President Obama‘s visit to Texas today is making big headlines, considering that the political and ideological divides could not be more stark between the Lone Star’s leading “red state” status and a President who is widely considered to be well left of center. In an administration that has emphasized big government through its political actions — accented by the government takeover of General Motors, a steady increase in federal spending, and the passage and signing of Obamacare — it comes as a surprise that Obama would travel to Texas to tout the state’s unbridled job growth, innovation, and education, all of which has been fueled in large part by Republican Governor Rick Perry‘s decidedly conservative approach to governance.
Yet, that is exactly what the President’s narrative will be as he traverses Austin.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney sought to characterize the President’s trip to Austin as an endorsement of the kind of success that he envisions for the future of America:
Well, why not Texas? Austin is a hub of innovation and technology. It’s also a hub of education.....
[Even the White House doesnt buy into the "Goober red state taker" spiel of our resident liberals...]
In some ways, having the President tout the state — and more specifically the city of Austin — is a major endorsement and confirmation that Texas is doing something right when it comes to attracting business, creating jobs, and fostering growth through smaller government, fewer regulations, tax breaks for companies, and incentives for business relocation into the state, all of which has led to more jobs and a low cost of living. It can be argued, after all, that the Texan economy has done the heavy lifting in keeping the U.S. economy from completely folding over the past five years. From a political perspective, it would make sense for the President to seek to get his fingerprints all over the success of Texas. However, it may be a bit of a tough sell for a President who has governed at the national level in such a way that refutes the initiatives that Governor Perry and the GOP-dominant Texas legislature has championed over the past years.
Coincidences rarely occur in politics, and one cannot ignore the fact that Obama’s trip to Texas comes just on the heels of Governor Perry’s high-profile biotech prospecting mission to the President’s once-home state of Illinois, as well as the Texas Governor’s trip to the Silicon Valley, both of which were considered to be successful in further advancing the migration of technology companies from struggling blue states into Texas. Wielding the bully pulpit, the President may seek to utilize his trip to Texas as a political gambit of sorts.