Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Arizona immigration law either a crisis or an opportunity for Obama
by Larry Geller
However one feels about legal or illegal immigration (a policy dispute I'll set aside to focus exclusively on potential electoral impacts), the actions of President Obama and his Administration will undoubtedly be a key point of focus as Latinos--who voted for Obama over John McCain by more than a 2:1 margin in 2008--decide whether to turn out this November and/or how to vote if they do show up. [FiveThirtyEight.com, Obama, Immigration and The Latino Vote, 4/27/2010]
As outrage with Arizona’s new law that codifies racial profiling grows across the country, the stinky ball has been dropped squarely in Obama’s court. If all he does is condemn the law verbally and “closely monitor the situation” instead of taking some kind of effective action, it’s certain that he will alienate yet another of the constituent groups that put him and fellow Democrats into office in 2008.
Imagine an Obama presidency with even fewer Democrats in Congress. The Fox News loudmouths who called for Obama to “fail” will have something to crow about in November.
So, much depends on whether Obama can do more than just talk a good line. Arizona is what it is. The outrage will devolve onto Obama himself because he is not supposed to tolerate what Arizona now represents.