slowly but surely.”