Well, it seems politics is infecting even the supposedly nonpolitical portion of Obama’s trip today to the New York City area – the portion that forces taxpayers to foot the bill for the excursion, which includes two fundraisers.
Westchester County, NY is abuzz over whether its top official, a Republican who is challenging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was snubbed by President Obama, whose White House failed until just yesterday to invite him to today’s presidential appearance at the Tappan Zee Bridge.
Obama will arrive this afternoon in Tarrytown, on the Westchester side of the bridge, to call for lots of infrastructure spending and tout the project to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge. Not invited until the last minute? Westchester Executive Rob Astorino, who is trying to unseat Cuomo, who of course will be featured prominently at the event.
Astorino decided to take the high road. “I don’t know. I hope it’s not politics,” he said in a interview with News 12 Westchester.
Believe me, it’s politics. These presidential trips are planned weeks in advance. Government bureaucratic incompetence generally stops at the White House which, because it is so highly charged politically and deals directly with the most critical issues, is run with the efficiency of a private business. Someone decided to stick it to Astorino by inviting him at the last minute and perhaps hoped he’d have other plans.
What’s more, Obama’s appearance at the ceremonial opening of the 9/11 memorial museum will occur at the very same time Thursday when Astorino is going to be nominated for governor at the state GOP convention. I wonder in which direction the cameras will be trained?
Obama – or perhaps New York Democrats – wouldn’t use the 9/11 memorial for political purposes, would they?
“I’m sure it just worked out that way,” Astorino said, with a noticeable trace of irony.