You guys think I’m kidding about writing in Hillary. Okay then.

In yet another sign of his pivoting toward the general election, Senator John McCain said at a roundtable with business leaders [in San Jose] today that comprehensive immigration reform should be a top priority for the next president…

“Senator Kennedy and I tried very hard to get immigration reform, a comprehensive plan, through the Congress of the United States,” he said. “It is a federal responsibility and because of our failure as a federal obligation, we’re seeing all these various conflicts and problems throughout our nation as different towns, cities, counties, whatever they are, implement different policies and different programs which makes things even worse and even more confusing.”

He added: “I believe we have to secure our borders, and I think most Americans agree with that, because it’s a matter of national security. But we must enact comprehensive immigration reform. We must make it a top agenda item if we don’t do it before, and we probably won’t, a little straight talk, as of January 2009.”

The boss reminds us that this sunny little pander directly contradicts what he said in the heat of the Republican primary about having “gotten the message” on immigration and agreeing that we should secure the border first. Consider it the answer to Obama’s pitiful climbdown from promising to meet with Ahmadinejad at the YouTube debate last year — an early empty promise aimed squarely at the gullible idiots in his own base who need to hear it to nominate him, and who’ll then merrily acquiesce as he abandons that position for a more electable centrist footing in the general. Hell of a day to say this, though, coming as it does within hours of the Hagee un-endorsement that’s going to annoy evangelicals. Serious exit question: Would Obama really be much worse for Iraq than McCain would? The more security gains there are, the harder it’ll be for him to pull the rug out from under Petraeus and Odierno. Even his own advisors admit that the Hopenchange rhetoric about abandoning Iraq is crap along these same lines, to soothe the savage liberal beast for long enough to get him elected while he plots a more responsible strategy. The real question is whether he’d be much worse on Iran, which he very well might. We can’t afford that, and McCain knows it. Which is precisely why it’s suddenly become the centerpiece of his campaign.