Sidelined Obama Faces Impossible Task on Immigration

Swampland

Here’s a simple litmus test to gauge the odds of passing immigration reform: the more President Obama is talking about the issue, the better the chance the bill dies.

As the Senate haggled over a sweeping bill to rewrite U.S. immigration policy, Obama lurked in the shadows, eschewing public negotiations and leaving his aides to work Capitol back channels. But now, with a radioactive image among House Republicans, and few tools to tame congressional gridlock, the President is preparing to take a more vocal role.

It is, allies concede, a telling sign that the bill’s fortunes are foundering in the fractious Republican-controlled House — and a symbol of Obama’s vanishing clout just six months into his second term. Democratic officials expect that over the coming weeks Obama will travel across the U.S., likely to strategically important states like Nevada, North Carolina and Texas, to highlight the economic benefits of the…

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