The Arizona immigration law continues to obsess the country, yet despite the outrage (Los Angeles this week voted to boycott the state), administration officials told Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer that President Obama didn’t have time to meet with her during her visit to Washington this week. Somehow his schedule cleared up, though, with the much-anticipated meeting taking place Thursday afternoon at the White House.
But if Arizona watchers were hoping for news or progress, they will be sorely disappointed. Conservative news outlets were particularly nonplussed. Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly looked annoyed immediately following Brewer’s comments with the press after the meeting. “Not that much discussion, from the sound of it, on the immigration law,” said Kelly. What did come out of it? Brewer told reporters that she was “encouraged” by the dialogue and that Obama would be sending representatives to visit the state within two weeks. As for the Justice Department pursuing legal action against the state, said Brewer, Obama “brushed over that a bit” and did not want to talk about it.
With little news coming from the meeting, conservative criticism turned to Obama’s failure of leadership in the controversy. Speaking with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Kelly complained that Brewer “had to shame him into taking that meeting.” Huckabee argued that Obama’s lack of experience in simple governing, whether with the Arizona controversy or with BP, underscored his “amateurish inability to understand what the job is all about.” In what is a continuing theme on Fox News, Kelly added, “The PR wheels are coming off the bus” of the Obama administration.
With little to report from the meeting, conservative news outlets remain intrigued by comments made by Rep. Linda Sanchez of California who said that the law was based on lobbying and other efforts from white supremacist groups wanting to pass discriminatory laws. As a blogger for the Web site twiceright.com writes, “If her claim ('It's been documented') is true, let's see the evidence. Heck, give it to Glenn Beck—he'll write names and draw connecting lines on a chalkboard.”
Even before the White House meeting, HotAir.com’s Allahpundit predicted zero progress on the federal-vs.-states'-rights dispute in Arizona, with the summit resulting in little more than an attention-grabbing moment for both politicians (he refers to Obama as “The One”):
“We already know what she’s planning to say to him and we’ve got a pretty good idea of what he wants to say to her so apart from a perfunctory statement afterwards that they both agree that more needs to be done to secure the border, don’t expect anything productive to come out of this. It’s good optics for Brewer especially, since it polishes her image as the populist messenger who’s delivering hard truths about border enforcement to an out-of-touch D.C., but The One will get a tiny bit of 'see, I’m taking the problem seriously' mileage from it too.”
Meanwhile, Brewer isn’t getting the one thing she said she wanted from the meeting, to persuade Obama to begin construction lengthening the fence across the border. On that front, Brewer did have clear news: “I was not successful.”