In the once off-the-record, now-available transcript of President Obama’s interview with the Des Moines Register, the president argues that he will be able to get comprehensive immigration passed in his second term, because, well, let him explain it:
The second thing I’m confident we’ll get done next year is immigration reform. And since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community. And this is a relatively new phenomenon. George Bush and Karl Rove were smart enough to understand the changing nature of America. And so I am fairly confident that they’re going to have a deep interest in getting that done. And I want to get it done because it’s the right thing to do and I’ve cared about this ever since I ran back in 2008.
In essence, the president is saying that all needs to do is win a second term and the GOP will come around to his position on the immigration. That is … not likely to happen, even if Obama does win. There will be plenty of explanations for the GOP losing the election in that scenario. The Latino vote and the immigration issue will just be one of them. Besides, Latinos, like most voters, are moved first and foremost by economic issues as most polling shows, despite what pro-immigration groups claim.
Obama is simply engaging in wishful thinking here, exactly the same attitude that told him he didn’t need to negotiate with Congress on immigration in his first term. Voters who do care about the issue need to ask themselves if they really want to back somebody not only hasn’t delivered yet, but appears to have learned nothing in the last four years.