A lot has been made of the reversal of some Republicans on the issue of in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants, also known as the ASSET bill. 

The Denver Post reported last week that a number of Republicans have or are considering voting for the measure.

Colorado Pols isn’t impressed. They were out with a post yesterday, mocking the reversal of these Republicans on the issue.

To be fair to Pols (something which we try not to do), such a sudden shift on a black and white issue is a fair thing for fake commentators like ourselves and Pols to ponder. 

Which got us thinking: why did Democratic Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll flip-flop on in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrant students?

Remember, it was Carroll who cast the deciding vote in 2009 defeating the bill. Democrats were in charge of everything back then, and it was Carroll whose vote prevented the measure from becoming law.

From Tim Hoover at the time:

The 2009 measure failed on a 16-18 vote, and Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, was one of five Democrats who voted against it.

So what changed her mind?

There are three possible explanations.

One, Carroll wasn’t voting her conscience in 2009, and was instead riding the populist wave of tough-on-illegal-immigration politics. For an unapologetic liberal like Carroll, this seems possible. 

Two, Carroll has had a bona fide change of heart. A conniving politician if ever there was one, we have a hard time believing this explanation for Carroll’s in-state flip-flop.

The third explanation is most likely: having witnessed the absolute beating that Michael Bennet laid on Andrew Romanoff in the Democratic Primary over Romanoff’s support for Tom Tancredo-style immigration policies, Carroll made a calculated decision that if she wants to run for higher office, she better get back on the immigration reservation.

The 3rd explanation — avoiding becoming the next Andrew Romanoff — makes the most sense as an explanation for the Majority Leader’s ASSET U-turn. Politicians will be politicians at the end of the day, and everyone knows that Morgan Carroll doesn’t want to stop being an elected politician any time soon.