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McCrory’s first Raleigh press conference

Governor-elect Pay McCrory just concluded his first Raleigh press conference since his election on Tuesday. All in all, it was a relatively smooth performance in which he avoided controversial topics, got mostly easy questions and did his best to project an image of action, frugality and, for lack of a better word, “down-to-earthness.”

All in all, he gets a B.

There were only a few red flag moments that stood out:

1) McCrory quickly seemed over his head on health care reform and the matter of implementing a state-based exchange. All he could muster was that the matter was complex, that he needed to study it and confer with Governor Perdue, and that Washington was failing to provide adequate guidance. This last point is, in a word, baloney. Other states are already well on their way to implementing reform and are getting all the help they need. Let’s hope this comment was just left-over campaign rhetoric and that his appointment of UNC Health Care’s Kelly Nicholson as “Policy Director” of his transition signifies that he will take the matter more seriously than he did during the campaign.

2) Art Pope’s presence. The controversial, right-wing mastermind was standing just to McCrory’s left during the event. When asked about it during the conference by a reporter, all the Guv-elect could do was mouth platitudes about what a great guy and businessperson Pope is, while never really explaining his role. He also alleged that Pope had a “great relationship” with Governor Perdue. Really? Let’s hope McCrory had Pope there as more of a figurehead token to the far right rather than in a position of genuine influence.

3) The presence of other Pope people including former Pope-Civitaser Thomas Stith (who McCrory called the “CEO” of his transition).  Still remains to be seen how much power Stith will wield, but this is also worrisome.

Bottom line: Things are just getting started and we should all hope for the best. But no one should hold their breath waiting for North Carolina’s Governor-elect to chart a moderate course.

12 Comments


  1. david esmay

    November 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Why would Pope be at McCrory’s press conference? Watching his investment or were they working on a new ventriloquist act? Did Pat continue talking while Art sipped his water?

  2. david esmay

    November 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    With Pope pulling the strings, Stith doing the dirty work, and McCrory being the mouth piece, it’s going to be a sociopathic right wing hot mess. 2013 will be the new 1890 in NC.

  3. Frances Jenkins

    November 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    For the love of God, give this man a chance. When Obama won, I was deeply disappointed. I wanted to yell about Fast and Furious, Libya and how the press has as always given Obama a free pass. But I decided to give the man a chance. He won and he is our leader. Our nation and our state are at the edge of a cliff. We need jobs and our people are hurting. Many, many women and children were added to the poverty list in the past four years. Change is needed. Money has bought elections on both sides. Get your head out of the sand and give him a chance. If he fails, he fails on his own.

  4. Lisa Finaldi

    November 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Talk about a red flag. The line up at the press conference shows the true colors of our Governor elect – and it happened at his first press conference. Get ready for more denial of climate change, more denial of rights to gays, more attacks on clean energy – and the list goes on. The only people missing from the press conference were the Koch brothers.

  5. Louie

    November 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I guess Holly Nicholson will be put in charge of implementation of the Affordable Care Act. John Boehner has said he will not be seeking repeal next session of congreess, so the McCrory implenntation will be tasked with bring health care reform to NC.

  6. david esmay

    November 9, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Frances you’re delusional as usual. What we are going to have in NC is a shadow government run by the edicts of Pope, the Koch bros., and ALEC. You will soon find out, Blue states are like Scandinavia, Red states, Guatemala.

  7. Frank Burns

    November 9, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I would welcome the advice of successful businessmen like the Koch Brothers and Art Pople. It would be helpful for our state and for job creation. Any advice from George Soros would be bad as everything he pushes is bad for the economy.

  8. david esmay

    November 9, 2012 at 10:12 am

    That’s because you’re a tool Frank, and people like that, use people like you. That carrot they keep dangling in front of you is just to gain a better position to piss down your back.

  9. Frank Burns

    November 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

    David, If you can’t make any contributions to the discussion other than denigrate my opinion, then what you have to say is not worth much is it?

  10. Stephen

    November 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Frank, you’re a broken record! We could all write your posts for you, as they’re so utterly predictable. Your fact-free “opinions” aren’t worth denigrating, just pointing and laughing …

  11. david esmay

    November 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Frank, you add nothing to the discussion, that’s why I attack your opinions. If what conservatives like you claim about taxes, government spending, and social welfare programs were true, Sweden would look like Mississippi, and Mississippi would look like Sweden. The positions you and those on the right take have no precedent, historical or otherwise to substantiate any claim you make, in fact it’s quite the opposite. But it doesn’t stop you from repeating them ad infinitum.

  12. Frank Burns

    November 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    David, How have managed to survive as a nation for this long without all of your government programs and advocacy groups? The fact that you respond to my notes refutes your assertions.

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