Since their brief meeting in Texas on Thursday, not even a “selfie” has emerged to document the meeting between President Obama and Wendy Davis took place at all. According to the Texas Tribune, no photographic record of the meeting exists and no reporter took notes or overheard conversation between President Obama and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, Wendy Davis.
Prediction: Wendy is saving her photo ops for an upcoming Willie Nelson gala, because Texans love Willie. Obama is not so popular in the Lone Star State. As a political barometer, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Ted Cruz, the arch conservative, hails from Texas.
When it’s all said and done, Wendy’s inborn Texas instincts to avoid cameras when she met with Obama may be on the mark. It’s easy to predict a scrapbook full of photos may emerge from the upcoming event when according to an email sent to supporters Friday, Davis is teaming up with beloved singer, Willie Nelson, in Houston on April 27 for a “Backyard BBQ.” Davis may be betting that fundraising with Willie will be a lot better received in Texas than an appearance with Obama.
Last month, Davis had laughingly told the Washington Post she would not cover her face if a camera flashed when she greeted the president in his visit to Texas to make his keynote address at the civil rights summit in Austin. She claimed to be excited about meeting and greeting the president and other presidents scheduled to appear at the event.
That reporter, Sean Sullivan, had some surprising thoughts about Obama and Davis. He readily acknowledged that, indeed, Republicans would tie Davis to Obama in a negative manner if she met with him. However, he pointed out since she was unlikely to win anyway, Davis could file her Kodak moment to make points with a demographic of her base for future campaigns. After all, he continued, no matter how unpopular President Obama was with most Texans, with the right narrative she could woo those Obama polled well with, Hispanics.
A Davis spokesman, Bo Delp, provided only brief a brief description of the visit. According to the Dallas Morning News, the only topic worthy of mention in their discussion was how important the Voting Rights Act was and its historical voting impact in Texas. It’s apparent from this release that Davis kept to her own counsel about whether to seek publicity of her visit with Obama.
Without establishing her own narrative about her private moment with Obama, Davis’ opponent for the governorship of the Texas, Republican Greg Abbott, was left to thread the political needle as he pleased. Abbott was quick to seize the opportunity.
In a statement from his spokesman Matt Hirsch, Abbott accused Davis of keeping the meeting private because she was worried about how a meeting with an unpopular president might impact her politically. He pointed out that last month Davis had said she wouldn’t be one of those Democrats who were too afraid of political repercussions to meet with the president, and now it appeared her decision to meet with him in private was ” yet another flip-flop.”
Abbott’s statement further assumed, “President Obama and Sen. Davis bonded,” over issues unpopular in Texas, such as Obamacare and placing limits on Second Amendment. What Texans wanted, claims Abbott, is governorship by someone who embraces values Texans hold dear, hardly the liberal ideals of big government that Davis and Obama have in common.