Obama stumps through Texas: Democrat Avoids Visit

by
August 10, 2010

By Ben Feller-Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas | Deep in the land of George W. Bush, President Obama swept through Texas on Monday to gather Democratic cash and votes, pounding home education as not just an economic imperative but also a political wedge.

Here in the place where Mr. Bush, then Texas governor, launched his successful run for the White House, in a state Mr. Obama lost handily to Sen. John McCain two years ago, the president addressed the topic that takes up much of his time these days.

Politics.

Mr. Obama raised up to $1 million for the Democratic National Committee at a hotel in Austin, where the mantra of his midterms — “Are we going to move forward, or are we going to move backwards?” — played well to his lunch crowd.

But conspicuously absent from Mr. Obama‘s Texas stop was the state’s Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, former Houston Mayor Bill White. Some Democratic candidates have been wary of appearing with the president given voters’ concerns about his stewardship of the economy and other issues. White House spokesman Bill Burton said Mr. Obama took no offense at Mr. White‘s decision to be elsewhere during the day.

By contrast, Republican Gov. Rick PerryMr. White‘s opponent in November — was on the tarmac to greet Air Force One when Mr. Obama touched down, sharing a lengthy private talk with the president as he arrived. Many GOP candidates have been playing up Mr. Obama‘s links to their Democratic rivals, especially in states like Texas where Mr. Obama‘s personal popularity ratings have been falling.

Later in the day, Mr. Obama was the headline draw at another fundraiser, in Dallas, to help Democrats in key Senate races nationwide.

And in between came an education speech at the University of Texas, where the screams of students prompted Mr. Obama to raise a voice even louder, combining for a raucous campaign feel.

To read more, visit: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/9/obama-stumps-through-texas/

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