Perry ready for Obama trip to Texas
This ought to be good. The president is on his way to Texas today to tout his "jobs" agenda and GOP Governor Rick Perry will be on hand to greet him.
Just after noon on Thursday, as Obama steps off Air Force One in Austin, Perry plans to be again waiting on the tarmac. This time, with a message about the economy.
"Gov. Perry simply plans to welcome the president to Texas and perhaps encourage him to implement Texas' successful economic policies nationwide," Perry spokesman Josh Havens said.
After his encounter with Perry, Obama has a busy afternoon scheduled. While that visit in 2010 centered on a speech on higher education at the University of Texas, this trip is about promoting Obama's efforts to spur economic growth.
His decision to come to Texas is notable, as Perry has worked to frame the state's strong economic performance in recent years as a result of Republican policies that keep taxes low and regulation light. And while Obama has struggled to pursue his economic agenda -- hampered by a divided Congress and a large federal debt -- Perry and the Republican-led Texas Legislature are debating what to do with a large budget surplus.
The president will first stop at Manor New Tech High School, where positive results with a collaborative teaching style have gained national attention. The school and student body spent the week preparing for the visit, including postponing some end-of-course exams.
Afterward, Obama will meet with technology workers at the Austin facility of Applied Materials, the world's largest maker of chip manufacturing equipment. Austin's city council plans to recess a scheduled meeting early so that the council and Mayor Lee Leffingwell can attend the meeting, said Amy Everhart, a spokeswoman for the mayor.
Why the trip to Texas for Obama? The president is stopping in Austin, a liberal bastion in a deeply red state. He will no doubt make a "you didn't build that" speech at the high school and may talk government assisted worker training at the plant. He may even try to make the point that Texas is working in partnership with Washington to create all these good jobs.
This is Obama's second trip to Texas in two weeks and he may be laying the groundwork for a massive Democratic effort to turn Texas from red to blue by 2016. Most analysts believe that to be a pipe dream, but changing demographics will probably allow the Democrats to challenge for primacy in the Lone Star state within the next decade.