Democrats Worry Obama Can’t Close the Deal on Immigration

Carl Hulse NOVEMBER 21, 2014 NYT FD

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Attendees of the 15th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas watched President Obama’s speech on immigration on Thursday before the music event. Mike Blake/Reuters


Now that President Obama is forging ahead with his plan to protect up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation, he has to justify the move to the public and withstand an onslaught from Republicans who are determined to portray it as a historic abuse of executive power.

The administration is not known for deft salesmanship of its policies, and that gives some Democrats the jitters.

They fear that the rollout of the immigration plan could be as shaky as the disastrous start last year to the implementation of the health care law. Republicans are eager to draw the parallel.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky repeatedly compared the Affordable Care Act to the immigration plan on Thursday. Just as with Obamacare, he said, the action the president is proposing isn’t about solutions. (Which & where are the unknown republicans’ solutions? PM)

Democrats believe the aggressive Republican message machine has overwhelmed the White House on a range of issues, including the threat posed by the Islamic State and the administration’s handling of Ebola cases in the United States.

So they will be watching anxiously as the president makes presents his immigration case in Nevada on Friday and elsewhere in the days ahead.