In a rare move, Pat McCrory decided yesterday to tend to a crisis in the city where he is Mayor instead of continuing on the campaign trail. Earlier this year, while parts of Charlotte were under water during the floods of 2008, McCrory chose to keep his feet dry and stay away from the city at its time of crisis.
He preferred to "phone it in."
McCrory knows how important handling a crisis is for the future governor's resume:
“I’ve led the city and the region when crises have occurred, which is a very important job as governor.” [WRAL Debate, 1/17/08]
McCrory's constituents noticed his absence while parts of the city were flooding. One CharO reader spoke up:
Has anyone noticed that our Mayor was nowhere to be seen or heard from during the floods Wednesday?
Why, if managing crises is so important as governor, is it that McCrory chose to tickle his toes in the water at a waterpark instead of wading in and helping the city and its residents deal with the flooding in Charlotte? Exactly where was the Mayor of Charlotte?
On Wednesday, the worst day of flooding in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties, McCrory campaigned in about seven cities, including Fayetteville, Hamlet and Lumberton. He continued campaigning in eastern North Carolina through at least Friday, with a fundraiser scheduled at a water park. [Raleigh News & Observer, 9/4/08
Short on the heels of ignoring that crisis, Pat McCrory had a chance to ignore Charlotte once again. Hurricane Ike hit Texas and surrounding areas on Saturday, September 13, 2008. A few days later gas stations began running out of gas. By the end of the week many people were starting to panic. Workers in Union and Mecklenburg Counties, among others, were missing work. Some sports and after school events were cancelled for students in areas hardest hit.
Pat McCrory continued to "phone it in."
A week into the gas shortage crisis in Charlotte on September 28, 2008, McCrory flitted in and out of Charlotte long enough for a press conference to assure residents that gas was on the way. The U.S. Department of Energy had informed Governor Easley and other state leaders that shipments would arrive in Charlotte by Friday, Sept. 29. Instead of waiting to find out if those shipments would indeed arrive, McCrory headed back out of town. Saturday and Sunday, while McCrory campaigned as far away from Charlotte as he could get, the gas lines were getting longer, tempers were getting shorter and a giant of industry in Charlotte quietly died.
It took the sale of Wachovia and the uncertainty that brings to McCrory's corporate buddies in Charlotte to bring McCrory riding in on his white horse. It appears that it may be much too little done far too late.
Pat McCrory had "phoned it in" for too many crises this year and had put Charlotte on the back burner too many times in order to further his own career. The citizens of Charlotte are angry. Many of them sounded out in the comment section of the article posted on the Charlotte Observer web site:
kath9dav wrote on 09/29/2008 01:06:00 PM:
Let me get this straight, 5-7 days after Charlotte goes into a gas meltdown Mayor McBank decides to come back to his town and work on our problem? I have to say that I'm impressed with his "take charge" attitude and not letting the problem get out of control. Just imagine what would happen if he let the crisis get to the point where 10% of stations have gas and people are waiting in line for hours for gas. Wait, huh, oops, that happened last week when he was in Mt. Airy giving a speech to 16 geezers at a VFA lodge.
Clairebell wrote on 09/29/2008 12:58:56 PM:
About time Pat!!! Just because it didn't quite work out for McCain to "suspend his campaign" and ride to the rescue of the country doesn't mean it won't work out for you here in Charlotte. You'll get far more votes if you show some tough leadership HERE than by riding in a few more parades. The situation in this city is absolutely ridiculous, considering that it's not happening countrywide--or even east of Greensboro!
Munchy wrote on 09/29/2008 12:06:03 PM:
Too little, WAY too late, Pat. Was Tom Crosby from AAA busy today or something? Is that why you're having to get your b*tt out of Fat Buddies Ribs & BBQ?
Pat McCrory has enjoyed strong support from all camps in Charlotte, but his inaction in the face of true crisis is leading to a backlash that could hurt not only McCrory in November, but all Republicans hoping to use McCrory's coattails to win.
As TrueMeckDem reported from the gas lines in Charlotte where he set up to register voters:
Spent a couple of hours today in the gas lines registering voters. Got a few new ones but most of the forms being filled out were people changing from Repub to Dem.
There are some very angry people out there who think they are being lied to. Quite a few of them had some very nasty words for Myers Park Pat. MPP has been promising for days that gas was on the way but the lines are just as long and it seems fewer stations have gas now than had it Friday.
I bet MPP is not having to wait in line for gas.
Of course, he's not having to wait in line for gas. He's riding around on a white horse.