I communicate regularly with a number of elected officials at the state and local levels across North Carolina. The drive-bys have been speculating about WHO among the Democrat candidates would welcome Barry Obama swinging by for some campaign help. I decided to pose a similar question to some GOP incumbents and candidates who will be on the ballot in 2014: Who would you like to have campaign with you?
I asked one Republican legislator if he would like to have Gov. Pat McCrory campaign with him. “Pardon my French,” the legislator responded. “But, Hell No!” I asked the same thing about Thom Tillis, and got a very similar response. Well, who would you like to have campaign with you or for you?
”Dan Forest,” this pol replied emphatically. “Without a doubt. Everywhere I go, I hear people speaking favorably of him. If you’re a Republican in North Carolina, I think it’s pretty clear that Dan is the man you want to be seen with at election time.”
I got similar reactions and responses from the other candidates I spoke with. Forest has been very low-key during his time in Raleigh. (Though, he has made some noise about amnesty, driver licenses for illegals, and Common Core.) Given the apparent positive feelings for him out among the grassroots, it might be wise for the lieutenant governor to step out from McCrory and Tillis’s shadows. Forest — whether he knows it or not — has an abundance of political capital out there.