“Talking About Politics” recently posted a piece which argued Senator Hagan should decline to seek re-election and instead wait three and a half years to run for governor. His/her case stems from an intuitive premise, but does not hold up to scrutiny. Hagan should stay put.
The blogger thinks Hagan should leave the Senate because the body never accomplishes anything, and she could do more good for her state in Raleigh. It’s true that she has responsibilities to her state, but Hagan owes a deeper loyalty to her country. In this regard, she must do what should can to keep the U.S. Senate from becoming a right-wing playground. As we have seen here, Republican-controlled legislatures possess the destructive power of wrecking balls. Thus, Hagan has a duty to maintain the Senate’s Democratic control.
Next, the blogger argues “there’s no obvious Chosen One” to take on Pat McCrory. I disagree; United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx is now the most prominent Democrat from North Carolina. Besides, Hagan’s main political asset is her status as the incumbent Senator. She doesn’t have a big enough profile in the state to enter the governor’s race as a prohibitive favorite. Plus, her fundraising network would lose value when state budgeting replaced gun control at the top her agenda.
So far, Hagan looks solid against her Senatorial opponents. Name recognition might change that, but then it might not. Voters won’t like that Thom Tillis wants to put a gun on every greenway. Nor would the Democratic party like to equip President Ryan with an enthusiastic Republican Congress. So if some want to see a Hagan governorship, they ought to wait.