The Illinois senator is differentiating himself in three key areas: driver's licenses, a promise to take up immigration reform his first year in office, and his background as the son of an immigrant (his father was Kenyan) and a community organizer in Chicago.
Obama made the promise to Latino leaders to take up immigration reform in his first year after Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., chairman of the Democratic caucus, said his party might not raise the divisive issue again until the next president's second term, assuming a Democrat wins. [E.A.]
Of course, there's "taking up" and there's taking up. Is President Obama really going to spend his first-year capital attempting comprehensive immigration reform--putting all Emanuel's borderline House Dems on the spot, giving the GOP an issue for 2010--when he also has health care and possibly the econony to deal with? ...
P.S.: I'm grasping here! ...
P.P.S.: Obama's bold Hispandering makes me eager to defeat ...McCain! Given the likelihood that either Obama or Hillary will be in the White House in 2009, it would be good to have at least one party that isn't formally committeed to rapid legalization and can therefore act as a check on the Democratic candidates' impulses. The only way to achieve that is to make it clear that, within the Republican party, self-righteous pro-legalization activism is a political loser. Beating McCain is the way to drive that message home. ... 4:11 P.M.
McCain's "Mexico First" Aide: Is it fair to make an issue out of John McCain's "Hispanic Outreach Director" Juan Hernandez, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen who was in the cabinet of the government of Mexico, seems to advocate the free flow of citizens over the border, and famously said of Mexican-Americans
"I want the third generation, the seventh generation, I want them all to think 'Mexico first." [E.A.]
kf says yes!
1) McCain seems to have conned a lot of Republicans into thinking he's transformed his position on immigration--for example, Victor Davis Hanson, author of "Mexifornia," who now writes about "McCain's won't-make-that-mistake-again changed views on closing the border." This even though it's obvious to anyone paying attention that McCain hasn't altered his support for legalization of illegals (once he's declared the border "secure"). One reason we know this is because he's said it-- he said it again on Meet the Press yesterday, when asked if he'd sign the McCain-Kennedy "comprehensive" immigration bill as president if it came to his desk. Answer: "Yeah." If somebody like Hernandez, as McCain also said yesterday, "supports my policies and my proposals," it serves to emphasize that those policies may not have changed as much as cheap dates like Hanson seem to believe. Hernandez's own Web site features an article describing him as "passionately" advocating legalization of "all Mexican workers in the U.S." [What about McCain's statement that: "I will not allow anyone to receive Social Security or any other benefits because they have come here illegally and broken our laws"?--ed Obvious BS. If he offers legalization to the "12 million" who are here they will clearly get benefits from having come here illegally--the benefit of being here legally, for one. Medicaid, Medicare, and public schooling for another. People who came here illegally would also immediately qualify for Social Security benefits as soon as they got the quickie "probationary" Z-visa under McCain's bill. The only way McCain's statement would make sense is if he was also planning to offer these benefits to everyone who didn't cross the border--i.e. the entire population of Mexico. ... Actually, that doesn't seem too far from Dr. Hernandez's philosophy. ... You don't think ...]
2. Hernandez's "Mexico first" comment isn't quite as bad as it initially seems. Here's the full Nightline back and forth:
(OC) Has the Mexican-American--and just Mexicans in America, that population--now become successful and wealthy enough to give back here that that becomes a piece of the puzzle?
Mr. HERNANDEZ: We are betting on that the Mexican-American population in the United States will become more and more like the Jewish community of the United States, like the Puerto Rican community of the United States, that they will think 'Mexico first,' and they will invest in Mexico. They've already been doing it--in--in--in--to a great extent.
AMOS: But that's family to family?
Mr. HERNANDEZ: Family to family. But now I want the third generation, the seventh generation, I want them all to think 'Mexico first.'