Harry Truman's gives Barack Obama the incentive to force Republicans as quickly as possible into addressing some form of legislation for growth. If Republicans do give way, in their desire to be seen as “reasonable men", then Obama wins, as he can then campaign on the bi-partisan "get things done" theme. If Republicans refuse, then the President can cross the nation on a campaign against an obstructionist Congress.
Neither approach is perfect strategy, but both are preferable to the current insipid assault on Mitt Romney's personal record. And both, by a wide margin, are a better approach than what Paul Krugman perceives, “The president’s advisers keep turning to happy talk, seizing on a few months’ good economic news as proof that their policies are working --- and then ending up looking foolish when the numbers turn down again.”