Last week, following President Obama’s announcement of a shift in the way younger illegal immigrants would be dealt with, the political world erupted into a fiery debate regarding constitutional merits, executive privilege and immigration matters in general. The summary of the President’s decision involves providing work permits and visas to illegal immigrants aged 16 to 30 who were brought to the United States as children “through no fault of their own.” This is also the general idea behind the DREAM Act which would essentially do the same thing with a few differences here and there.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been working on an alternative to the DREAM Act which intended to do something similar to the President’s announcement.
One angle that hasn’t much been discussed is whether this position change from the President could actually diminish the chances that Mitt Romney would select Marco Rubio as his VP. The DREAM Act is not a piece of legislation supported by the majority of the Republican Party nor is President Obama’s recent announcement. Rubio’s legislation, which has not been released yet, would also be very similar to the DREAM Act and President Obama’s announced policy change.
There are two schools of thought on this move.
A) Does President Obama’s policy change actually make it more likely that Romney will strongly consider Rubio in the hopes of making up any lost ground the President might have gained with Hispanic voters? You would have to accept the premise that the President’s move will shift votes in his direction and that the Romney team will perceive this as a real threat they have to counteract.
B) The President’s change will actually make it less likely that Romney would choose Rubio given the firestorm surrounding this issue. After all, Rubio was supporting a position nearly identical to the President’s, he was just pursuing it legislatively and convincing Republicans to sign on along the way. If Romney were to choose Rubio, could that take away any criticism that could be levied against the President on this issue?
This is all speculation, of course, since no VP has been named but one has to wonder about the timing since the President had 3+ years to wade into this issue yet he was silent.
I have read many sources where people think it more likely that this move puts Rubio higher on the list for Romney’s VP choice. However, when conventional wisdom takes the ball and runs, I begin to look the other way.