Thursday, January 26, 2012

Will Foxx run for governor?

Updated at 1:30 p.m.

Gov. Bev Perdue's decision not to run for reelection could spark a scramble among Democrats eager to replace her. So who might step up?

Anthony Foxx? Maybe.

The Charlotte mayor and his administrative assistant have not yet returned our calls this morning, so we don't know his thinking. It's easy to dismiss the idea; Foxx is just starting his second term as mayor. So he could appear not seasoned enough to some voters. And he would of course have to wrestle with any anti-Charlotte sentiment that still lingers around the state. The N.C. political records are littered with Charlotte mayors who have failed in their run for statewide office.

More daunting than any of that, perhaps, are the odds Foxx would face. Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory has enjoyed a healthy lead over Perdue and he would certainly start with a sizable edge over Foxx as well.

But before eliminating Foxx from contention consider two things: 1) He's ambitious. His desire for higher office has rarely been questioned. And 2) The election is Nov. 6. That's two months after Foxx will be at the peak of his political career to this point. The Democratic National Convention, in Charlotte Sept. 3-6, will put the national spotlight on Foxx, who is leading Charlotte's convention efforts and who will almost certainly have a prominent speaking role in front of thousands of people and millions of television viewers. If he does well there, he could ride a wave of momentum that would boost him on Election Day.

1:30 p.m. update: Some readers today said that Foxx said last fall he would not run for governor this year. In fact, Foxx only said he would not challenge Perdue for governor. That pledge says nothing about what he would do if she's not running. Read our O-pinion blog post from that time.

The Democrats' strongest candidate, however, would be Charlotte's Erskine Bowles. The former UNC system president and Clinton chief of staff has been mentioned, wistfully but only half-jokingly, as a potential candidate for president. That won't happen this year, but Perdue's departure clears the way for him to run for governor. Bowles has the resume, the moderation, the political wisdom and the fundraising chops that a Democrat would need to have any chance in this race. No other potential Democratic candidate matches Bowles on all those measures. Bowles has not returned a call this morning.

Others in the wings: Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, who will almost certainly announce his candidacy in coming days. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who has long failed to live up to others' aspirations for him. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton ranks No. 2 to Perdue in North Carolina's executive branch, but he would have little chance of beating McCrory. (1:30 p.m. update: News14's Tim Boyum tweets that sources tell him Dalton is getting in and could announce as soon as today.)

Public Policy Polling in Raleigh polled on this question last October. Bowles tied McCrory at 42 percent. Cooper trailed McCrory 42-39. Faison and Dalton trailed by double digits. McCrory's strength, PPP says, is with independents, who overwhelmingly like him. Those voters are crucial in this race, and Bowles would have the strongest chance of attracting them.

-- Taylor Batten


EuroCat said...

Erskine Bowles was the first name that entered my mind when I read the Perdue story.

Run, Erskine, Run!

A McCrory governorship would be a disaster of epic proportions.

Taxdue Gone said...

Let's hope Foxx does run because that will be a "win-win" for the city of Charlotte and the state of NC. He will get smoked by McCrory, and he will be out as the mayor. GO PAT GO!!! Adios "Taxdue"!!

Skippy said...

12:14 how can anyone but the corrupt Perdue be more catastrophic than she has been? I don't expect you to provide any type of cogent response, just because. Wasn't it Erskin that sat back and allowed the corrupt Mary Sleasley and John Edwards land jobs working for our "higher" education systems?

And Mayor Bobblehead would be a perfect fit alright. He is nothing but a token here that has been a quick study in cronyism and all he would be is a yes man for the plantation owners in DC.

Skippy said...

Keep voting in Demcraps and this will continue to happen:

As Gov. Pat Quinn prepares for the State of the State address on Feb. 1, he will find it difficult to defend the state’s economic policies that have resulted in more unemployed Illinoisans in 2011.

