It’s been a great week for baseball in North Carolina. On Sunday, N. C. State secured a place at the College World Series in Omaha. Yesterday, UNC beat South Carolina to join the Wolfpack. And on Monday, Governor Pat McCrory played catch outside the capital.
The State-UNC game next Sunday promises plenty of drama since the last time they met UNC came out victorious after 18 innings in the ACC tournament. And McCrory’s game of catch? Not so much drama as disdain.
You see, around 4:30 or so, a group of children pulling little red wagons showed up at the governor’s office in the State Capitol to deliver 16,000 petitions asking the governor to protect public education. Unfortunately, the Governor was in a meeting that would last until 5:00. Little did we know that the meeting was located on the other side of the Capitol and involved a baseball, a couple of gloves and staff.
Even though there are photos with time stamps, the governor issued a lame statement blaming liberal interest groups. Maybe school kids are an interest group (Personally I’ve never really thought of them that way), but they can’t vote and, as 5 or 6 year olds, I doubt seriously they have much of a political ideology.
But the episode brings to light a troubling trend. When it comes to issues, Pat McCrory has been an absentee governor. He won’t meet with his critics and he won’t comment on the foibles of his own party. We know from his budget that he wants to cut 5,000 teacher aide positions, but where does he stand on allowing guns in bars and on college campuses? What’s he think about shortening the early voting period? Why did he allow the legislature to run over him on the Medicaid expansion?
He did a series of softball interviews at the end of May, but otherwise McCrory has been hidden away avoiding conflict. We have one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates, structural unemployment in our rural sector and crazy people in the legislature. We need a governor who’s going to be engaged in more than just a friendly game of catch with his buddies.