Jane and I have had house guests for the past couple of weeks, a marvelous couple from Finland. We got to know Miika (the husband) two years ago when he was visiting the US on a Fulbright scholarship. They have become good friends of ours.
Tonight we were talking about why Pat McCrory's "cookie" gesture was roundly rebuked by observers in every quarter. After all, the offer might easily have been seen as an act of generosity in another context. As we discussed the issue over dinner, it became clear to us that Mr. McCrory's actions seemed to have little to do with being generous. Rather, the offering appeared to be a calculated gesture designed to help resurrect the governor's faltering reputation.
Our friends from Finland wondered whether McCrory's cookies came with an invitation to talk with protesters about his campaign promise, and perhaps to explain why he decided to break it. From all reports, the governor extended no such offer to engage. His awkward action was nothing more than an ill-advised stunt. It's no wonder it backfired so badly.