By Carole on Sep 6, 2011
Texas Governor Rick Perry provided a glimpse of the kind of president he might be when he skipped the chance to participate in a nationally televised political forum to do his job. Mr. Perry was slated to appear with other GOP presidential contenders at Senator Jim DeMint's (R-South Carolina) Palmetto Freedom Forum on Labor Day, but instead he rushed back to work as a roaring wildfire raced across Central Texas.
According to officials, at least 5,000 people were forced from their homes in Bastrop County and nearly 500 homes have already been destroyed by the as yet uncontrolled blaze. Governor Perry cut his trip to South Carolina short, cancelled at least the start of his next campaign trip to California and went home to tend to business.
After viewing the fire from the air, the governor conferred with local officials and then held a press conference on the status of the fire and the efforts to fight it. When asked if he still planned on participating in Wednesday's GOP presidential debate he said, "I’m not paying any attention to politics right now. There’s plenty of time to take care of that. People’s lives are in danger. That’s substantially more important."
Duty before politics. It’s what President Barack Obama demanded from others Monday while making his latest fire-up-the-base political speech in Detroit.
Of course it's possible and even necessary for an elected official to campaign for re-election or higher office while still doing his current job effectively. But it is during those campaigns when voters can clearly see a politician's priorities.
Yesterday in the face of horrendous economic news and a dismal jobs report, President Obama chose to hit the road and spout partisan rhetoric in front of a friendly crowd. Governor Perry chose to abandon a golden opportunity to advance his political career and concentrated instead on the responsibilities of his current office.
Could the difference in their priorities be any clearer?
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