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Dem Govs to Obama: You're Killin' Us With Immigration

3:20 PM, Jul 12, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Who'da thunk it? The man who would not rest until the oil leak was stopped but has taken three vacations since it started, the man who spent a year pushing a giant health-care bill a majority of Americans vocally opposed, is now making Democrats look increasingly out of touch by pushing an ambitious, unpopular immigration bill while everyone's worried about jobs?

Democratic governors plead with the White House for focus on jobs:

While the weak economy dominated the official agenda at the summer meeting here of the National Governors Association, concern over immigration policy pervaded the closed-door session between Democratic governors and White House officials and simmered throughout the three-day event.

At the Democrats’ meeting on Saturday, some governors bemoaned the timing of the Justice Department lawsuit, according to two governors who spoke anonymously because the discussion was private.

Phil Bredesen, one of the more popular governors in the nation, tries to talk some sense into them:

“Universally the governors are saying, ‘We’ve got to talk about jobs,’ ” Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, a Democrat, said in an interview. “And all of a sudden we have immigration going on.”

He added, “It is such a toxic subject, such an important time for Democrats.”

It's especially toxic for Democrats because their position is at odds with a solid majority of the public. Gallup found that voters have more negative than positive feelings about the Obama administration's lawsuit against Arizona by a margin of 50-33 percent. Fully 56 percent of Independents oppose the suit.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had a sit-down with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, which Brewer described as "cordial," but no doubt did nothing to change the governor's open, vocal disagreement with the administration.

The Republican Governors Association was already poised to have a very good year. Larry Sabato:

Of the 12 remaining ‘toss-up’ states, Republicans lead in the most recent horserace polls for nine of them: Illinois (+11, Rasmussen, June 7), Ohio (+7, Rasmussen, June 29), Maine (+7, Rasmussen, June 10), Vermont (+7, Rasmussen, June 17), Georgia (+4, Rasmussen, May 20), Colorado (+4, SurveyUSA, June 15-17), Connecticut (+2, Rasmussen, June 1), New Mexico (+2, Rasmussen, June 3), and Oregon (+2, Rasmussen, June 17).

Republicans would only have to win half of these 12 toss-up states, coupled with the 19 states in which they are favored, for their best showing since 1920.

All this, and one Republican governor is even showing the party may have the capacity to, well, govern.

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