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10 August 2010
But Mr. Obama was undaunted and raised over $1 million for the Democratic National Committee at a hotel here. Mr. Obama asked, rhetorically, "Are we going to move forward, or are we going to move backwards?" That would seem to be a no-brainer, even to Texans. Unfortunately, there were none in the room. Later, he spoke to another empty banquet hall in Dallas, raising $650,000.
The shunning by members of his own political party is uncannily similar to the experience of his immediate predecessor. Mr. Bush, who moved from Crawford to Dallas, is only seen at the occasional rodeo, and is only admitted to the upper seats, and only if he wears a ten-gallon hat that hides his face in shadow. Back at his hotel suite, his ranching hobby is limited to five cockroaches in a terrarium, and even they avoid the feed trough until Mr. Bush leaves the room.
Mr. White, the candidate for governor, avoids mention of the fact that he is also a Democrat. He sometimes makes up a party name, such as the "New Texas Party," and sometimes just changes the subject or starts to whistle. He and other party members have been wary of appearing with the President, given voters' concerns about the economy, the border, the war, the other war, the health care law, and everything else Mr. Obama has touched.
But White House spokesman Bill Burton said Mr. Obama took no offense. He said it was not an obstacle to Mr. Obama's campaign to revitalize Texas Democrats that none of them wanted to be seen with him.
"They'll get their payback later," said Mr. Burton.