He could have gone out on top. Despite a term marked by turmoil and graft, Pat McCrory had set the stage for a dignified exit. The governor had managed a hurricane, boosted his approval ratings, and avoided a humiliating blowout loss. An opportunity for redemption awaited.
But he didn’t have it in him. Our first ever losing governor decided to compound his disrepute.
McCrory lost on election day. But given the relatively narrow deficit he faced, few would have begrudged him a few more days. It became clear within a week, however, that provisionals were steadily weakening his position. Respect for the truth–and for the voters–indicated that he should bow out. Instead he chose to cling to office, which made him look small and desperate–much like four years of catering to legislative bullies.
And so he continued on for a month. The longer he stayed in, the more contemptible his antics became. Before long, he was accusing his own constituents of criminal behavior. Even a 101-year-old veteran got caught in the slanderous dragnet.
It’s hard to remember just how strong McCrory once looked. Sitting on a pile of cash, backed by the whole business community, Candidate Pat seemed destined for a national future. Having come to Raleigh with everything, he now leaves with little at all. Especially not dignity.
Alexander Jones is an original contributor to PoliticsNC.
FREE NC and the rest of DIXIE from the so called “union” of states. McCrory the carpetbagger. At all levels of government, STOP electing yankees under the impression that by living in NC for a period of time that they are of NC. No matter what Cooper does at least he is a NC native.
Strange how being from somewhere else is regarded as some kind of shortcoming in much of the South, although rarely have I seen it so tied to the old Confederacy. NC and “Dixie” do not have a monopoly on integrity, logic, education, compassion, nor any other responsible human trait. As for McCrory being a carpetbagger, in late 2014 forty percent of NC residents were from another state and frequently those states were not from “Dixie.” It is not where he was born that makes him an inadequate governor. It is his lack of integrity, a trait obviously shared by some born and bred GOP legislators given their conduct this week.
North Carolina was once a place known not just for bootlegging and barbeque, but for the Research Triangle, the finest state university system in the nation (and the oldest), the School of the Arts, and a host of other programs that made us “the New South” while the rest of Dixie was still wallowing in the self-pity of losing the battle against Jim Crow and Civil Rights. We were known as a state with values, a rational approach to the modern world, and a willingness to change from and atone for the sins of our forefathers, ranging from the Wilmington coup d’etat of 1898 to the lynchings of the 1910s and ’20s (and into the ’40s) and the racism of Jesse Helms and his fellows.
We were known as the enlightened southern state that put to shame such backwaters as Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and avoided such racists and demagogues as Lester Maddox and George Wallace and Strom Thurmond. We were the place that showed the way into the future, and that states all over the country emulated. We were the state that passed the Clean Smokestacks Act that force surrounding states to clean up their air, benefiting not just Tar Heels but tens of millions of residents of Tennessee, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Under the new regime, we have positioned ourselves to compete with Wisconsin as the home of the new-alt-right tyranny; with Kansas as the base where utterly failed economic policies are imposed; and with Louisiana as the place where the gummint sells its seed corn, gives the proceeds to bidness, and leaves the poor citizens to wallow in the polluted water and cough up the filthy air and dream of the days when they could at least afford dog food in their old age.
I think that Pat and his Cronnies must sleep in coffins at night dreaming of whose blood they can take when they arise. Sorry lot of them. Payback is a mother
Very well said!
Yes, NC had all of those attributes, and I suspect many people who moved here from other states during that time and even the first few years of this decade came in part because of all that. NC was the only state below the Mason Dixon line that seemed to have joined the 20th century with grace and energy. Now, and especially after this past week in Raleigh, I honestly don’t know why one would choose to move here. The power grab by the GOP and the punitive attitude toward anything that is not GOP sanctioned is not just frustrating, it is bad government. The special exemption passed to allow McCrory to appoint the wife of one of his staff to a six figure job is the height of pay to play.
Democracy depends on at least a modicum of fairness and an acceptance that neither side will seek to utterly destroy the other. This week has proved the GOP of NC does not wish to be part of that kind of government.
And the excuse that DEMs did it in the past is ridiculous. Even a preschool kid knows better than to justify their behavior by saying “but he did it.” Wrong is wrong, and like gerrymandering, voter suppression, HB1, this grab bag of legislation these past few days restructuring many powers of the governor’s office are mostly wrong. The explanation that legislators are closer to the people than a governor is the political version of putting lipstick on a pig, or in this case, an elephant.
McCrory is the kind of guy you like – until you get to know him. He seemed like a nice ribbon-cutter of a man, a back-slapper with a big smile, harmless and amiable. Now he looks like a guy being evicted and clinging to the leg of his desk as the sheriff drags him out of the governor’s mansion. Each move he makes is more frantic and desperate as he gives up all pretense of grace and aplomb.
