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It is hard to remember, on President Obama’s second inauguration, that less than a decade ago he was a relatively unknown Senate candidate. It was in 2004, at the Democratic convention, when Obama introduced himself to the nation with these dreamy, hopeful words: “There are no red states or blue states, just the United States.” Ironically, the success of the domestic agenda in his second term — which, as of now, appears centered on immigration reform and gun control — depends on playing to both red states and the blue ones. Neither immigration nor gun control had a significant place in Obama’s first-term agenda. Indeed, at their core, both are public safety programs — messy and dark and generally removed from the “hope” that got him to the White House. But in the span of a few weeks, the 2012 presidential election and the massacre at Newtown, Conn., provided the impetus for a renewed push for both comprehensive immigration reform and comprehensive gun controls.


Kayyem, Juliette. "Action on Guns and Immigration Needed." Boston Globe, January 21, 2013.