From the HuPo last Friday:
A GOP source [..] said that the president was extremely sensitive [..] to the fact that the stimulus bill received no GOP votes in the House. He continually brought it up throughout the meeting.
Obama also offered payback for that goose egg. A major overhaul of the health care system, he told the Republican leadership, would be done using a legislative process known as reconciliation, meaning that the GOP won't be able to filibuster it.
Congress has until October 15 to pass health care or student lending reform under the normal process. If it doesn't, reconciliation can be used to eliminate the 60-vote requirement.
Democratic aides said that Obama made clear to the GOP leadership that he would continue to work in a bipartisan way, but that they didn't have veto power over health care policy.
Ezra explains how important that is - and underlines the shift in thinking it suggests:
Primary credit for this goes to Obama. [..] Without steady pressure from the president, reconciliation would likely have been traded away long ago. [..] This was not an obvious outcome. Obama was the bipartisan idealist. [..] He was the guy you couldn't trust to fight. He just didn't understand partisanship.
Washington has a way of changing that real fast, however. Back during the stimulus debate, I argued that Republicans showed their hand too early. By totally withholding support for the president's first, and least partisan, priority, they showed their involvement couldn't be assumed on any future piece of legislation. And so it wasn't. [Republicans] had shown their hand. And Obama had reconciled himself to it.
Count me in as one of those whose main hesitation about Obama, in the primaries, was that he didn't seem to realise the entrenchment of the opposition he would face. I considered the pragmatic, respectful compromise-making he seemed to foresee illusionary on pretty much any issue of significance. I feared, therefore, that his naivete about being able to personally craft a bipartisan spirit would inevitably yield a string of missed opportunities before he'd learn the lesson. But he's a quick learner.