1. For substantive and narrative purposes, the White House needed a new gambit to unstick the stuck.
2. Democratic congressional leaders are willing to give the President some running room to strike deals.
3. There are a lot of influential, reasonable Republicans outside the top leadership who are willing to work with the administration to get things done in 2013 — and it isn’t hard for the White House to figure out who they are (textbook: the outreach to Senator Portman and Congressman Ryan).
4. A year of regular order attempts to deal with the debt/deficit issues and immigration through the committee process would be unlikely to get the kind of results the President wants.
5. As much as the President dreams about winning back the House in 2014, far and away his best chance for second-term domestic accomplishments is right now, taking advantage of his re-elect mojo and the weakness and confusion in the Republican Party about where it stands.