Despite the lily white audience in attendance, apparently the subject of immigration was of high interest at CPAC. In fact, Heather Long of The Guardian noted that, "It [immigration] was mentioned about as many times as liberty and limited governmenton Day 1 at CPAC. That's huge. Even the far right of the American political spectrum 'gets it'." This is a tantalizing development in the immigration reform saga. From covering CPAC, Long is optimistic about immigration reform. She writes:
To put that another way, the disagreement between President Obama and the GOP on illegal immigrants is not over whether but over how fast immigrants can get on track to some sort of legal status. The basics of a compromise are here. It's probably the only issue in President Obama's lengthy wishlist that he has a real chance of getting done this year.
If Long is right, that would be quite something, that the conservatives agree on a path to citizenshp, however long. But not so fast. Just when you're ready to start to be optimistic, we have this, Rick Perry being booed at CPAC as he talks about "Latino outreach." The takeaway for me is that the Republican leadership gets it about immigration, even the far right leadership. The question is do the rank and file of the GOP get it too?