Sen. Richard Burr will want to know whether sufficient safeguards have been added to the sweeping legislation to earn his support. The answer, he said Wednesday, is probably no.
Sen. Elizabeth Dole just wants to kill the thing.
For Dole and Burr, both strong supporters of President Bush, the immigration deal may be the most significant issue in recent memory on which they differ ideologically, if only by increments. Both oppose illegal immigration and want tougher border security. But while Dole has been outspoken in trying to slay a measure she labels "amnesty," Burr has been willing to have a debate.
"It's to North Carolina's benefit to figure out what we have to do as a country," Burr said in an interview Wednesday. "I think immigration is a huge, huge problem. ... We have the worst of all worlds right now."
Sorry, I don't buy the whole circumspection routine. Richard had stars in his eyes, but I happen to know that both his Washington and Winston-Salem offices were being deluged with angry calls and emails. Sounds like he is considering the merits of the very unlikely prospect of hitching his wagon to McCain's increasingly tarnished star versus a very angry and resentful constituency back home. I'm sure Richard is well aware of how vindictive North Carolina Republicans can be.