It's clear that for the President, the time is now. The country is now feeling better about him than they have since early in his first term.
"There may not be a consensus yet on how much political capital President Obama picked up in his re-election, but a number of post-election polls suggest his victory did wonders for his public standing."
"A USA Today/Gallup survey released on Friday showed Obama and his party drawing goodwill from much of the country in the wake of their triumph at the ballot box last week. Fifty-eight percent of Americans have a favorable view of the president — up 3 points from the USA Today/Gallup poll conducted right before the election. It’s also his highest favorability rating in the poll since July of 2009."
"The public’s view of Democrats is also positive in the wake of a largely successful election for the party. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed have a favorable impression of the party, a 6-point bump since August and a more impressive showing than the 43 percent who have a favorable view of the Republican Party. Fifty percent have an unfavorable opinion of the GOP, although Gallup notes that “Americans have been negative on balance toward the Republican Party since late 2005.”
In any case it certainly puts the wind at his back as he goes into negotiations over the fiscal cliff and immigration. Whether or not he has a "mandate" I think he clearly has public support for the basic framework of his tax plan and as long as he is willing to go over the cliff-as he says he is-the public will support him. According to a Pew Research poll most Americans will blame the GOP if they go over the cliff.
The GOP certainly can't afford to seem that it's not acting in good faith right now-that it's calling plays from Mitch McConnell's playbook where the point is not to help the country but trying to get the President to fail for the partisan benefit of the Republican party. That's why I think the transparent posturing on Benghazi is going to hurt McCain and company.
For Obama and the Dems the time is now to cash in on political capital.