What about Floyd, Fred?
State Senator Fred Smith, a Republican who would like to be NC’s Governor, just published a book. This must mean he is a serious candidate because all serious candidates for political office have to publish a book these days. Anyway, the Senator’s book is about his life and not a “policy manual” as the News and Observer noted this morning. As the Senator says he just wants to tell his story since he’s:
been marred by dust, sweat and blood. But I have never risked a place among those timid souls who never taste victory or defeat.
Stirring words. However, in the N+O story, Smith defended his lack of policy prescriptions:
He said policy stances can quickly become outdated, pointing to Hurricane Katrina. "No one could write a book about how they would handle that ahead of time," he said.
Uh, Senator? Several folks did, especially after Hurricane Andrew. US Comptroller General David Walker of the GAO took great pains to point that out in his first major testimony to Congress after Katrina. Walker made clear that not only was there massive failure of leadership but failure to heed clear warnings given by the GAO and others about the disastrous consequences of a massive hurricane strike on the Gulf coast and exactly what was needed to plan for such an event.
NC needs a Governor who wants to think about how to handle a natural disaster or a man-made one like our failure to fix our healthcare system. We need real plans for tackling serious policy problems – not just soundbites and “feel good” personal stories.