Perry Sits, but Won't Shake, for Obama
Photo by Bryan Williams
Gov. Rick Perry -- who apparently still holds presidential ambitions of his own -- gets to be the guy who forced President Obama to bend to his will. Like any politician, Perry has a few tricks up his sleeve, but it seems he does not shake on command.
When Air Force One touches down in Austin on Wednesday morning, Perry will not be there to greet the President.
Perry shot down the White House invitation, demanding a more substantial sit-down meeting to talk about more thousands of undocumented children massed down on the border. "I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, but a quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas," he wrote in a letter, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Surprisingly, the White House acquiesced to Perry's demands Tuesday. Perry and President Obama are slated to meet Wednesday in Dallas to discuss the border mess. (It's bad enough Obama has called on Congress to put in $4 billion in emergency funding.)
After a slew of political gaffes (we've taken to calling them Perry-isms), this is a win for Perry. Plus, he completely dodges the standard presidential handshake photo-ops that go with a tarmac greeting. These days no one with GOP presidential ambitions wants to be seen shaking hands with Obama. Hell, the president's approval ratings are so low that members of his own party aren't likely to be shoving each other in line to grab his hand and smile for the camera.
Perry gets to play this as a show of might that proves he's no presidential trained poodle, or at least that's how we're betting he's going to spin things.