Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hillary is now (finally) against drivers license for illegals

That's right. It only took two weeks (and I'm sure much polling) to make this decision.

First Read has a timeline on Hillary with this issue. Here is a summary:

October 16 editorial meeting with the Nashua Telegraph:

"I hate to see any state being pushed into trying to take this into their own hands because the federal government has failed. So I know exactly what Governor Spitzer is trying to do and it makes a lot of sense, because he's trying to get people out of the shadows, come forward and we'll give you this license

October 30 MSNBC debate:

Well, what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform. We know in New York we have several million at any one time who are in New York illegally. They are undocumented workers. They are driving on our roads. The possibility of them having an accident that harms themselves or others is just a matter of the odds. It's probability. So what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is to fill the vacuum. I believe we need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform because no state, no matter how well intentioned, can fill this gap. There needs to be federal action on immigration reform.

Moments later:

You know, Tim, this is where everybody plays "gotcha." It makes a lot of sense. What is the governor supposed to do? He is dealing with a serious problems. We have failed. And George Bush has failed. Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No. But do I understand the sense of real desperation, trying to get a handle on this? Remember, in New York, we want to know who's in New York. We want people to come out of the shadows.

October 31 statement from the campaign:

“Senator Clinton supports governors like Governor Spitzer who believe they need such a measure to deal with the crisis caused by this administration’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

The New York Times reported on that statement:

“Mrs. Clinton’s aides said her statement Wednesday expressing general support for Mr. Spitzer’s plan was intended to signal that she broadly supported his goal of granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. But they said she had not studied — and was not endorsing — any specific plan.”

Clinton campaigning in Clinton, IA on November 4:

"I wasn't as clear as I should have been the other night. I have had a number of occasions where I have spoken to it and I believe clarified it, but I'd be happy to do it again. I believe in comprehensive immigration reform and I have been in favor of that for years. I have signed onto bills. I have voted for provisions and I think it is the only answer for our country."
"Unfortunately, because the Bush administration has failed and as has the Congress, the federal government as a whole to bring about comprehensive immigration reform, governors are left holding the bag. They're the ones having to deal with the security issues, the safety of their roads and so much else. Therefore, I broadly support what governors like Eliot Spitzer are trying to do. I don't pretend to know the details. That's up to the governor and the legislature to try to work out. But I think that it's understandable that states are trying to fill a vacuum left by the failures of the federal government."

Then in an interview yesterday CNN’s Candy Crowley…:

CROWLEY: If I wrote a story that said: "Absent a broad illegal immigration bill, Hillary Clinton agrees about giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants," is that correct?CLINTON: No. What I have said is that I support what governors are trying to do. And governors are on the front lines because of the failures to get comprehensive immigration reform. There are already eight states that issue driver's licenses without any verification of citizenship. That is a decision that the governors and legislatures and the people of those states have made. I understand…CROWLEY: But you see why people think…CLINTON: Well, but you know, Candy…CROWLEY: … that you are not answering the question.CLINTON: Well, but you know, Candy, well, but I think that if you go back and look at the complexity of this issue, I don’t think a lot of these hard questions lend themselves to raising your hand. And I know that that’s easier in a 30 second context to try to do.

And finally, From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones:

"I support Governor Spitzer's decision today to withdraw his proposal," Clinton said in a statement. "His difficult job is made that much harder by the failure of the Congress and the White House to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
"As President, I will not support drivers' licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration including border security and fixing our broken system."

Obama's campaign finally hit one out of the park:

Obama spokesman Bill Burton writes, “When it takes two weeks and six different positions to answer one question on immigration, it’s easier to understand why the Clinton campaign would rather plant their questions than answer them.”

UPDATE: I'm thinking THIS is why Hillary has come against the driver's license for illegals.