Greg Abbott's New Whiff

Governor says some nice things about Austin, for once

Pee-ew! (Illustration by the Chronicle Art Staff)

Turns out Greg Abbott’s issues with Austin and its freedom-hating stench have gone the way of the dodo, at least temporarily. In a set of prepared remarks to a Monday luncheon hosted by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the spiteful governor – who as recently as June derided Austin as devoid of “the smell of freedom” – got all cozy with his adopted city.

“It is no secret that the City of Austin is a top relocation destination for businesses and families across the nation,” offered the governor, before citing the city’s “vast potential for job growth and economic prosperity,” both of which “present a unique opportunity for hard-working Americans to come and fulfill their American dream.”

Gee, thanks. The comments came at a gathering attended by a “select group” of corporate participants taking part in the city’s “Mobility Challenge,” an ongoing effort of the city, Movability Austin, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Capital Metro, and the Thrival Company, so wethinks there was enough incentive to encourage the governor to put on his best no-I-would-never-denigrate-an-entire-city’s-population-and-values-even-though-I-am-their-governor-and-therefore-sworn-to-uphold-their-rights-and-ideals. The second half of Abbott’s remarks hung more on the “vital issue” of “unit[ing] Austin’s private sector to help take on the issue of traffic congestion,” which is cool, and hopefully an initiative he remembers next time he complains about not being able to chop down the heritage trees on his property.

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