What about Floyd, Fred?

fred-smith.jpgState 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He said policy stances can quickly become outdated, pointing to Hurricane Katrina.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.


  1. Stephanie

    June 18, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    And this is just an addition to a column about books by pols, not an endorsement– but now-Treasurer Richard Moore wrote “Faces from the Flood” about his experience working in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd. The way we learn to manage government is from reading how others have managed it, and from critiquing our own handling of situations.

  2. Leslie H

    June 20, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Senator Smith wants to be Governor, but he sees pre-planning for big problems or emergencies as something “no one could have done”? Sounds like somebody else who didn’t think planning for “the worst” was possible down in New Orleans. Doesn’t sound much like somebody I’d want in my state’s Governor’s office.

  3. Jackson Stancil

    June 20, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Actually there was a plan that the incompetent mayor did not follow. Did you ever wonder why the Governor would not declare a state of emergency before the storm hit like President Bush asked her to do? If she had done that then the National Guard could have been on the seen ALOT earlier and lives could have been saved. Does anyone know about the supervisors of the levy’s and their corruption over the years with federal money? This whole Katrina blame game is ridiculous and childish. I guarantee that Fred Smith will be prepared. He has been in business all is life and not some government crony that only knows how government does things. If these government boys and girls on the ballot had to work in the real world like Fred, they would go broke with there socialist policies. I’m voting for Fred and proud to put my name behind it.

  4. Adam Searing

    June 21, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Wait, I thought Senator Smith was working in government right now and is interested in the top job in NC government – running the state!

    In fact, take a look at David Walker’s testimony – he is pretty critical of everyone – regardless of party or whether they were a federal or state official and remember, Hurricane Andrew happened well before the current administration took office.

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