As part of his argument for executive amnesty tonight, President Obama asserted that now was the time for action, instead of waiting any longer for Congress to act on immigration reform.
Reports detail, however, that Obama made his decision a long time ago and delayed his executive decision on amnesty out of a naked political calculation to diffuse controversy ahead of the congressional midterm elections.
According to a Politico report, White House aides were worried after Democratic senators voiced concerns about his decision affecting their reelection prospects.
White House political director David Simas requested polling data on immigration from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s Guy Cecil.
Polling from two states, Iowa and Arkansas, showed that voters opposed Obama’s proposal to act without Congress, according to the Politico report.
That angered immigration activists, as well as members of the Congressional Hispanic caucus, who met with White House officials to signal their disappointment.
According to the White House, Obama’s decision to delay the action was because of Republicans trying to use the issue to “score points as a kind of grandstanding issue.”
But it wasn’t Republicans that the White House was most worried about–it was Senate Democrats who were deeply concerned about Obama’s effect on their elections.