President Barack Obama will attend a Democratic Party fundraiser in Houston, Texas next month. However, the state’s top Democrat, former Houston mayor and current gubernatorial candidate Bill White, won’t be attending. Instead, White is choosing to spend the day campaigning in Dallas.
Are you kidding me? For those not familiar with Texas geography, there are approximately 300 miles separating the two cities. By air, it takes about 40 minutes to travel from Dallas to Houston and vice versa. Commuter planes depart every hour between the two destinations. Certainly, White could hop one of those planes, make an appearance with Obama at the fundraiser then return to Dallas and continue stumping.
Rick Perry, the current Republican governor of Texas, hit the nail on the head when he suggested the real reason White is choosing to snub the fundraiser – President Obama’s waning popularity nationwide and his practically non-existent popularity in Texas.
“This guy is trying to shut the state down with EPA regulations, cap and trade,” said Texas Governor Rick Perry. “Obamacare, I’ve got to think, is not the most popular piece of legislation to come out of DC. I understand why Bill White doesn’t want to be around him.”
To be clear, I don’t support Rick Perry at all. I’ve always viewed him as nothing more than a talking bobble-head. But, in this instance, I appreciate the fact that he did not ignore the elephant in the room (no pun intended). This move by White proves to me that, underneath it all, he is no different than Perry and the majority of politicians out there. Jump on what’s hot, shy away from those who are not, and win, win, win by any means necessary.
Memo to White: If you really want to separate yourself from the wolf pack, be the individual you claim to be. Don’t continue with politics as usual while hiding behind a reformist’s stance.
Perry doesn’t care much for Obama’s policies. In this respect, he voices his opinions and stands by them. Don’t think that I don’t realize Perry would most probably do the same as White if the tables were turned. The difference here is that Perry isn’t running a campaign stating he cares more about the state’s long-term future than the next election.
Houston Democratic State Representative Garnet Coleman countered that White’s decision to stay away should not be an issue. He is quoted as saying, “Somebody is trying to make it disrespectful, but the reality is he needs to run his race to be governor of the state of Texas.”
The only person making this disrespectful is White. Not just to Obama, but also to the voters of Texas for pretending to be something he obviously is not – a leader championing real change.