Sometimes it’s the smallest of news items that signal major changes in the national landscape. Take for instance the story by Politico on Tuesday regarding Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. He is often mentioned as a Democratic rival to Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential nomination. He let it be known publicly that he is angry with the Obama White House over their plans to shelter illegal immigrant children at a facility in his state.
Not particularly dramatic news one might say, but it is if you are looking ahead to the presidential campaign and what potential candidates think will be major issues. Not only has O’Malley separated himself from his party's president, but he has broken with the liberal tradition of playing the “compassion” game in politics.
The governor is well aware of the anger within the country over the chaos on the southern border. Playing the “compassion” game will not attract votes this time around and assuming these illegals will someday vote Democratic is becoming an ancient wish with most thoughtful politicians.
The times have changed and O’Malley is the frontrunner of it for Democrats. The governor flat out told the Obama administration that it should not send any undocumented kids to an empty former Army Reserves Center in Westminster, Maryland. The “request” came literally hours after he warned the government that deporting unaccompanied children would be sending them home to "certain death."
Why would he say two different things in such a small amount of time? Could it be his handlers found polling information that warranted him to change his tune quickly? There is little doubt America’s attitude toward illegal immigration is changing quickly and not in the way President Obama planned.
Speaking at the National Governors Association in Nashville, Tennessee last Friday, O’Malley also said the undocumented children should be treated with compassion, but, and this is a big but, President Barack Obama’s plans to speed up deportations, appoint more immigration judges, and strengthen border security is sorely lacking.
That says two things in one fell swoop. First, the Maryland governor is clearly in the race to challenge Hillary Clinton. Secondly, it shows that respected members of the Democratic Party realize President Obama is in big trouble with his polling numbers. He is living up to the term, “lame duck.”
Not surprisingly, Domestic Policy Director (whatever the hell that title means) Cecilia Munoz frantically called O’Malley hours after his criticism of the president in a “bunker-type mentality” panic call, The Washington Post reported.
Unwavering, O'Malley said that the undocumented kids would face an inhospitable welcome at the facility in deeply conservative Carroll County, 35 miles from Baltimore. Department of Health and Human Services (the folks who brought you Kathleen Sebelius) had informed Carroll County leaders of their plan to turn the disused army reserves center into a detention center a day earlier.
One can only imagine the Clinton campaign hearing about O'Malley's bold statements and their recent polls showing Hillary’s insurmountable lead among Democrats starting to shrink rapidly. Look for Hillary, the consummate politician, to begin rattling President Obama’s cage a bit more since it is now open season on the embattled leader. It may be more of a survival tactic at this point rather than a strategic one.
It is now becoming “cool” to be against wholesale border infractions as a Democrat and as a survival tactic. Gone is the notion to count on phantom votes for Democrats once these illegals get amnesty. The phony word of "compassion" is being replaced with the practical word, "survival."
Maybe the American people are beginning to get through to clueless politicians.
* If you have enjoyed this column, may I suggest you scroll down this page and press the SUBSCRIBE box? It's FREE. Thank you for your patronage.
** Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
*** Look for “Redistribution of Common Sense” – Selected commentaries on the Obama administration 2009 – 2014, premiering July 21st on amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and many other book outlets nationwide.