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Condescending to the People He Claims to Support

At the Washington Examiner, Phil Klein studies the guest list for President Obama’s highly-publicized immigration reform meeting with Hispanic leaders today:

Among the attendees highlighted by the White House as it works to address this serious national problem: actresses Eva Longoria, America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson; musician Emilio Estefan; model and television personality Lily Estefan; Univision hosts Maria Elena Salinas and Don Francisco; Telemundo anchors Vanessa Hauc and Jose Diaz-Balart; television host Barbara Bermudo and radio host Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo.

The White House has recently been playing lip service to immigration reform to woo back disillusioned Latino voters, but it’s shown little interest in actually getting policies passed. Ruben Navarrette Jr. tears down Obama’s strategy:

That Obama now says it is time to restart the battle for comprehensive immigration reform must only mean one thing: Someone is getting ready to run for re-election. . . . Obama may not be a good leader but he has good timing: ramp up immigration reform groups in the spring; work with congressional leaders to draft legislation in the summer; propose a bill in the fall. Then he can spend early winter watching Republicans tear apart the idea—and themselves—in time for the New Hampshire primary in February 2012. Obama can waltz through next year’s campaign with the confidence that he’ll do fairly well with Latinos who will show up to vote not for him but against the Republican candidate.

The fact that Obama spent the past two years practically ignoring this issue should tell you how much he actually cares about it. Bringing immigration reform up now that it has no shot—and for such a transparently political reason—is condescending and insulting to the same people the president claims to support.



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