Barack Obama’s defeat in the Nevada caucus revealed a weakness that the Clintons have been only too happy to exploit: Obama doesn’t win with Democrat Hispanic voters, or at least he didn’t in that state. Hillary Clinton won among Latinos in Nevada, 64-24, making her win there a sign that as the primary season heads west, Obama is going to meet a racial headwind. His solution: Pander to Hispanics by promising to support drivers licenses for illegal aliens.
Asked directly about the issue now, her California campaign spokesman said Clinton “believes the solution is to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
“Barack Obama has not backed down” on driver’s licenses for undocumented people, said Federico Peña, a former Clinton administration Cabinet member and Denver mayor now supporting Obama. “I think when the Latino community hears Barack’s position on such an important and controversial issue, they’ll understand that his heart and his intellect is with Latino community.”
Obama’s intention is to draw distinctions between himself and Clinton on what are otherwise indistinguishable positions on immigration. Both have adopted the standard Democratic approach of favoring tougher enforcement along with earned legalization.
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.
By dragging his own father into the debate, Obama is also signaling that he’ll blur the line between legal and illegal immigration. Most legal immigrants will not appreciate this move, at all.
This policy emphasis may help Obama in the primaries but it certainly won’t help him in the general election if he’s the nominee. Here’s a preview of how a general election debate would go for the Messiah if he’s asked about drivers licenses for illegals. Watch him squirm.
That’s from the Nevada Democrat debate back in November, which took place after Hillary Clinton had run into the licenses for illegals buzzsaw thanks to NY Gov Eliot Spitzer’s plan to allow illegals to obtain licenses in his state. Since that time, Spitzer has abandoned that plan, liberal Maryland has shifted away from allowing illegals to obtain licenses and Michigan has done likewise. Politicians in those states are responding both to the security problems that arise from granting licenses to illegals, but more importantly they’re responding to voter sentiment. Gov. Bill Richardson, who signed a law allowing illegal aliens to obtain licenses in New Mexico, is out of the race. Voters oppose licenses for illegal aliens to the tune of 77% against.
In a general election, this issue will be a big loser for Obama. And because he supported drivers licenses for illegal aliens when he was in the Illinois state legislature, Obama will have a hard time spinning out of the move he’s making now. He has consistently supported drivers licenses throughout his brief political career.