Biden’s little political snub from Governor Kay Ivey belittles the post she’s been striving to keep
This is an opinion column.
That’s a shame. Really. A fraud, too.
“[We’re] here to do business, not politics.
That’s what our governor said. That’s what Kay Ivey said nearly three weeks ago when asked if the anti-gender equality laws she just signed could negatively impact the state. Could get business leaders – those who value the right of families to make their own medical decisions – the right of young people to use the bathroom that aligns with the gender they identify with, if his signature could make them think before planting their company’s flag in our intolerable state.
She was in Mobile County that day. Near Theodore, boasting two companies planting seeds at the new South Alabama Logistics Park (SALP) complex. DC Safety, one of the companies, is moving its headquarters to the New York complex.
“[We’re] here to do business, not politics,” she said then.
Now she is in politics, not business. Not his office business. Failing to perform his duty.
That’s a shame. And a deception.
The President of the United States comes to Alabama. A hated president, right word to use, by a preponderance of Alabamians. Yet he comes.
A president who couldn’t win this state in an election if he ran against the air. Even polluted air.
Yet he comes.
To do business.
More on Biden’s visit to Alabama:
Big Mac’s and Tacky’s: Revisiting Presidential Visits to Alabama
What brings President Joe Biden to Republican-dominated Alabama?
‘It won’t sway opinions: Weighing in on Biden’s visit to Alabama
President Joe Biden is expected to come to Alabama on Tuesday to rural Rural ultra-Republican Pike County. He comes to praise the merits of the Lockheed Martin factory near Troy, where 600 employees manufacture missiles that help Ukrainians fight off Russian military tanks that attack them. (They reportedly claimed to have destroyed over 1,000 Russian tanks.)
Biden comes to Alabama to do business. Presidential affairs.
Yet, rather than honoring the business of his office and welcoming him to our state—a rare occurrence for Alabama, no matter who lives in the West Wing—Ivey is playing politics.
Petty, petulant, penny-ante politics.
His person told us last week that the governor had “pre-commitments” and “will not be involved” in the visit.
The commitments were not disclosed. That’s no surprise, because there are very few “commitments” that aren’t worth a governor tossing about when a sitting president comes to your state.
Maybe she thinks Biden saw her re-election ads, which could trick anyone into thinking she’s running against the POTUS, not the Alabama nominee. Maybe he saw them and is coming for a debate.
Of course, Ivey doesn’t show up for those either.
The snub is really a shame. And a deception.
We have long been a two-part nation, but one that historically respects office, regardless of the political leanings of the incumbent. Even here. Even in Alabama.
On June 14, 2010, my colleague John Sharp recently reminded us that Governor Bob Riley, a Republican, broke bread (in fact, crawfish tails, royal reds, fried pickles, claws of crab and seafood salads) with President Barack Obama, a Democrat, at Tacky Jack’s in Orange Beach. (The city’s mayor, Republican Tony Kennon, joined them.)
The president was here to liaise with state officials after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill that would ultimately cost Alabama $3.3 billion in economic output – lost revenue and jobs – according to the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama.
Business, not politics.
Five years later, Republican Governor Robert Bentley joined President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at an event at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Blood Sunday when state troopers attacked unarmed peaceful protesters as they attempted to march. to the state capitol in Montgomery for equal voting rights.
History, not politics.
Alas, of course, these are not moments that honor dignity or decorum. Even less in the middle of our childish and banal election season.
It’s politics rather than position. Mean on purpose.
It is a shame that makes a sham of the highest office in our state.
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Roy S. Johnson is a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary and winner of the 2021 Edward R. Morrow Prize for Podcasts: “Unjustifiable,” co-hosted with John Archibald. His column appears in The Birmingham News and AL.com, as well as the Huntsville Times, the Mobile Press-Register. Join it at [email protected]follow him on twitter.com/roysjor on Instagram @roysj.