The NY Times Magazine had this grim bit of reporting in their cover story "Will Israel Attack Iran?":
[Israeli Defense Minister Barak] warned that no more than one year remains to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weaponry. This is because it is close to entering its “immunity zone” — a term coined by Barak that refers to the point when Iran’s accumulated know-how, raw materials, experience and equipment (as well as the distribution of materials among its underground facilities) — will be such that an attack could not derail the nuclear project. Israel estimates that Iran’s nuclear program is about nine months away from being able to withstand an Israeli attack; America, with its superior firepower, has a time frame of 15 months.
So Israel will have to do their thing by September or October, which is just before the US election. Or, if they choose to defer to the US, then either Romney, Newt or the First Ditherer will have to make a decision within about ten weeks of their inauguration in 2013.
A few weeks back the Times described a different facet of the problems this creates for Candidate Obama:
Sanctions against Iran’s oil exports that the president signed into law on New Year’s Eve started a fateful clock ticking. In late June, when the campaign is in full swing, Mr. Obama will have to decide whether to take action against countries, including some staunch allies, if they continue to buy Iranian oil through its central bank.
After fierce lobbying by the White House, which opposed this hardening in the sanctions that have been its main tool in pressuring Tehran, Congress agreed to modify the legislation to give Mr. Obama leeway to delay action if he concludes the clampdown would disrupt the oil market. He may also invoke a waiver to exempt any country from sanctions based on national security considerations.
But using either of those escape hatches could open the president to charges that he is weak on Iran, which is viewed by Western powers as determined to achieve a nuclear weapons capability and which has drawn a tough response from Europe as well.
Republican candidates, led by Mitt Romney, have threatened to use military action to prevent Tehran from building a bomb, and have criticized Mr. Obama for not doing enough to stop it from joining the nuclear club.
“If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Romney declared in South Carolina in November. “And if we elect Mitt Romney, they will not have a nuclear weapon.”
But... but... but... Obama got Osama! Personally.