Obama's doomed immigration push just a smoke screen

It's plain as day that no matter how many appearances President Obama makes in any number of trips around the country to talk up immigration reform that the focus on the troubles of HealthCare.gov won't fade until the glitches are gone.

Then there's the glum divide still boiling below the surface of the House GOP conference over just how long the political backlash from the government shutdown will linger. Leadership still stings from the ghastly polling that shows just how much damage was done, while conservatives remain resolved that a principled fight has furthered their cause.

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Immigration reform seems doomed, even to those Republicans who support it, as opponents in the grass roots fire up for a furious battle. They are many of the same people who supported shutting the government down in a failed attempt to defund ObamaCare, and this is a fight they are sure they can win. And so as Russell Berman reports Friday in The Hill it will be hard to get anything moving in 2013.

And this blind quote shows the GOP will try to push the president's refusal to "negotiate" back on him whenever they can: "There is a sincere desire to get it done, but there is also very little goodwill after the president spent the last two months refusing to work with us," a House GOP leadership aide said. "In that way, his approach in the fiscal fights was very short-sighted: It made achieving his real priorities much more difficult."

Given the brick wall in the House GOP conference — at least until their primary elections are finished by next summer — Obama may be wasting much fuel and many taxpayer dollars touring the nation to campaign for immigration reform.

WHAT WILL BECOME OF BUSINESS TARGETING THE TEA PARTY IN GOP PRIMARIES? AskAB returns Tuesday, Oct. 29. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to askab@thehill.com. Thank you.