Last month, deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told Politico that extending the two-month payroll tax holiday "is essentially the last must-do item of business" the president has with Congress. After that, "in terms of the president's relationship with Congress in 2012 ... the president is no longer tied to Washington, D.C."
In other words, Obama can govern only if Democrats control both houses of Congress. Until then, he has taken his marbles and gone home. As Steve Jobs said -- when describing his dealings with Obama to biographer Walter Isaacson -- "the president is very smart. But he kept explaining to us reasons why things can't get done."