Although the election is not for more than a year, as a political scientist I can't help but get into the horse races at times. One topic du jour is Rick Perry's stance on immigration. In short, he is pretty rational--here is a good take by the Washington Post.
I understand this is seen as a liability for Perry by a segment of the base. But we’ll have to see if it really is, or whether it is an argument for his electability.
Perhaps this approach is too “soft” for conservatives. Maybe the RedState bloggers who helped kick off his campaign (and who are staunchly opposed to immigration reform) will recoil in horror and drop him like a hot potato. But I sort of doubt it.
Yes, yes, it's early and I am not making predictions, but in the last three elections even the Republican base overlooked the relatively liberal views of the candidates (though John McCain tried to tack right at the last minute) on immigration. Immigration is an important issue, but fairly low down on the list of voter priorities, and Perry is very conservative on the issues of higher salience. He has done well with the Latino vote in Texas, and could potentially benefit from voters unhappy with Obama's enforcement-only policies.