With three years until the next governor’s race — North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper is fixated on evicting Pat McCrory from that state-owned historic property on Blount Street. The problem? Roy Cooper has been elected and reelected — as recently as November 2012 — by voters expecting him to serve as the state’s legal representation.
Democrat flack Gary Pearce doesn’t see what the big deal is:
Roy Cooper has made strong moves to clear the 2016 Democratic primary field for Governor. But he also may be putting a big obstacle in his path.The AG is adamant that he can go into court and defend Republican-supported laws on voter identification and same-sex marriage, even though he adamantly opposes those laws.Maybe he can. But why would he? And is that smart politics?Conventional wisdom says Cooper leads the Democratic pack today. He’s a proven vote-getter. He comes right out of the Sanford-Hunt central casting school for Democratic governors. He straddles the worlds of small-town values and big-city polish.But Cooper is in the same position as Hillary Clinton in the presidential race. Clinton has to worry about an Elizabeth Warren-type challenge from the left. Cooper, too, has to worry about a credible challenge from the left. Anthony Foxx, say.Call them “the left,” call them liberals, call them progressives, there is a large cohort of Democrats in North Carolina who were first energized by Howard Dean in 2004, then mobilized by Obama in 2008 and 2012 and now enraged by Republicans in Raleigh.
How will they react when a primary opponent confronts Cooper in a debate: “Roy, you said that as a matter of conscience you could not support laws the Republican legislature passed on voter ID and same-sex marriage. But you went into court and defended the constitutionality of both those laws. Why?”
Why should he do it? Why should he go to court to defend laws passed by the state legislature and signed into law by the governor? It’s HIS JOB, Gary.
Gary Pearce is a professional campaign consultant for North Carolina Democrats. He gets all starry-eyed over the X’s and O’s of campaign strategy. A better WHY question is: WHY should North Carolina taxpayers — who just elected Cooper to ONE high state office — subsidize Roy Cooper’s efforts over the next three years to campaign for a HIGHER state office?
Better yet: WHY should we tolerate someone serving as attorney general who refuses to live up to the job description spelled out in the state constitution (AND his own web site) as well as the commitment he made to voters less than ONE year ago?
If Roy Cooper wants to be governor, he needs to step down and campaign for governor on his own time and own dime.