Boy, the rats sure are abandoning the sinking ship. I believe it is incredibly symbolic, fitting, and appropriate that BarryO will be holding his convention in a state where the Democrat Party is in a downward spiral free-fall toward electoral disaster.
We learned today that state House Democrat Leader — and former speaker — Joe Hackney is not seeking reelection. Hackney cites the stress the legislative schedule has been putting on his law practice and his family. (I know those commutes from Chapel Hill to Raleigh MUST be murder.) The schedule since 2010 has been much more compact than when Democrats ran the show on Jones Street. Is he just now — after 32 years — figuring out that being in the legislature is a bit time-consuming?
I think it is more likely that he saw some polling, as well as the writing on the wall, and decided to get out while the getting is good. Besides, it had to be so much more fun for him when the Dems were in the majority and sticking it to the GOP at every turn.
Hackney is from Chapel Hill. He had been double-bunked with Rep. Verla Insko (D). The Dems will not lose the seat, but they will — in Hackney — lose one of their most ruthless, cunning legislative warriors. (House Dems are also losing their #2, Rick Glazier of Fayetteville, who is forsaking reelection to run for DPI secretary.)
We’ve also learned that Congressman Heath Shuler (D) will not be running for re-election or for governor. Shuler’s 11th district has been made more Republican. His decision — plus that of Brad Miller in the 13th — pretty much guarantee GOP pickups of those two seats. Larry Kissell’s plight is not looking very promising — for him — in the 8th district. Mike McIntyre — in the 7th — has been issuing statements basically saying he can’t decide WHAT to do.
When the smoke clears in November, the Democrat members of North Carolina’s 13-member U.S. House delegation could be down to Watt, Butterfield, and Price.
I would hate to be the person at state Democrat HQ in charge of candidate recruitment. He /she must be feeling like the little Dutch boy trying to plug leaks in the dike with his fingers.
The NCGOP does not need to get too cocky about all of this leftist misfortune. The opposition will be without its most notorious big guns. State Republicans have set themselves up in this winning position by pointing out Dem malfeasance and giving the voters something to vote against.
The NCGOP should take this opportunity to give North Carolinians something to vote FOR, and then deliver on that agenda.
These are desperate economic times requiring serious solutions. We need to do more than just trade one set of amoral, unethical, mealy-mouthed appropriators for another.