Arizona governor Jan Brewer met with Obama at the White House yesterday to discuss Arizona’s new law allowing police to check the immigration status of people who have committed a crime and who give the police cause to suspect that they are in the country illegally.
Clearly, Obama would like to head off a confrontation with Arizona. Obama’s administration has talked of the possibility of challenging the law in court but, with the vast majority of Americans on Brewer’s side on this issue, he’d really like to see the whole issue go away. If the reporting can be believed, Brewer didn’t give an inch.
Jan Brewer has been catapulted onto the national stage with her gutsy action on an issue of great concern for all Americans, and not just the people of Arizona. If she has any ambitions for the national stage, this is an ideal opportunity to build a following. I wonder if, while she sat there in the Oval Office and took in the surroundings, she didn’t begin to think to herself, “I think I might like this.”
Obama has proven that, contrary to his campaign promises, he’s unwilling to act on our trade imbalance and, by halting the effective crack-down on illegal immigration that Bush had begun, he’s come down on the wrong side of the immigration issue as well. On these two most important of issues and on others as well, he’s vulnerable. Brewer has demonstrated that she’s willing to take on and side with the American people on a contentious issue of national (even international) significance. I don’t know where she stands on other issues like trade, but she bears watching as a potential challenger to Obama in ’12.