White House strategy for winning immigration fight comes with some risks

Cal Jillson, political science professor at SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, talks about risks associated with the White House strategy for immigration reform.

By Amie Parnes

The White House plans to use an inside-outside game to pressure Congress as it seeks a political victory for President Obama on immigration reform.
The inside game includes meetings with key stakeholder groups, such as one this week with Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders. In recent days, the meetings have gained steam with Obama holding at least one meeting per week, according to White House guidance of the president's schedule.
It also includes Obama’s second-term “charm offensive” with members of Congress, in which Obama, who needs an immigration win to help solidify his second term legacy, has used dinner dates and golf outings to engage with his political opponents.

Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University agreed, saying Obama has to keep a comfortable distance from the issue.
“It’s a delicate thing because conservatives in the House are allergic to Obama,” Jillson said. “A full court press might not serve him well so he’s got to figure out exactly what his posture will be.”
Jillson argues the inside game, however, could help carry the legislation over the top in the Senate, with 70 or more Senators voting in support of it.
“It’s sensible for the president to work carefully with persuadable Republicans to get this done,” Jillson said. “The difficulty he faces is the more he stakes his political capital on this issue, the more the Tea Party conservatives in the House won’t let him have this.

“The real question is how forward can he be without raising the temperature of Republicans in the House," he added.

Jillson and other observers predict that if the Senate does pass the legislation, it’ll put some pressure on the House to follow suit....

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/299129-white-house-strategy-for-immigration-win-comes-with-some-risks#ixzz2TUd22zAu
 Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook