Since winning reelection last November, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has clearly been using his mostly ceremonial office as a platform to run, more or less full-time, for Governor in 2020. As we reported in this space, Forest told attendees at a Craven County GOP event in February that he plans on being Governor of the state in 2021.
Since then, Forest has continued to spend a great deal of his time traveling the state (and the country), smiling for the camera, speaking to Republican groups and championing discriminatory laws like HB2. Rather remarkably, GOP lawmakers have now even gone to the trouble and expense of directly abetting this effort by inserting language in the state budget bill that will establish a taxpayer-funded, three-person security detail for Forest and his family that will serve at his complete discretion.
Interestingly and not surprisingly, however, despite all of the advantages that come with having a taxpayer-funded campaign platform, Forest, who has long represented the extreme right wing of the religious Right, continues to insert his foot in his mouth.
In the past, of course, Forest has raised eyebrows (and provoked guffaws) by claiming that Raleigh’s News & Observer inserts hidden message in its news headlines and co-founding an organization that purports to rate companies on their supposed devotion to conservative Christian ideals (the Sears catalog got downgraded for featuring lingerie ads). Now, if probably inadvertently, he’s done it again.
This is from a recent article in the conservative Republican publication known as North State Journal that was clearly intended to be a flattering puff piece on Forest:
“It’s obviously different,” said Forest, a Republican, of his relationship with new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper compared to Pat McCrory. “But it doesn’t change what we do on a daily basis. It certainly changes how we react and communicate with the governor’s office and the things the governor does and says obviously there’s going to be more reactionary commentary out there from us. It’s just the way it’s got to be.” (Emphasis supplied.)
To which all a caring and thinking person can say in response is: thanks for clarifying and confirming that for us Mr. Lt. Governor. No one really had any doubts about the matter, but it’s good to see you taking ownership of your positions and ideology.