After eight years of Doug Ducey, the State of the State address had become the same recipe — one part accomplishment, one part aspiration and several hard shakes of hot sauce aimed at the opposition party.

That’s not what Katie Hobbs served on Monday.

For all her talk of bipartisanship and rolling up the sleeves, hers was a political speech.

It was a political speech about the hottest topic of the moment — immigration.

With record numbers of migrants pouring over the U.S.-Mexico border from Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, China and the Middle East, Hobbs has been making lots of noise about immigration.

On Monday, she served the heat early with a flaming skewer of reproach for her own party — the Democrats.

Sure, she framed it in plausible deniability.

“The foundation of what we do as elected officials here in this Capitol is rooted in keeping Arizona families safe. That’s why we cannot go forward without first addressing Washington’s ongoing failure to secure our southern border — a failure decades in the making under both Democratic and Republican administrations.”

Oh, yeah?

Well, presently the administration is the Democrats and they have bumbled their way into a border policy that is all cheesecloth and incoherence.

If you’re a governor who wants to make a message stick in your State of the State address, you deliver it early before the audience starts to look longingly at the letters E-X-I-T.

So, Hobbs served her main course at the beginning of her speech.

“I pledged to not play the same old political games that created this (border) crisis and that have continually hurt communities, families and our state,” she said.

She wasn’t playing the same old game.

That’s for sure.

She was pointing her skewer directly at the president of the United States, the standard-bearer of her own party — Joe Biden.

She was doing it in an election year in which the Democrats claim no less than the survival of our democracy rides on Biden’s reelection.

“No one understands the misguided efforts of the past more than our neighbors, sheriffs, small business owners and local law enforcement near the border who work every day to offer solutions where the federal government has failed,” she said.

Then she pointed to the debacle that was the Lukeville Port of Entry.

That’s where Joe Biden’s Customs and Border Patrol shut down cross-border traffic and reassigned the port staff to help process all the migrants pouring across the U.S.-Mexico line.

As reported by KJZZ Fronteras, “Closing the Lukeville crossing had disastrous consequences on the ground, because local communities and economies on both sides of the border rely on business from tourists heading to places like the Sonoran beach town of Puerto Peñasco, as well as Mexican visitors headed north.”

Hobbs reacted with words on fire.

“One needs to look no further than the decision to close the Lukeville port of entry, which did nothing to actually solve our immigration crisis but did hurt businesses and families.

“My administration worked tirelessly to reverse this short-sighted action by the federal government and took extraordinary steps — including sending the National Guard to the border — to bring security and common sense to this situation.”

She wasn’t done.

“Day in and day out, I hear from leaders on the border who need support because they are stepping up where the federal government can’t, or won’t."

She pointed to her creation of Operation SECURE — a border coordination office within the Arizona Department of Homeland Security and then closed her immigration remarks with this:

“Arizonans should know we are taking significant and meaningful steps to keep them safe — even when the federal government refuses to.”

Hobbs proves she's ready:To flip the Legislature

Was Hobbs simply joining the chorus of Democratic leaders in Denver, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston who have criticized White House immigration policy?

I don’t think so.

The audience for her immigration remarks wasn’t Joe Biden.

Hobbs was shrewder than that.

The audience was Arizonans and the message was that their new governor has positioned herself not as the governor of Arizona Democrats, but the governor of all Arizonans.

Katie Hobbs is staking out the broad middle.

And in so doing, she may inadvertently be saying to any Republicans or Democrats who plan to challenge her a few years from now:

You better bring your A game.

Phil Boas is an editorial columnist with The Arizona Republic. Email him at phil.boas@arizonarepublic.com.

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Why Gov. Hobbs hit Biden hard on immigration

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09.01.2024

After eight years of Doug Ducey, the State of the State address had become the same recipe — one part accomplishment, one part aspiration and several hard shakes of hot sauce aimed at the opposition party.

That’s not what Katie Hobbs served on Monday.

For all her talk of bipartisanship and rolling up the sleeves, hers was a political speech.

It was a political speech about the hottest topic of the moment — immigration.

With record numbers of migrants pouring over the U.S.-Mexico border from Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, China and the Middle East, Hobbs has been making lots of noise about immigration.

On Monday, she served the heat early with a flaming skewer of reproach for her own party — the Democrats.

Sure, she framed it in plausible deniability.

“The foundation of what we do as elected officials here in this Capitol is rooted in keeping Arizona families safe. That’s why we cannot go forward without first addressing Washington’s ongoing failure to secure our southern border — a failure decades in the making under both Democratic and Republican administrations.”

Oh, yeah?

Well, presently the administration is........

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