posted on September 19, 2013 13:26
Governor McCrory has learned one thing about his new job: He’s not in Charlotte anymore, Toto. And he doesn’t like it.
At a news conference, the Governor vented thinly veiled frustration at how politics is played in Raleigh. WRAL reported:
“Asked if he was concerned about the scrutiny DHHS has faced, McCrory said it was that scrutiny itself that is the problem.
"’I do want to say one concern I have right now, and I will say I read the article today, one concern I have in the future for all the future hires that my cabinet secretaries have to make is that is – I'm extremely concerned at the deep –‘ McCrory said, pausing.
“He then re-started his thought.
"’I'm very concerned in hiring future people who want to come into state government for a temporary amount of time, the intrusion into their personal life by people, political operatives and others, that will distract people from wanting to be engaged in public service for a year or two,’ he said. ‘That's my one concern about what I read this morning’."
Ponder the irony. He is complaining about “political operatives” intruding into the “personal lives” – that is, public salaries and public records – of his own political operatives who have been hired to jobs paying $85,000, $87,500 and $95,000 a year.
And his comments assured that the “intrusion” would be rehashed again on the front page and the 6 p.m. news.
Such “intrusion” didn’t bother McCrory during the four years he campaigned for Governor blasting away at everything Governor Perdue and her Cabinet did and said. Now he doesn’t like it.
The fact is, Raleigh is a tough place to play politics. And it’s very different from the world I came up in during the 70s, 80s and 90s.
There were more capital reporters then, and they competed aggressively. But journalists have editors, and they play by a set of rules.
Today, the media ranks have thinned. But they’re just as tough, if not tougher. WRAL prides itself on its capital coverage. The N&O, the paper McCrory may have read, has cut back its daily reporting on government. But it has stepped up its investigative reporting. Witness Governors Easley and Perdue.
The biggest change is that today any fool with a computer or iPad can talk to every other fool with a computer or iPad or iPhone. Witness Carter and me.
The universe of “political operatives” and alternative sources of news and commentary has exploded. It’s not just the political parties now; they have almost disappeared from the debate. ProgressNC dogs the Governor. Sarah Ovaska at N.C. Policy Watch broke the DHHS salary story. Rose Hoban at N.C. Health News wrote a brilliant essay on DHHS’ communications problems. Public Policy Polling takes the public’s temperature daily. Even the conservative Civitas Institute had a post criticizing McCrory for “cronyism” before backing down.
It’s the nature of politicians to complain about media and outside critics. President Obama did it over Syria, complaining about Washington’s obsession with “style points.”
But, in politics, you should never let the critics see you sweat. It just eggs us on.
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