The handshake that was and the one that wasn’t

Texas Gov. Rick Perry greeted President Obama when he arrived in Texas today for two fundraisers. As I discussed here, Perry originally said he would not greet the president, proposing instead a meeting to discuss the illegal immigration crisis at the Texas border (and elsewhere).

In the end, the two reached a compromise. Obama invited Perry to a roundtable discussion on immigration and reportedly agreed to a one-on-one meeting. Perry greeted him at the airport.

By contrast, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall reportedly was nowhere to be found when Obama visited Colorado for a fundraiser on Udall’s behalf. According to ABC News:

In a last minute switch, Udall’s campaign said the senator planned to stay in Washington to vote on Obama’s nominee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who was confirmed by a wide margin. The decision is likely to spark new questions about the political risks for vulnerable Democrats in being linked with an increasingly unpopular president.

“Mark is grateful for the president’s support, and had hoped to welcome him to Colorado in person, but his responsibilities to serve Colorado in the Senate come first,” spokesman Chris Harris said.

The nominee in question, Julian Castro, was confirmed with 71 votes.

Udall also declined to attend Obama’s “economic speech” in Denver. He thereby made sure that he would not be photographed together with the president.

Would being photographed with Obama hurt Udall? At the margin, I suppose. But so, it seems to me, will Udall’s gutless refusal to be seen with the man for whom he has carried so much water, coupled with his transparently false excuse for taking a powder.

As a spokesman for Udall’s opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, said, “Senator Udall’s bizarre behavior these last few days will no doubt leave many Coloradans questioning his integrity, and rightly so.”

Until recently, Udall was merely a rubber stamp for Obama. Now, he’s been revealed as a coward, a phony, and a rubber stamp for Obama.

Rick Perry, meanwhile, is courteous, stand-up guy.

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