In the news today is President Obama’s arrival in Texas to attend two Democratic fundraisers, one in Austin and one in Dallas, and deliver a speech to University of Texas students.
He managed to fit in a meeting with Governor Perry when he lands at the airport in Austin.
So I have been hearing all of these things in the buildup to today’s trip and I still have one question to ask: Why?
Other than showing up from time to time to make a withdrawal from the giant ATM that is Texas, I wonder why Barack Obama is wasting his time here. Especially now that I have learned this morning what will be the essence of his message while here in Texas.
When you are highlighting an area of your agenda, that is, to connect the dots between economic success and educational success, maybe it is a better call to deliver the message from a place where there is educational success. Clearly Texas is not the place to do this.
Not in a state where there is a 30% dropout rate. Not in a state that has opted out of the multi-billion dollar federal education program “Race to the Top.” Not in a state that takes $3.2 billion in federal education stimulus money and uses it to balance its budget and add to its rainy day fund.
Not in a state whose state school board makes it a habit to debate things like whether the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolutionary theories should be evaluated by 8th graders. Not in a state whose school board pays consultants to tell them that Thomas Jefferson was of little importance in founding this country, but Joe McCarthy had some good points.
So yeah, come and make that cash withdrawal, and hopefully some of it will spend in local congressional races, but delivering an education speech in Texas?