Monday, August 27, 2007

The best endorsement is on a check

The other candidates running for governor in 2008 are no doubt disappointed that the government relations commission of the N.C. Association of Educators is recommending Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, a Democrat, to succeed Gov. Mike Easley.
This would be a news story if the NCAE had recommended anyone else, but it has been expected for so long that it elicited mostly yawns from those who pay attention to endorsements but a yelp of indignation from at least one of those who didn’t get it.
State Treasurer Richard Moore had hoped for the endorsement, especially as he’s the only Democrat who’s announced for the post. He wanted the NCAE to put off the decision until Perdue gets into the race, which may be in October.
And surely Republican candidates Bob Orr, the former associate justice of the Supreme Court, and state Sen. Fred Smith were hoping that the NCAE would also recommend candidates in the GOP primary next year. Republican candidate Bill Graham didn’t participate in the NCAE screening process, but Orr and Smith did.
Orr has some reason to feel slighted. After all, he has previously been endorsed by the NCAE, and he took a major role in the state’s most famous school litigation case. In July 2004 just before leaving the Supreme Court, Orr wrote the opinion upholding Wake Superior Court Judge Howard Manning’s ruling that defined what the N.C. Constitution guarantees every child: A qualified principal in every school, a competent teacher in every classroom and sufficient resources in every class for each child to be able to get a sound basic education.
Perdue has a claim to a lot of work on education, dating to her days as a key Senate budget writer and her support for the Smart Start child development program. She was long regarded as the likely recipient of the NCAE endorsement.
For those who didn’t get the endorsement, I’ve got a word of advice. Don’t be too sad. The value of endorsements in political campaign can vary widely, and its most important effect may be to energize supporters and provide a little fodder for ads.
There are a lot of groups that endorse, including newspapers, and sometimes endorsements help and sometimes they hurt and sometimes they seem to have no effect atall. I am reminded of the 1977 race for Lt. Governor, when then-Sen. Herbert Hyde got the endorsement of, I think, just about every newspaper that endorsed that year. He didn’t even make the runoff between former Chapel Hill Mayor Howard Lee and Lt. Gov. Jimmy Green.
And in the runoff, I believe, Lee got most or all the endorsements. Green won.
It reminds me of the story the late U.S. Sen. Sam Ervin used to tell about an aspiring politician who announced to a friend that he was planning to run for office. The friend responded, “I’ll be happy to be for you or against you, whichever you think will help more.”
And I've also heard that in politics, the best endorsement comes on a check.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

ROY COOPER would make a good Governor or Richard Moore; I like Beverly and she would make a good Governor but I am afraid the Conservative side wont accept a women : North Carolina is deep in Southern Baptist roots and women may not be as strong.

Anonymous said...

I think you do a disservice to yourself and your state when you lump conservatives and Southern Baptists together and imply that they will never accept a woman. This is the same base that came enthusiastically to support Elizabeth Dole as the first female U.S. Senator from North Carolina. I believe these Southern Baptists and conservatives will support Senator Dole in her 2008 reelection. Why conservatives like me are leery of Beverly Perdue is the company she keeps. I admire her career and her credentials and she is a very competent servant, however, she is found too often in the company of the liberal base in North Carolina and I believe she would not hesitate for moment to jump on the liberal bandwagon if it helped her politically. Liberals don't vote for conservatives very often and vice versa. If I vote against Beverly Perdue in 2008 it will be based on her ideological leanings, not her gender.

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