They were pleasantly surprised and complimentary about the tax cut that were presented in that framework. Those tax cuts are still in there. I mean, I suppose what I could have done is started off with no tax cuts, knowing that I was going to want some and then let them take credit for all of them. And maybe that’s the lesson I learned.That's what we've been saying, but Obama is too damned sincere in his desire to change Washington. Making a deal with the Republicans for votes in exchange for 35-40% tax cuts would have been a better political tactic, but it also would have been closer to business-as-usual in Washington. Obama, to his credit, started out with something that "pleasantly surprised" the Republicans.
I think he'll continue in this vein, continuing to burnish his bipartisan cred with the public, and only thwack Republicans over the head when he's in a commanding enough position. He's not good on the attack - he's good on the counter-attack.