Under the threat of a "Katrina moment"--appearing to be aloof and disengaged during a crisis-- President Obama has rejected a visit to the southern border during his fund raising trip to Texas, but quickly set up a border "roundtable" discussion while in Dallas. Texas Governor Rick Perry has been invited to the hastily arranged roundtable as an alternative to Perry's invitation to take the President to the border to see the immigration crisis first hand.
This comes as the White House tries to clean up the mess created by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, when he couldn't answer the simple question, "will these underage illegals be staying in the U.S. or sent home?" during his Sunday interview on Meet The Press.
Countering the appearance that the administration's waffling on deportations might serve as an invitation to even more children being sent north by parents in Central America, the White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the kids will be sent home.
That was the zig and the zag of the last two days. Today another zig, as the White House said the President is going to hold off on deportation of the underage illegals.
Wow! This gets confusing: is the President going to demonstrate that the border is closed by loading underage illegals on planes and sending them home or not? At the moment, we're on "not." But that could, and most likely will, change if the President and the White House sniff the wind again, and find it is not blowing in their direction.
Can the President really come to Texas to fundraise and avoid going to the border? Now two Southwest Democrat congressmen have spoken out, saying it's an important issue and he should schedule a visit. Henry Cuellar said exactly that while making the comment that this issue could be Obama's Katrina Moment, and then Raul Grijalva, representing Arizona's 3rd district, chimed in, urging the President to go.
The White House would like this issue to go away, and revive another War on Women campaign, by suckering Republicans into an ambush debate on contraception that would drive single women voters to Democrats. You never know. Republicans might just be dumb enough to fall for it.
But the border mess, and the President's culpability by sending the message that kids won't be deported, are a two headed monster for this administration. The public is now acutely aware that the border crisis is getting worse, not better, and Presidential waffling--one day declaring tough enforcement, the next backing off-- appears to be to blame.