President Obama evidently has decided not to put a human face on the crisis unfolding at the southern U.S. border—not even his own.
The White House said over and over again Monday that Obama will not travel to the border with Mexico despite flying to Texas this week to raise money for Democratic candidates there.
It’s certainly in part a political decision, one meant to avoid taking ownership of a difficult issue on which the White House would prefer to share blame. But it’s also one that will inflame Obama’s critics on both the right and left who say the administration has been too passive in response to the thousands of young border-crossers swamping U.S. detention facilities.
Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, said the administration is “not worried about [the] optics” that the Texas visit will present, despite the fact that the president is expected Wednesday to attend a fundraiser at the home of a wealthy Dallas lawyer and then go to another in Austin at the home of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, according to The Dallas Morning News….
But even Democrats are raising eyebrows about Obama’s response. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, for instance, has charged that the White House was “not reacting fast enough.”
The timing of the Democratic fundraising events, planned long in advance, couldn’t be worse for the president politically.