Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's a thought

Should Obama get (subtly) to McCain's right on immigration? Twofer: Targets a certain set of persuadable voters, picks at a scab within the Republican party.

4 comments:

stridewideman said...

Absolutely not. Obama is poised to take back the hispanic vote that broke for Bush in the last two elections, while the Repubs are busy losing the hispanic vote for a generation. Obama needs to stay the course on immigration.

Good idea to bring it up though, just so McCain can damper the enthusiastic evangelical base being wishy-washy on it.

Saxdrop said...

If McCain were to win (I know, I know), I'd be curious to see which position on immigration would he'd reveal.

1. the version that Bush adopted and was hugely popular among Hispanics or

2. the stance he had to adopt to win the primary.

Rob said...

Strideman, I think you lose Hispanic votes by making the scary-Mexicans-are-going-to-get-you brand of racist appeal. But what about a straightforward comment that a huge population of illegal immigrants drives down American workers' wages while also not serving the immigrants' interests. It isn't racist, it isn't too subtle for voters to understand, and it needn't provoke a Hispanic backlash.

Saxdrop, I think it would definitely be 1. We know that McCain is animated by foreign policy views, and we know that Congress will be Democratically controlled. President McCain would absolutely have to look for places to cut deals domestically so that he could put his energy into foreign policy, where he wants it to be. I think comprehensive immigration reform would be low-hanging fruit in that regard...

stridewideman said...

I don't agree, Rob. Going right at immigration the way he has been brings him hispanic support in places like CO, NV, and NM, where he needs it.

Saying anything that could be regarded as pandering doesn't really bring any right-leaning fencesitters along (I would argue that anyone who is still in to keeping illegals illegal is a)racist, or b) big business and wants wages low). That group is more energized by the enormous tax cuts that McCain is offering to big biz, and the evangelical josanas being offered by Palin.

Stay the course. If anything, Obama needs to be going back to the winning Clinton campaign strategy: "It's the economy, stupid".