This piece was first published on July 31, 2013 and is part of our Best of PoliticsNC 2013 series. If you enjoy reading PoliticsNC, please consider a donation to help keep us afloat.
Yesterday, Pat McCrory gave a plate of cookies to a group of women protesting in front of the governor’s mansion. It angered the protesters and lit up traditional and social media sites. The women sent the cookies back and considered the gesture condescending, according theNews & Observer.
I think they got it wrong, though. The episode aptly defines Pat McCrory. He wasn’t trying to be condescending. He was trying to be nice.
Pat McCrory just wants to be liked. His effort was sincere but full of the same naivety that he’s shown throughout his term. Essentially, he used cookies as an olive branch. Pathetic, but not mean.
After seven months in office, McCrory still doesn’t understand the world in which he’s operating. State politics is more bruising than Charlotte politics in the best of times. But he’s thrown his lot with a group of people who are stripping away rights and dismantling successful institutions that took years, even decades, to build. Unfortunately, he’s not bright enough to understand what they are doing or the impact on the people who oppose it. In the fight for the soul of our state, McCrory is a hapless spectator who still doesn’t understand the rules of the game or what’s ultimately at stake.
In Charlotte, McCrory listened to his handlers in the business community and they generally steered him in the right direction. They had their own quality of life to protect. He did what they wanted, the city flourished and McCrory was generally well liked, even respected.
In Raleigh, McCrory’s handlers have made him the patsy. They’ve turned his campaign promises into lies and made him one of the most conservative governors in the country. If he understood political ideology, he’d be pissed. If he understood the damage they’ve done, he’d understand the outrage. But he doesn’t.
He simply sees people outside his house waving signs and chanting slogans who are obviously mad at him. His response? Give ‘em cookies. That’s his way of saying, “No hard feelings.” Bless his heart.