A Washington Post news analysis observes that Bush admitted defeat after the immigration bill he supported died in the Senate yesterday. "It was, in the end, simply a statement of reality after the Senate buried his proposal to overhaul immigration laws. But for a president who makes a point of never giving in, even when he loses, it was a striking moment, underscoring the depth of his political travails. It took almost two years before Bush acknowledged, just months ago, that his effort to reshape Social Security had failed. Now he has surrendered in what was probably his last chance of securing a legacy-making second-term domestic victory."
The Los Angeles Times sums up Bush's terrible week: "Bush began the week struggling to salvage his most important foreign and domestic initiatives: the war in Iraq and an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws. He ends it closer to losing both than at any time in his presidency. And in a remarkable reversal for a president who once commanded nearly unflagging loyalty from lawmakers in his party, those most responsible for his setbacks are Republicans."
The New York Times has this nugget: "Mr. Bush placed telephone calls to lawmakers throughout the morning. But members of his party abandoned him in droves, with just 12 of the 49 Senate Republicans sticking by him on the important procedural vote that determined the fate of the bill… The outcome was a bitter disappointment for Mr. Bush and other supporters of a comprehensive approach… The vote reflected the degree to which Congress and the nation are polarized over immigration. The emotional end to what had been an emotional debate was evident, with a few senior staff members who had invested months in writing the bill near tears."
As mentioned yesterday, all the presidential candidates currently serving in the Senate (Democrat and Republican) voted for cloture to end debate on immigration bill -- all except Brownback, who voted for it and then voted against it. His Senate office and presidential campaign then released twin statements about his opposition to the bill, despite his earlier support. Giuliani and Romney also issued statements in opposition to the legislation.
McCain, who supported the legislation, said in his statement: "I am disappointed that the Senate was unable to conclude its debate on comprehensive immigration reform. However, the American people will not settle for the status quo – de facto amnesty and broken borders. I am hopeful that we will have another chance to address this critical national security issue that affects people throughout our country."
Soon-to-be candidate Fred Thompson said on FOX yesterday, "Sometimes not making the wrong move is better than nothing at all. And I think that they had an immigration bill that didn't secure the border. I think that shows a disconnect with the American people that they thought that they could convince them."