Wednesday, July 09, 2014
The White House offered the governor of Texas an opportunity to shake the President's hand when the President lands in Austin. The governor, Rick Perry, declined and countered that he wanted a meeting to discuss border issues with the President. Perry got his meeting. Ordinarily, when one is lower in the power structure, making demands on someone above you is out of protocol and rude. Perry, however, was playing politics over an issue of deep concern to Texas and the rest of the US. The President has request nearly $3 billion to handle the problem of children crossing the border in droves, some as young as eight years old, out of a mistaken belief that they will be allowed to stay in the US. In other words, there is good reason for Perry to have turned down a handshake. On the other hand, what can Obama tell him in a meeting that hasn't already been reported in the media? The real reason, it would appear, is that it gives Perry a chance to sit with someone whose job he wants and to communicate to his base that he is no pushover. If this were a ball game, it would be Perry 1, President 0.