He leaves behind a business of ferrets on Jones Street, frantically chewing the face off the next governor. North Carolina was once a place known for its bootlegging and barbecue, charming and quaint like episodes of “Mayberry RFD.”
Today, the people shake their heads as our Legislature and governor go to great lengths to kick black people out of the voting booths, poor people out on the street, and sick people out of hospitals. Even though they pretend to be lawmakers, they show complete contempt for the source of our laws – the Constitution. Republicans are a blight on the state and an embarrassment to the people. Only the mean-spirited can take comfort in their schadenfreude. But the misfortune visited upon our neighbors will eventually redound to us. It comes around again.
And Roy will save the day. I bet in 4 years you will want Pat back.
Roy kept a law suit going for 12 years. I guess you forgot about that. Roy stole the attorney general’s race in 2000. Also he did not do his job as attorney general. Was not a very good representative in the general assembly.
But we will see how the next 4 years go.
I guess when your children use the same shower and locker room, it will be great.
You’re a moron.
Let McCrazy just go away, get on someone else’s nerves. We all know that he thought the flood would save him, but that only made people remember all the shoddy state work done on the highways that gave way in the flood with sand as foundation instead of rock.
Alex, you are right on the mark. In all of the years I worked with candidates, I strongly emphasized that there are two events in your campaign that will live as long at least long as you do: when you announce your candidacy and when you leave elective office. McCrory had a good start but ended his public service on a sour, self-serving, whining note for which he will long be remembered. Of course, it didn’t have to end that way. But watch what happens. McCrory will be remembered for the way he ended his campaign and term as governor. Too bad, but some never learn, do they?
The end of his term may well be remembered for his leadership in dealing with the flooding disasters in eastern NC and the wildfires that ravaged parts of western NC and for calling a Special Session of the NCGA to provide relief for those areas.
While he no doubt will continue to be castigated by liberal pundits in places like Raleigh and Chapel Hill that were not impacted by flooding or wildfires, I suspect he will be remembered quite favorably by those adversely affected by the natural disasters that occurred in the fall of 2016.
Ebrun, can’t speak to his contribution to east coast flooding but sure can to his contribution to thr fires since they’re literally in my back yard, He did nothing. The rain put them out (to the extent that they are out). Sadly not in time to save Gatlinberg & Pigeon Forge from a fire that started in NC.
I believe you’re expecting too much if you think the Governor is going to be out with a fire hose every time a wildfire flares up. The role of the Governor is to take the lead in seeing that the victims of natural disasters are provided assistance and relief from their government. In this regard, Governor McCrory has done an outstanding job seeking assistance from the feds and providing leadership for the NCGA.
As a lame duck governor, he has no political advantage to gain. He is doing the job he was elected to do and doing it well, despite losing his bid for re election.
Funniest Ebrun post is quite a while!
Here we have this blog forum’s “less government is best government” neo-con extolling the virtues and role of government “providing assistance and relief” to NC citizens in need.
Of course, he didn’t lecture us on government’s duty to “provide assistance and relief” when thousands of unemployed NC’ers were thrown unnecessarily and prematurely off unemployment assistance rolls by the GOP-led NCGA and GOP governor, or when personal income and hundreds of jobs were lost due to cancellation of capital expansions or entertainment events stemming from HB2, or as Medicaid wasn’t expanded to cover healthcare for over 400,000 near-poor NC’ers since 2012.
Good article & analysis, Alex. In your honor, I am changing my version of Pat’s surname from “McCrony” to “McWhiney”–at least for the holidays.
So much for that outside the box perspective. Thats just mainstream media talking points. My 8 year old could have written this.
Well, your 8 year old is definitely going to receive great marks in some aspects of his education. But I am curious why you think McCrory lost and how you would expect a losing candidate to comport himself or herself. Please keep in mind that none of the re-counts, etc. proved any voter fraud. I believe there was one felon who voted, but apparently even that may be in question as the conviction seems to have occurred after the casting of an early or absentee vote.
Please enlighten me as to what constitutes an “out of the box” perspective with regard to someone who appears to be simply a sore loser.
So much for your “inside-my-echo-chamber” perspective. Did your 8 year old write that comment for you?
JT, we love ya!
McCrory is a decent person who was simply a victim of the Peter Principle and a Legislature who had no respect for him or the common good of NC. He will land on his feet as a lobbyist for some right-wing group or as a corporate lapdog. A space holder in NC history.
Chances are he goes back to Moore & Van Allen.