Washington Extra - Road to 2013

WASHINGTON Tue May 10, 2011 5:00pm EDT

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WASHINGTON May 10 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama asked El Paso, Texas, today if those in Congress who walked away from immigration reform were ready to come back to the table. If El Paso could give an answer, it might have said: "Not until 2013."

And maybe that is what Obama is thinking too. Maybe today we saw his game plan for a signature initiative once he is re-elected. Call it Manifesto for 2013.

He knows and El Paso knows the Republican House will not back an immigration overhaul before the 2012 election. He probably also knows that Hispanic voters, 67 percent of whom voted for him in 2008, will back him again and patiently wait for him to deliver his 2008 reform promise in 2013.

It is wise for him to begin laying the path to 2013 now, getting big business on board, tightening enforcement and pushing on some smaller achievements like visa reform. In El Paso, they might say "paso a paso" -- that's Spanish for "step by step."

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