Reform of the immigration laws might looks like a long shot right now, but one never knows. If Obama were to succeed, as now looks likely, to reform health care, the atmosphere might look very different in January/February.

Stranger things have happened. Lou Dobbs meeting with Hispanic groups and coming out for legalizing the undocumented was certainly never in the stars until the former CNN blowhard resigned his job and began looking for a political office to run for.

The power of the Hispanic vote is becoming more evident all the time. A recent article in The New York Times Magazine on the Texas governor’s race showed how, shortly, the majority of the electorate in Texas will be non-white -- a shuddering wake up call for the GOP in particular.

Also remember that Cecilia Munoz, a former top official with La Raza, the Hispanic lobby group, joined the White House staff with a firm promise from Obama that immigration reform would be on the agenda in his first term.

It appears that right after health care the time is about right. The Irish will have a significant part to play if Gutierrez is a key player, as Neal has pointed out.