Earlier today, the Washington Post reported that Barack Obama would try to bigfoot the Senate’s Gang of Eight and put forward his own, more liberal plan for comprehensive immigration reform — which Allahpundit couldn’t quite believe. When Obama finally arrived in Las Vegas, though, he gave an unremarkable speech that boiled down to er, yeah, what they said. Obama did warn that he would move his own plan if Congress dawdled on passing a reform bill, but let’s not forget that Obama said the same thing about ObamaCare, too … and never came up with a plan of his own.
In other words, Obama set expectations high but voted “present,” after making the same calculation that AP did earlier today. If the deal blows up, why put yourself in position to take the blame? Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn wonder whether the Post got “duped” on Obama’s strategy:
The question is whether Obama got duped about the progress of the Senate talks. The trip to Vegas had to have been in the works for a while. The announcement over the weekend of an agreement in principle on a reform package, and the rollout yesterday, pre-empted Obama’s opportunity to take the lead on the issue. Instead of delivering a memorable address on a contentious mess, Obama spent $522 per word to say “Me too” in the desert.
Politically speaking, this is as good an explanation for what the Gang of Eight did to Obama’s plan as any: