Turning Texas Blue: Obama Tours Austin
President Obama recently conducted a "tech tour" of Austin, Texas looking to get more federal money sent to support Austin's tech boom.
The visit is part of a new campaign Obama is conducting across the country to cajole Congress into adopting some of the economic ideas he offered in his last State of the Union speech and his budget proposal.
In a visit to Applied Materials Inc., Obama said, "We’re poised for a time of progress, if we're willing to seize it."
The "it" he wants seized is greater federal spending. Obama has a long history of supporting "green" and tech spending on failed companies like Solyndra, Fisker Motors, and a score of other such bankrupted companies.
The President also warned that if Congress allowed "sequestration" to cut off funds to tech companies and research, "We could end up losing our edge" to companies in Asia.
Obama's visit to Austin was his second visit to Texas in as many weeks and had a secondary motive. Austin is one of the most liberal-leaning areas in the Lone Star State and Obama hoped to help spark the left's campaign to turn Texas away from Republican red and toward Democrat blue.
Democrats have a plan to knock the Republican juggernaut in Texas off its tracks. They've launched an ambitious project to locate and mobilize more progressive voters and Hispanic voters to wrest the state from the right.
The group spearheading the campaign is called Battleground Texas and supporters expect to spend tens of millions of dollars in the effort.
In a recent story on the group, field director Jeremy Bird said he is creating, "a grass-roots organization that will make Texas a battleground state by treating it like one."
The main line of attack the Democrats are taking is race-based. Democrats intend to paint all Republicans in Texas as Hispanic-hating racists. This is made clear by what Houston Mayor Annise Parker told Politico.
Do I think we’re going to turn Texas in two years? Probably not. Do I think we can turn Texas in four years? Absolutely, because I think the Republican Party in Texas is going to drive itself off a cliff. You hear Republicans with rhetoric, literally talking about the jack-booted thugs coming and taking guns out of people’s homes, going door to door. You have legislators who will file, once again, virulently anti-immigrant legislation in the state House.
Another Democrat key to this effort is newly installed DNC finance chair Henry Muñoz III, a citizen of San Antonio.
As a recent Washington Free Beacon article notes, Muñoz has a long history of political cronyism but is influential in the Texas Democrat Party and got his job with the DNC due to raising $500,000 for Obama's reelection--not to mention raising $35 million through the Futuro Fund, a pro-Obama PAC he co-founded with actress Eva Longoria.
Many Texas Republicans scoff at the idea that Democrats could reverse the red tide that has taken hold of the state. But one would be well reminded that Colorado was once thought a GOP stronghold, too. Yet Democrats devised a successful strategy to move the state into their column.