Rebecca Tallent is the Speaker's new immigration policy director. Until last week, Ms. Tallent served as the director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Before that, she worked for Senator John McCain as his Chief of Staff. Ms. Tallent helped Senators McCain and Kennedy formulate their amnesty-based immigration plan in 2007. Before that, she worked for former Representative Jim Kolbe, an Arizona Republican, helping him with plans to overhaul the American immigration system.
It would be very unusual for Speaker Boehner to bring on Ms. Tallent, given her background, unless he was ready to go forward with immigration reform. Likewise, it would be unusual, given her background for Ms. Tallent to go work for someone not interested in comprehensive immigration reform.
Speaker Boehner, for all his faults, has been skillfully maneuvering pieces on the chessboard getting ready for this fight. He may have clowned himself with his unusual temper tantrums this week, but it is for a greater good in his mind. Many have speculated this will be his last congressional session as Speaker. He denies it, but given the fractious nature of his Speakership, it would not be surprising. Any Speaker would want to go out with a legacy heralded by the media. Immigration would do that for John Boehner.
Fence sitters in the Republican Party should be careful, lest they wind up working against their own goals in the next fight.