Will the Keystone oil pipeline get the go ahead?
Embedded in the extension of the payroll tax holiday is the Keystone oil pipeline decision. President Obama could go either way on this one. It will be a tough decision, but he wins either way.
If he turns down the pipeline, he scores major points with his environmental allies, albeit at the expense of his union allies and giving the Republicans an "anti-jobs" club to beat him with in the election.
If he lets the pipeline go forward, he alienates his environmental allies, but wins on all other fronts.
He has the luxury of deciding either way.
Ultimately it will hinge on where his political advisers think he sits in February relative to winning the election in November. If he is ahead by enough, he'll toss the bone to his environmental allies, but if the November outlook is dicey, he'll talk up the environmentally-friendly path right up to the last minute in February and then go the "pro-jobs" route at the last minute.