For a bunch of smart writers, the folks who run the editorial page at the Charlotte branch of the News and Observer still don't get it. In this morning's editorial, they lament the Charlotte "curse" as they scratch their heads and wonder what happened to Mayor McCrory.
Yet for Charlotte the outcome of this gubernatorial contest is a bittersweet moment. Perdue's narrow victory came against Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, who ran a strong campaign that urged fundamental reforms in state government. A win for McCrory, a Republican, would have put a primarily urban perspective in the governor's mansion for the first time and sent an outsider to Raleigh. It also would have dispelled the myth of the Charlotte curse – the consistent failure by candidates from the state's largest city to get elected to statewide offices.
I don't know about earlier forms of the "curse," but the issue this time wasn't about geography at all. In this instance, it was about a mayor who hadn't spend one second thinking about all of North Carolina until he decided he wanted to be governor. Charlotte's political isolation from the rest of North Carolina is one of Pat McCrory's choosing. If it is a curse, it is self-inflicted.
Mr. McCrory has complained about Charlotte being "left out" for years, but did almost nothing that I can see to reach out effectively to engage the statewide community.
Being a big city mayor shouldn't be a barrier to becoming governor, nor should it carry a presumption of preference.
PS Last night on the teevee, pundit Bob Orr said that Pat McCrory stuck to the issues, and should have "gone negative" in the final weeks. I don't know which McCrory campaign Bob Orr was watching ... but it wasn't the same one I saw. That comment by Orr was a big disappointment to me.