Sen. John McCain was once one of the major Republican supporters of immigration reform, arguing for comprehensive legislation as recently as 2008. Faced with
Sen. John McCain was once one of the major Republican supporters of immigration reform, arguing for comprehensive legislation as recently as 2008. Faced with accusations of supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants, McCain has moved to a much tougher immigration stance during his Republican primary.
But after the primary vote next Tuesday, will the old McCain come back?
The winner of the GOP primary in Arizona is likely to have a straight shot to the Senate seat, NPR reported yesterday. But first McCain must beat opponent J.D. Hayworth, a former congressman who has attacked McCain for his previous support of immigration reform.
McCain now focuses almost exclusively on border security measures, writing a 10-point border security plan with fellow Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl he said he will continue to push when the Senate returns from recess.
Simple political necessity explains McCain’s shift rightward during the primary, experts told NPR:
“In fairness to the senator,” says longtime Arizona pollster and political analyst Bruce Merrill, “one can look at it two ways. You can question his values and ethics, and say he’s pandering to the right. Or you can look at it as simply understanding the game you have to play to get elected.” Merrill, of Arizona State University, was the pollster for McCain’s 1982 House campaign.
Arizona’s Senate seat will probably go to a Republican; the Democratic candidates have a lower profile and fewer registered voters. This means that McCain could relax some of his campaign-mode messages on immigration.
That’s certainly what Democrats hope will happen. Democrats can’t pass immigration legislation — even the less controversial DREAM Act — without Republican support. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), at least, seems to think there is a possibility of McCain shifting back to the center after his primary: “I think once we get past the Arizona GOP primary that sparked the recent anti-immigration reform eruption, we will have a chance of getting some of the Republicans in the Senate to also come forward and work with Democrats to get a bill passed,” Gutierrez said in July.
If McCain does return to more moderate views on immigration, the path of fellow Republican Meg Whitman could serve as an example. Though she has a less complicated past on immigration, Whitman, who is running for California governor, shifted from claiming to be “tough as nails” on immigration during her primary to splitting with her party on Arizona’s immigration law. Part of her shift could be a play for Latino voters — Whitman began running Spanish-language ads and other outreach to Latinos after her primary.
McCain could do the same — Latinos make up about 30 percent of Arizona’s population. But Whitman also shows some of the pitfalls to shifting viewpoints on immigration: some members of the GOP are concerned she is not conservative enough, the Los Angeles Times reported today:
“I wish she would keep her promises that she made in the primary,” said Celeste H. Greig, president of the California Republican Assembly, a conservative faction that endorsed Whitman’s and Fiorina’s rivals in the primary campaign.
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
$1 Trillion for Fannie and Freddie?
That is the worst-case scenario, according to Egan-Jones Ratings Co., quoted in a Bloomberg article making the rounds. The agency says that if home prices
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.