For those who waited in line to see him, President Obama’s Tuesday fundraising visit to San Antonio was a heartening reminder of the man’s undiminished charisma. For those who held Obama-go-home placards outside the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, the stop merely confirmed their suspicions that this chief executive’s time and attention come with a hefty ($250 and up) price tag. For me, the visit was a good excuse to think about the electoral college.
Between them, Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney have made four trips to Texas this year, and every single one of them has been of the take-the-money-and-run variety – open only to those who are willing to open their wallets. If either candidate sets foot in Texas anytime in the next four months, it won’t be for a meet-the-masses campaign rally, but for another fundraising pit stop.
It’s no secret that Texas is irrelevant in presidential politics. Romney knows he’s going to carry the state, so he doesn’t bother to campaign here. Obama knows he’s going to lose the state, so he doesn’t bother to campaign here, either. But we’ve got plenty of company on the political scrap heap. At least 35 of this country’s 50 states will be ignored during this fall’s presidential race, and we can blame most of it on the electoral college.