Bill Faison is like a boxer who took a knockout swing, missed and left himself wide open for the counterpunch.
The day after Monday’s indictments, Faison told Laura Leslie at WRAL-TV: “I think, ultimately, Gov. Perdue will do the right thing and decide not to run. I don’t believe you’ll ever see her file.”
That generated the most dreaded of all political stories – the one with headlines starting “Members of the Governor’s Own Party…”
Team Perdue was not happy, and Mark Farinella shot back on camera:
“Bill Faison thinks he ought to have a higher office. He wants to be governor or senator or president, and he thinks the way to do that is to spread innuendos and falsehoods about someone else. She is running, and Mr. Faison, I think, needs to come to terms with that. He is not going to be the Democratic candidate for governor, as much as he wants to.”
Faison didn’t help himself. His statement looked self-serving rather than statesmanlike. He angered a lot of Democrats who want to give Perdue a chance to weather this storm.
Faison had done a good job in recent months pushing a jobs message and jabbing at Republicans. He has been on Twitter and Facebook constantly.
But too much naked ambition is never a good thing, especially when you’re taking advantage of fellow Democrat’s troubles.
One Democrat said of him: “He couldn’t beat David Parker for party chair. What makes him think he can beat Bev Perdue in a primary?”
And let’s talk about the optics, as they say. Faison has a lean and hungry look. Then there’s his bald head, Fu Manchu mustache and trial-lawyer persona. The last thing he wants to do is look meaner. People like tough politicians, but not mean ones.