Well, this is exceptionally rude, even for a Texan. And I’m a native New Yorker, so I know from rude.
With Obama’s popularity in the dumps, many Democratic candidates are signaling to the White House that they don’t need him around as they campaign in tough races against resurgent Republicans.
But with Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White, Obama didn’t take no thank you for an answer. It seems there’s too much money to be made in Texas, so Obama is flying there today anyway to pick up cash at a DNC event in Austin – tickets said to range from $5,000 to the donor’s limit of $30,400 – and a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee bash in Dallas.
So White, in an amazing effrontery, is heading for the Texas Hills instead of being seen with the President of the United States.
Politicians come up with all sorts of excuses for dissing unpopular Party leaders, but White’s is unique. As my friend Ken Herman of the Austin American-Statesman writes, White says he likes to use the phone instead.
A follow-up question asked White if there was “any chance that you could swing by and just say ‘Hi,’ and if not, why not?”
“Well,” said White, not interested in changing his plans, “because I’m campaigning for governor of Texas and that means meeting the people of this state and listening to what they have to say. You know, I’ve talked to President Obama before. I’ve talked to President (George W.) Bush before on the telephone on matters involving Texas. I’m available to talk to anybody by telephone.”
Memo to Obama: The number at White’s campaign office in Houston is 713-659-9000.
I’m sure Obama won’t be calling soon. And hopefully, he won’t be answering the phone either if White decides he’s desperate enough later in the year and tries to get Obama into the state for a Political Hail Mary Pass.