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Monday, February 18, 2013

Rubio's blasting of Obama's immigration bill is a good sign - even though there are no real differences between the two

When I heard about the White House's leaked immigration plan and Sen. Marco Rubio's reaction to it, I wondered if they were secretely working together.

Conspiracies and pitch perfect political coordination are overblown concepts, of course. But the White House has to be involved enough for Congress to understand that the president will use his bully pulpit to beat them up - particularly House Republicans - if immigration goes nowhere, or goes somewhere only to die.

But the president can't be seen as the primary reason why something finally gets done, not for any real policy concerns, but because of the crazy political atmosphere that began when he first stepped into office, that for the bulk of Republicans, no matter what he does - or why - they must be against it, and against it boldly and loudly.

Rubio also has a delicate dance. He has a chance to be the lead guy on a major piece of legislation that comes only once every few generations, which will make him a much more credible presidential candidate in 2016 - aside from actually helping to transform the country in  a good way. But he also can't be seen as being too close to President Barack Obama, which is essentially the kiss of death for any Republican who wants to retain his conservative bonafides.

So when I heard Rubio slammed the leaked White House plan, the first thing I believed was that each side is giving the other the cover it needs.

The question is after they successfully thread this needle, will Rubio show up at the signing ceremony and risk being photographed smiling with Obama? 

Obviously, I'm not the only person who was thinking the same thing:

Rubio's take down of Obama's immigration bill is a good sign - but there are no real differences between the two


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