I don’t think there’s any question what she’ll do, but these stories get written anyway.
Hutchison, R-Dallas, who has supported similar legislation in the past, is one of a half-dozen Republican lawmakers targeted by Democrats, Latino groups and organized labor, who see her as a swing vote in what is expected to be a close final tally.
“We are going to need a handful of Republicans to compensate for the Democrats that, quite frankly, we have given up on,” said Frank Sharry, executive director America’s Voice, a pro-immigration advocacy group.
But Hutchison, who has not announced publicly whether she will seek another term in 2012, is in a political predicament following the contentious GOP Texas gubernatorial primary defeat where she was tarnished as a Washington insider.
“She’s in deep trouble” in her own party, said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political science professor. “If she wants to run again, she’s going to have a tough primary race.”
Early indications are that Hutchison will be a hard sell for immigration advocates. The senator says she does not support the current version of the plan because it goes beyond citizenship status for students and could include parents and other adults.
“The current legislation would include green cards and citizenship, which under present law would follow with amnesty for those who came here illegally as adults,” Hutchison said in a statement.
Political experts say her final vote may depend, to some degree, on her future political plans.
“If she’s going to retire, she can do whatever she wants, but if she wants to win a Republican primary in Texas, then a ‘no’ vote would be advisable,” Sabato said.
Oh, Larry. Her re-election chances have little if anything to do with this vote. It may affect the final margin, but that’s all. Really, she should feel free to do the right thing – did you know that among other things, passing the DREAM Act would reduce the deficit? – because her fate is already sealed. The question KBH should be asking herself is “What do I want my legacy to be?” The answer is easy if she actually cares about that. The vote will happen tonight, so we’ll know soon enough.
UPDATE: Though the vote in the Senate has been postponed, the DREAM Act passed in the House. Progress!