You’ve got to hand it to someone who’s willing to take on her bosses. Both newly elected NCSU Board Chairman Bob Jordan and UNC system prez Erskine Bowles would like to see the back of the former First Lady (though not in a rude way) pronto. She not only had her attorney announce that she will not resign her position, she stood beside him while he said so. Mrs. Easley didn’t actually say anything at the presser, but she showed up, which was mildly gutsy. Not nearly as brassy as refusing to do the best thing by the university she serves, however. Here’s one of the highlights:
Mary Easley’s lawyer said she received her job on her own merits and said she was committed to continuing her work.
‘I’m of the view that women should not be pressured into taking a course of action as a consequence of the conduct of their spouse,’ he said.”
A regular feminist that dude is. What about her actions? What about trading on her husband’s position to get a job in the first place? Isn’t the political capital she accrued over his career part of her defense? In general, I agree with the idea that we can’t be held responsible for our spouse’s actions, but this case is more Gordian knot than spousal slip-up. Her resignation is just the sort of sword stroke called for now.
Yet, both Easleys remain not only unapologetic but downright defiant. Despite their benefactors dropping left and right, they’re both “comfortable” with what’s going down and satisfied that she, at least, has been “above board [and] transparent.” A cynic might think this is her last ditch effort to get all the money her contract would’ve paid her. I’m no cynic, so let’s take her at face value. Does she really believe she can go on in this position successfully? This is all so sordid, how can the Easleys not see it? Perhaps they’re just innocent little lambs, taking perk after perk while offering nothing in return. I’m sure they’re shocked, shocked at the implication that he put people on every board he could in return for free flights and, eventually, a fat contract for his wife. I can just see them performing an elaborate duet of Adelaide’s “Take Back Your Mink”: “I thought that each expensive gift you’d arranged was a token of your esteem. Now when I think of what you want in exchange, it all seems a horrible dream.” Sigh, Guys and Dolls, such a classic. The Easleys… classic political conflicts, definitely not classy.