Watching Pat McCrory reminds me of the Saturday Night Live skit from the early ‘90s, “Pat.” Pat is an androgynous character and the skits usually revolve around people trying to determine whether Pat is a man or a woman. Pat McCrory is the same way except, instead of his gender, it’s his ideology that confounds.
Is McCrory the pragmatic, moderate guy that served as mayor of Charlotte or is he really one of the nation’s most conservative governors, as Nate Silver asserts? Is he going to stand up to the social conservatives who are damaging North Carolina’s “brand” or is he going to roll over? And does McCrory himself even know who he is?
McCrory campaigned as someone who would work with people of all political persuasions to move North Carolina forward, yet there’s no evidence that he is reaching out to any Democrats in the legislature. He said the state has a “strong foundation” with some cracks that need to be fixed, and yet he’s scrapping, not fixing, much of state government.
We need to know where McCrory stands on a number of issues. On Friday, his Secretary of Health and Human Services, Aldona Wos, blatantly lied and blamed Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin for refusing the federal government’s offer to expand Medicaid at no cost to the state. What does Pat McCrory have to say about that?
In the News & Observer today, we learned that McCrory’s Secretary of Public Safety, Kieran Shanahan, is continuing to work at his law firm, setting up potiential conflicts of interest as well as bringing into question whether he considers his government gig a full-time job. Does McCrory think the state is getting its money’s worth, especially in light of giving Shanahan an 11% raise before he even started the job?
And does Pat McCrory really believe that we need guns in bars and on college campuses? Does he believe, like many of his Republicans colleagues in the legislature, in the concept of personal mutually assured destruction? In other words, does he believe that more people with guns makes us safer?
There are a dozen or so other bills out there that would dramatically change the way state government works and the perception of the state by businesses looking to relocate here. We need to know where Pat McCrory stands. Aside from handing out incentives he opposed as a candidate, we haven’t heard much from the Governor.
So, where do you stand, Pat? And, more importantly, where is the press to ask the tough questions? So far, the Governor has gotten a pass. It’s time the media pull itself away from the admittedly salacious legislature and find out if the Governor is going to weigh in and offer a vision of his own or whether he’s just going to follow the lead of a legislature whose clear goal is to make us look more like Mississippi or South Carolina.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >