President Obama gave an "impromptu" press conference on Tuesday addressing a wide range of issues, from Libya to Obamacare to Guantanamo Bay. The overarching theme was – "does the president continue to have enough political capital to get anything achieved?" Of the priorities touched on by President Obama, Guantanamo Bay seems like an odd duck.
The president was not able to get the facility at Gitmo closed in 2009 when Democrats had control of the House of Representatives. Both Republicans as well as Blue Dog Democrats opposed him on the initiative and the White House walked it back rather quickly.
Now, because of a hunger strike by the detainees at Guantanamo, the president appears intent on stepping into the same rabbit hole twice. First, a hunger strike by the inmates should not influence White House policies – that is the very definition of the insane running the asylum. Second, it is no secret the political muscle of lame duck presidents runs thin. President Obama should use his to tackle an issue there is bipartisan support for – immigration, instead of wasting it on something that is likely dead on arrival in Congress.
President Obama did touch on immigration during the presser, but it did not receive the singular attention it deserves. It is time for the president to focus on achieving that same bipartisanship he has preached make solving the immigration conundrum his first priority.