On June 1, 2012, President Barack Obama, during campaign stops in Minnesota, equated Republican activism to a “fever” that has blocked his efforts to enact deficit reduction, highway improvement, and immigration reform.
In Minnesota, the Obama re-election campaign had three fundraising events, only one of which was open to the press — and that was the least expensive affair where attendees only had to fork out $5,000 per person.
Obama arrives at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport on June 1.
Obama told supporters that he will be successful in his re-election bid, that the Republican “fever” will be broken, and that his legislative proposals, including comprehensive immigration reform, will be passed.
Such statements fall in line with his earlier whispered reassurances to then Russian President Dmity Medvedev, that he “would be more flexible” after the election.
What will keep the president from his appointed fundraising rounds? Apparently not a downturn in the nation’s economy or an 8.2 percent unemployment rate.
According to ABC News’ Political Punch, the president’s other Minnesota fundraisers did not allow press; one had 20 people paying $40,000 each for a roundtable discussion with the president, and the other had 10 people paying $50,000 each for a similar discussion.
The president then flew over Wisconsin on Air Force One for three fundraisers in Chicago. Estimates are that the president raised $1.8 million in Minnesota and $5 million in Chicago.
One co-host in Chicago was Marilyn Katz, the wealthy former leader of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); fellow Chicagoan and Obama friend Bill Ayers was an SDS leader.
To many voters, especially Hispanic voters, the President’s promises of a second-term legislative agenda come across as mere campaign rhetoric.
Consider that Obama has promised comprehensive immigration reform yearly from 2007 (when he was in the U.S. Senate) to 2012, always placing the blame for his failures on Republicans.
During the 2008 campaign, he promised to sign into law comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in the White House.
Now in the midst of a re-election campaign, the president fails to mention that he had a Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during the first two years of his administration, and that he has had a Democrat-controlled Senate led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) from Day 1 of his presidency.
Pelosi and/or Reid could have brought up immigration reform during any year of the Obama administration but failed to do so. Democrats are to blame for the failure of his legislative agenda.
What do Hispanic voters want? They list jobs, the economy, and education as their most important areas of concern, with immigration reform a distant fourth.
Americans of Hispanic ancestry, who are Catholics or members of other denominations, express concern at the attack by the Obama administration on the Catholic Church, which they see as an attack on religious freedom.
They recall that in the 1920s, the Mexican government staged a political attack on the Catholic Church, which turned out to be a pyrrhic victory, for religion and still flourishes in Mexican hearts today.
The Obama re-election campaign might reconsider its current attack on the Catholic Church in the U.S., if only because it could cost the president Hispanic votes.
Meanwhile, the European press is reporting on events in the U.S. that tend to be under-reported by our own news media.
For instance, news stories suggest that talk of immigration reform legislation in the United States may merely be campaign rhetoric to keep the Hispanic community on board for the re-election period.
Foreign press reports focus on the U.S. jobless rate, the economic malaise of the Obama administration, the failure of Americans to accept Obamacare (The Patient Protection, Affordable Care Act), and the recent attack on the Catholic Church.
European news stories feature polling figures that show Americans blaming President Obama for worsening the deficit and economy, healthcare, and immigration.
News stories on immigration cite deportation numbers from the Obama Justice Department and Homeland Security Department and point out that not all deportees are Hispanics.
Between now and the November election, how will President Obama resolve the chaos created by the deficit/economy, joblessness, healthcare, and immigration?
Placing the blame on former President George W. Bush is getting stale. Blaming Congressional Republicans is getting lame. Blaming the European economy isn’t flying.
Blaming the Japanese tsunami and earthquake has cratered. His answer appears to be creating red herrings, such as the “War on women.”
Obama’s campaign rhetoric is one thing and reality another.
James H. Walsh was associate general counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1983 to 1994. Read more reports from James Walsh — Click Here Now.
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