Almost a year after Illinois’ record income tax increase, the state’s unemployment woes contrast starkly with the slow but positive national economic recovery. Unemployment rates in 46 states dropped since January 2011, and some dramatically. Illinois’ unemployment rate, on the other hand, was 9.8 percent in December, up from 9 percent in January 2011. Simply put, Illinois placed more people on the unemployment rolls than any other state in the country.

Illinois leadership had substantive policy options when it began 2011 with major fiscal challenges. But rather than reduce spending, tackle its pension problems and reduce the cost of doing business in Illinois, officials chose to kick off the year with the largest tax hike in state history.

The results? More deficits, an estimated $7 billion in unpaid bills and a downgrade by Moody’s credit agency to the lowest rating in the country. The state had to pay companies to stay in Illinois, and, worst of all, more Illinoisans joined the ranks of the unemployed.

Anonymous said...

If Foxx does run, the one thing that is guaranteed is that voter turnout will be the lowest in NC history. All the "I HATE CHARLOTTE!!!!!!!" rednecks will stay home rather than choose between 2 Charlotte guys.

Bowles may be from here, but almost nobody outside of Charlotte knows that, certainly not the "I HATE CHARLOTTE!!!!!!!" rednecks. They think he's from D.C. So he could go to the other 99 counties and say, "I'm running against a Charlotte guy" and he'll win in a landslide. Every candidate other than Foxx could use this one line and gain complete loyalty from the "I HATE CHARLOTTE!!!!!!!" rednecks, no matter how bad of a candidate (s)he might be.

kantstanzya said...

You forgot to preface Public Policy Polling as "non affiliated" or "unbiased". That's the only way we know for sure.

The Observer is orgasmic with the possibilities of who they can support for Governor.Perdue was going to be a tough slog for them.

Bowles would probably win. But he may be too honest for the N.C. Democratic Party to have to deal with on state "business". If he runs will he dust off his old "Bowling for Bowles" ads that more than anything showed the Democratic Party contempt for the North Carolina voter?

Observer editorial board said...

Since we endorsed McCrory over Perdue in 2008, why do you think we would have had a hard time doing it again?

EuroCat said...

@Observer editorial board:

What, you expect kantstanzya to pay attention to or post facts?

Guess you don't read your newspaper's comment sections very often. ;-)

Wiley Coyote said...

Mayor Fixxit, aka "Mini-me" will most certainly run.

Obama will serve him up in September on a gold platter at the DNC.

Ghoul said...

Please, oh please, oh please let Nick Mackey run!

Wiley Coyote said...

Observer editorial board said...

Since we endorsed McCrory over Perdue in 2008, why do you think we would have had a hard time doing it again?

Here Observer Board:

“The mayor’s office, though, is about agenda-setting and image-shaping as much as it is policy implementation. And for that, we give the nod to Foxx. “

You endorsed Foxx over Lassiter for "image shaping" and you wouldn't do the same for Foxx again when Obama comes to town?


EuroCat said...

@ Wiley Coyote:

"Observer editorial board" correctly commented that it endorsed McCrory over Perdue. There is no reason to believe that it would change its endorsement this time if the race were McCrory/Perdue again.

What does its endorsement of Foxx over Lassiter for Mayor of Charlotte have to do with its gubernatorial endorsement?

Please try to read posts more carefully.

Garth Vader said...

"Anthony Foxx hasn't returned our call."
"Anthony Foxx's assistant hasn't returned our call."
"Erskine Bowles hasn't returned our call."

Hmmm... so is that an indication of how unresponsive Foxx and Bowles would be as governor, or is it an indication of how little respect the Observer's editorial board commands?

Wiley Coyote said...


Try to follow the bouncing ball more closely and try to beef up your comprehension.

So you will understand my post, The Observer backed Mayor Fixxit over Lassiter, even though Fixxit had less experience.

I quoted their statement which said image was better than substance.

Try to keep up.

Anonymous said...

Ghoul said...
Please, oh please, oh please let Nick Mackey run!

Best post of the day. Thanks for the belly-laugh. Unlikely, I'm sure, but that would definitely be Christmas in the spring. Oh, the things we could do with that candidacy...