Governor McCrory’s poll numbers remain relatively strong – especially in comparison to the General Assembly’s  – and thus far it’s easy to see why. The Guv is an affable guy who smiles a lot and mostly avoids picking public fights. He signs popular bills in front of TV cameras and unpopular ones behind closed doors. When he is confronted with a tough public question you can wager that his response will be: a) a poll-tested sound bite, b) a promise to study and “fix” the problem, or c) both.
The common assumption thus far is that McCrory’s outward superficiality is simply a strategic move: Why get all caught up in the weeds of any number of controversial issues when you can respond with a platitude or blame your predecessor’s supposed failures? And that may be the ultimate explanation. Today, however, there were at least a couple of troubling signs that the superficiality you see may really be all there is.
Number One was the embarrassing, 100 second budget “teaser”  that the Governor’s office sent out in anticipation of tomorrow’s release of a proposed 2013-14 budget. Really Governor? This is how you preview the most important legislative proposal of your first year in office — with an extended and vacuous TV commercial? Talk about your permanent campaigns!
Number Two was an item in the Governor’s official newsletter that was sent out early this morning. Item #3 in the newsletter is a little story about an editorial in the Rocky Mount Telegram entitled: “McCrory takes pragmatic view of Medicaid.”  Apparently, McCrory’s staffers liked the title so much that they threw it in hoping that nobody would read the whole thing.
The newsletter quotes the following section from the editorial:
“Gov. Pat McCrory at the time had asked legislative leaders to delay action on the bill while his administration studied the condition of the Medicaid program and weighed the consequences of getting on board with the federal government to expand Medicaid eligibility to as many as 500,000 low-income North Carolinians.”
What the newsletter conveniently leaves out is the sentence that followed immediately thereafter:
“Republican legislative leaders ignored his request.”