Ryan Avent asks why Obama would want to get more votes than he needs to pass his stimulus plan.
That's easy: insurance. If you ram through a stimulus package that makes Democrats happy while causing Republicans to scream bloody murder, you run the risk that the plan will not work, and the Republicans will dance on your grave all the way to a convincing victory in 2010. I deduce from Obama's surprisingly aggressive bipartisanship that he fears there is a good chance that his stimulus package will cost a lot of money, and we will still be deep in the economic doldrums two years hence.
This seems like a very reasonable fear. We're in uncharted territory here; anything could happen. Wise, then, to ensure that whatever does happen has the opposition's fingerprints on it, too.