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this is dumb. she never said she was for it in the first place. she said the idea made sense and that she couldn't say unequivocally either way because she didn't know all the ins and outs of spitzer's proposal. and then after she said that at the debate, obama said he thought it made sense, too. so the fact that he's pouncing on this can also be spun as a flip-flop. so dumb.

Posted by kim | November 14, 2007 3:24 PM

It's a tough situation. Once you start giving licenses to illegal immigrants, they become quasi-legal immigrants, if not de facto legal immigrants.

At that point, you may as well throw open the border to everyone.

Whether our current immigration policy makes sense or not, without effective enforcement, we really can't have one at all.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | November 14, 2007 3:28 PM

This is the problem with sound byte politics. She never said that she was for it. If you actually READ the Time Magazine article, she only said that she supports Spitzer's plan to withdraw his proposal. I'm not a die hard Hillary fan but this is ridiculous and John Edwards needs to drop his holier-than-thou act.

Posted by Darrell | November 14, 2007 3:28 PM

Anyone who watched to original debate a couple of weeks ago knew that she was saying "I understand why Gov Spitzer wants to do this, but let's fix the immigration system instead." To pretend otherwise is disingenuous.

That having been said, I'm glad she clarified herself for those who didn't watch the debate, and only get their news from anti-Hillary commercials and blog-propogated memes.

Posted by Big Sven | November 14, 2007 3:29 PM

@4 - you mean 99.9 percent of America?

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 14, 2007 3:37 PM

"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. As President, her goal will be to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would make this unnecessary," the statement said. Campaign advisers, pressed to explain her view more clearly, said that she ultimately supports the driver's-license proposal.

Posted by RUShur | November 14, 2007 3:48 PM

Yup. I claim you are being disingenuous because you dislike this candidate. I watched the debate, and it was totally clear what her position was.

The same kind of disingenuity you show when you manufacture some kind of fundamental difference between Clinton and Edwards or Obama, as if the latter two are "progressives" and she is somehow not, knowing (as I'm sure you do) that all three are as centrist as centrist candidates get.

But go ahead. Keep posting those "she'd make a fine VP" comments. It's locked up, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Posted by Big Sven | November 14, 2007 3:49 PM

Funny, I was just listening to two first-year law students debate illegal immigration while I was standing in line for coffee.

I think this issue exists in sort of the same space that slavery used to: the basic legal and moral imperatives are all so economically loaded that nobody will ever be politically honest about what's being discussed. "Fixing the broken system," doesn't address the fact that the American voter is the part of the system that's broken. Everybody wants immigration reform, but nobody's willing to pay $4 for a tomato. Until we make up our minds about that divide, nothing can be fixed, and we're unlikely to make up our minds until someone takes a leadership role and proposes a plan that either keeps tomatoes cheap or reduces other costs so that Americans can afford a $4 tomato.

Posted by Judah | November 14, 2007 3:50 PM

...and God forbid a politician should be pragmatic.

Posted by Dougsf | November 14, 2007 4:05 PM

And the Edwards "Politics of Parsing" ad is a transparent fraud -- a ransom note smear concocted of samples rearranged not simply out of context, but out of sequence as well.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | November 14, 2007 4:14 PM

The correct answer is: no (or yes) , but I understand why Gov Spitzer wants to do this, but let's fix the immigration system instead.

The issue is that Clinton does not want to give answers until she gauges the political wind. To most Americans, this issue is rather simple. She simply needs to state her position and why. Instead, she avoided giving an answer and proceeded to verbally dance around the subject.

Yes, all politicians do that, but we're only talking about Clinton on this issue.

Answer the question strong and with reason, don't dance.

Posted by medina | November 14, 2007 4:20 PM

i love how people will twist their own thoughts into pretzels in order to accomodate clinton's dizzying, calculated [non]-responses to legitimate questions. the article #6 posted makes it clear - she supports the proposal. or at least she did 2 weeks ago.

i want to like her, i really really do, but both she and her husband have elevated political double/triple/quadruple speak into an art form. am i the only one who finds it tedious to listen to her speak?

and i'm baffled why people who think there's no difference between any of the dems so vehemently support the candidate carrying the most baggage.

Posted by brandon | November 14, 2007 4:23 PM

11 and 12 said it well.

It was a yes or no question. It took her two weeks to come up with an answer. Edwards (no) and Obama (yes) had no problem answering the question.

And Big Sven, I watched the debate too and it was not at all clear what her position was. Her answer was: "Yes, I understand Gov. Spitzer's difficult position. We need comprehensive immigration reform."

She then repeated variations of this about five times. Where in that do you see her answer to the question? You don't, because she didn't give one...

Until today.

Posted by edwards voter | November 14, 2007 4:30 PM

This lack of clarity and specificity are qualities that make Sen Clinton a fine candidate for VP for President Obama. Mind you, Sen Edwards has the same ability, so it's a tough choice amongst them.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 14, 2007 4:38 PM

What, not President Gore for you any more?

Posted by Greg | November 14, 2007 4:45 PM

No, he took a partnership job in a tech firm.

That said, I've met most of the Dem candidates and they're all extremely qualified and competent. Well, except for two, but they don't have a chance in heck.

Unlike the evolution-deniers in the Republic party.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 14, 2007 4:57 PM

Go read the Obama website's position on immigration. Lots of vague euphemisms and doublespeak going on there, and he does not address whether undocumented persons should get drivers' licenses.

So all of them are mushy on this issue.

He does say this: "For the millions living here illegally but otherwise playing by the rules [what? driving with false ID?? and no license??], we must encourage them to come out of hiding and get right with the law. Barack Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, not violate the law, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens."

Apparently, they can also stay here while they wait for citizenship and we will help them live within the law, which seems to say they can get a drivers' license.

This could make Obama lose a general election.

Even in NY State 70% are against giving them drivers' licenses.

Posted by unPC | November 14, 2007 7:12 PM

I'm so tired of the illegal immigration issue. I wish someone would actually tell the truth about it, which is this: It's all about family values.

Family trumps government. If you see your family starving, of course you are going to do whatever you have to to provide for them. Even if that means leaving your family and sneaking into a country where you are villanized and exploited.

Their families are struggling because of the shitty trade treaties we have entered into, and the paternalistic, dysfunctional relationship we have with Latin America.

And while I'm at it, let me murmur that we also didn't have the problem with illegals we have now when the unions were stronger.

But instead, we've once again taken the politically retarded path and gotten our collective panties in a bunch over the non-issue of whether people who already drive should be given driver's licenses - a document which does not now, and has never, denoted citizenship.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | November 15, 2007 6:24 AM

The problem is that to acknowledge an illegal immigrant, the law is set up so that you have to arrest and deport an illegal immigrant.

That's what makes them illegal.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | November 15, 2007 4:07 PM

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