Pat McCrory just can’t help himself. When he meets with reporters, he tells them what he thinks sounds good, regardless of whether it’s true or not. Gary Pearce pointed out this trait earlier in the summer. Now that people have noticed, you would think that he would stop. I don’t think he can.
The latest flap has to do with another self-inflicted wound–the hiring of unqualified campaign staffers to high paying jobs that became even higher paying after $20,000 raises. McCrory should have been shocked and dismayed to have learned about this situation. Instead, he jumped in feet first to defend the indefensible. And he did it in such a way that he left himself no exit.
McCrory said, repeatedly, that these guys were the best qualified applicants for the job and that they beat out older, more experienced people. He went on to say that their pay was increased to meet the state pay scale for people with their skills and abilities. Well, it turns out that nobody can find these other applicants and they don’t have enough education and experience to qualify them for even entry level positions.
At some point, McCrory is going to tell the fib that makes him permanently damaged goods. The question is whether or not he has already done that. If not, he’s close.
I have a hunch that his approval ratings are in free fall right now. Other governors have seen their approval ratings in the toilet and have recovered. However, usually, their numbers tanked because of the economy or specific incidents and they had the political skills to recover.
McCrory does not. He has no sense of nuance and he makes definitive statements that leave him no room to maneuver. The most obvious example is his pledge not to sign the abortion restrictions that he later signed. But there are numerous other examples.
He said he went to Moral Monday protests but he didn’t. He said he never met the video sweepstakes operators but he did. Just last week, McCrory told a WLOS reporter that he “inherited a terrible budget from the previous administration.” In fact, the budget he inherited was from fellow Republicans Thom Tillis and Phil Berger. And in the latest episode, he told reporters that he was involved in the hiring process and that there were more applicants when there really weren’t.
So how does he back off of that? He can’t. So he just digs in and blames the media for his bad press.
And that’s his real problem. To recover, he needs the press. But after eight months of lying to reporters, blaming them for bad headlines and calling them incompetent, he’s lost credibility with the people he needs most. Unless he can rebuild those relationships, Pat McCrory is probably one and done.
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 >
McCrory’s approval rating is now in the 30’s, as of August 14. http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/08/mccrory-continues-to-drop.html#more
The only way McCory becomes permanently damaged is if the people of NC wake up and realize what a dishonest person he is, and how terrible the legislative actions taken by this GOP lead congress are for everyone but the rich and connected. Too many North Carolinians think a person is only electable if they are Republican. McCory is a puppet and a liar, but the real disaster is the group pulling his strings. ALEC is using NC as a test case for every legislative dream they’ve had, even those that have proven to be a bad idea. Wake up NC, pay attention, and do something about it, stop voting based on a party and look at the actual person.
If nothing else his multiple terms as Charlotte’s mayor tells me that the threshold for political greatness in Mecklenburg County is pathetically low. I never agreed with his views but I figured he had decent tactical skills….wrong.
The city of Charlotte is run by the city manager and city council. The mayor only votes in case of a council tie. His/her primary duty is to serve as a goodwill ambassador & hopefully encourage businesses etc. to relocate to the Charlotte area. I suggested to the Dalton campaign the slogan “Walter Dalton: more than just a pretty face” and am sorry they didn’t use it–although now I guess it would be “…a pretty face and a lying tongue.” Re McPhony’s current explan-oopses, in the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon!”
Thanks….that makes sense now.
One term is one to many.How do we cut this puppet’s strings and get North Carolina back on track?
And two days ago, the Gov was in Asheville mansplaining how the press just isn’t sophisticated enough to understand economics and big words like that. It was condescending, sure, but it was also stoopid. I know a few journalist types, and they’re not exactly a retiring bunch. Telling them they’re not bright enough to get your Big Ideas is not a clever way to build bridges, let’s say.
I think your premise here is spot on: the Guv is just not prepared to confront a skeptical press. Unless he changes tactics significantly, Governor McCrory faces a testy relationship with the press. Running against the press may not play well in the hinterlands or with independents. Didn’t you say a few weeks ago, “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel?” Well, it seems to me that you need a compelling reason to pick a fight with ALL the people who buy in by the barrel, and I fail to see one here.