So Mayor Bloomberg got his wish and imigration didn`t come up in tonight`s GOP candidates` debate. Chris Chmielenski, whose liveblog at NumbersUSA we collegially linked to, appeared to fall asleep at 8:38, entirely understandably.
I think the key moment was when Mitt Romney asked Michele Bachmann an astonishingly softball question about her jobs plan. Even though he actually mentioned unemployed college graduates, whose plight would be worsened by his proposal to increase skilled immigration, and even though her jobs plan announced today actually cites the labor market impact of (illegal) immigration—both discussed here—she simply answered in conventional Chamber of Commerce terms. (We`ll link to the transcript tomorrow if we can be bothered to find one).
Bachmann has shown that, whatever else she might be, she is a dangerous debater. For Romney to take this risk, and for her to pass up this opportunity, makes me think that her former campaign manager Ed Rollins was right when he reportedly told associates that her real objective is the vice-presidency. Indeed, it looks like negotiations are already underway. I hope it`s worth it.
UPDATE: I posted the transcript and further thoughts here.