I am hoping this Politico story is wrong on the thought process behind Obama's decision to seek Congressional authorization, but it seems as if we have a President who really wants to be back in the Senate. All this Executive authority and "buck stops here" nonsense is apparently too much for him:
The Washington blame game is already in full swing, with fingers pointing from both ends of Pennsylvania Ave. Shortly after Obama announced his decision on Saturday, senior administration officials insisted going to Congress for a vote was the president’s brainchild. Leaders on the Hill had asked Obama to consult with Congress, but not a single one had suggested that the president ask for a formal authorization, they said.
But by Sunday, with many Democrats questioning the wisdom of his move, a source familiar with the thinking in the White House framed Obama’s decision as accommodating House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
On Friday night, Obama announced to his staff that he was going to shine a spotlight on them. Rather than calling out orders for a strike, he called for a vote. Some of his allies patted him on the back for what they described as a bold stroke of political brilliance. Republicans said the president was being nakedly political.
“There is no doubt the White House is making political calculations about all of this. If they didn’t think they needed the cover, there’s no way in hell they would be coming to us,” said one senior GOP aide. “Obama can’t stand Congress, and no president thinks there is an actual restraint on their ability to wage war.”