Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Spitzer Drive-In Cave-In

In a move forecast in today's Post, NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer scrapped his driver's licenses-for-illegals plan.

Perhaps fittingly, Spitzer announced that he was dropping the plan -- not in New York -- but in Washington, DC, surrounded by members of the state congressional delegation. Notably, neither senator, Chuch Schumer or Hillary Rodham Clinton were present.

Spitzer, of course, blamed the failure of the plan on the federal government's inability to pass a comprehensive immigration plan.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced Wednesday he was abandoning a plan to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, but said that the federal government had "lost control" of its borders and left states to deal with the consequences.

"I have concluded that New York state cannot successfully address this problem on its own," Spitzer said at a news conference after meeting with members of the state's congressional delegation.
This is, in actuality, one of the rare occasions where the public's will came through loud and clear. A poll released Tuesday was the third in the last month showing that more than two-thirds of New Yorkers opposed Spitzer's license plan. Combined with Spitzer's scandal involving using the State Police to spy on a political enemy -- and the subsequent cover-up -- this story caused Spitzer's popularity to plunge faster than any New York governor in history. Only a quarter of New Yorkers support Spitzer's re-election (he won with 69 percent of the vote a year ago).

Whether Spitzer recovers is an open question (there's an investigation into whether his former communications director committed perjury during the initial part of the so-called "Troopergate" scandal).

However, this episode certainly underscores how much immigration may turn out to be a wild card going into the '08 campaigns.

UPDATE: And that ever-present profile-in-courage, Mrs. Clinton, proudly came out against driver's licenses for illegal immigrants -- mere hours after Spitzer dropped it. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Move along.

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