President Obama evidently has decided not to put a human face on the crisis unfolding at the southern U.S. border—not even his own.
The White House said over and over again Monday that Obama will not travel to the border with Mexico despite flying to Texas this week to raise money for Democratic candidates there.
It's certainly in part a political decision, one meant to avoid taking ownership of a difficult issue on which the White House would prefer to share blame. But it's also one that will inflame Obama's critics on both the right and left who say the administration has been too passive in response to the thousands of young border-crossers swamping U.S. detention facilities.
In other words, if Obama goes to the border, he owns the problem. If he doesn't, he's blasted for a lack of leadership.
Obama's press secretary, Josh Earnest, said the administration is "not worried about [the] optics" that the Texas visit will present, despite the fact that the president is expected Wednesday to attend a fundraiser at the home of a wealthy Dallas lawyer and then go to another in Austin at the home of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, according to The Dallas Morning News. Tickets for each event will range from $10,000 per person to $32,400 a couple.