Analysis: Obama takes a risk on immigration front
WASHINGTON – There's not much President Barack Obama can do to boost the economy in the next five months, and that alone might cost him the November election. But on a range of social issues, Obama is bypassing Congress and aggressively using his executive powers to make it easier for gays to marry, women to obtain birth control, and, now, young illegal immigrants to avoid deportation.
It's a political gamble that might fire up conservatives, many of whom remain cool to Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Democrats think it's more likely to inspire enthusiasm among groups that were crucial to Obama's 2008 victory – young voters, women and Hispanics.
In relatively good times, a first-term president's wide array of powers can force his challenger to shift from issue to issue, hoping to find a gap in the incumbent's armor. This year, that scenario is practically turned on its head.
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