Wednesday, July 07, 2010

'It Is Just a Complete Political Loser'

One upside of Barack Obama's insane decision to declare war on Arizona is it's put Western Democrats on the endangered species list. This is a two-fer: The suit will be tossed, humiliating Obama yet again, while the GOP will make massive gains in November and likely beyond, wishful thinking by Democrats notwithstanding.
The Obama administration's lawsuit over the stringent Arizona border law might have just made the incline a little steeper for many Western Democrats, providing instant fodder to Republicans who are already optimistic about regaining ground lost over the last two election cycles.

The dust from the Department of Justice lawsuit filed Tuesday is just starting to settle, but the reflexive sense among strategists on both sides is that it will be a net negative for Democrats this fall.

The suit could, of course, help boost turnout among Hispanic voters in key areas across the West. And stridently anti-immigrant rhetoric could turn off independent voters. Yet many foresee a midterm electorate featuring an energized Republican base—for whom the immigration issue has emerged as a priority—prompting moderate white Western voters who are concerned about jobs to decamp to the GOP at least in the short term, political observers said.

“This is a tough issue for Democrats,” said former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm, a Democrat who is co-director of the Institute for Public Policy Studies at the University of Denver. “Politically, I just can’t think of any place in the West where this is going to play well.”

"If you look like you're siding with illegal immigration, you're in trouble," said one national Republican strategist, adding that when it comes to the discussion of secured borders, "people think that's what should happen."

While the suit could prove helpful to President Barack Obama by revving up his own base in 2012 – and, by extension, prove harmful to Republicans that year because they risk offending a key and growing segment of the electorate—the near-term impact is a different matter.

One GOP strategist compared it to the ads Republican Pete Wilson ran in 1994 in California as he was trailing in the polls for his gubernatorial re-election bid on Proposition 187, the state's tough-as-nails immigration ballot option that roiled Latino voters for a generation - but won him his seat for another term.

"Those ads hurt him moving forward, but that's what won him the election," the strategist added.

Wes Gullett, an Arizona political strategist and a former long-time aide to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said the lawsuit was “manna from heaven” for Republicans.

“Obviously, the White House is tone deaf on Western politics,” said Gullett, who noted he personally opposes the law. “While a lot of people wish that our law wouldn’t go into effect, for the administration to sue on this is crazy. It is just a complete political loser.”
Speaking of political losers, there's much consternation over the growing civil war among Democrats.

Pass the popcorn.

No comments: