by Bob Geary
All I can say is, for a governor Pat McCrory has remarkably thin skin. And a remarkable lack of good grace or — absent grace — any ability to fake it.
Consequently, Gov. McCrory missed his chance today to meet a delightful and very precocious young lady. Madison Kimrey is the 12-year old from Burlington who wondered why the governor signed a voter-suppression bill (my term, not hers) that, among other things, did away with pre-registration for 16- and 17-year olds in high school. She has lots of friends who are teens and look forward to voting, she said.
Miss Kimrey wrote a petition, put it out on the inter-tubes via MoveOn.org, and as of today had collected more than 11,000 signatures. She wanted to deliver them to the governor along with a chocolate pound cake she'd baked for him as a gesture of good will — presumably the same cordial spirit the governor showed when he came out of the mansion a couple of weeks ago to drop some cookies on dumbfounded protesters and then, with four bodyguards to protect him, sprinted away.
The same spirit, indeed, that the staff at the governor's mansion showed later that same day when they brought out some cake to a different set of protesters which included, by the way, Miss Kimrey.
Well, if I'm the governor, and my poll numbers are dropping like a stone, and I've been caught fibbing about how I've met with Moral Monday protesters and, for that matter, fibbing about a lot of things including my voter-suppression bill — and if, thus far, I have blown off any and all criticisms of my policies as left-wing claptrap or a liberal plot or, or just plain beneath my dignity to be subjected to — well, this is my chance.
That's right, I'm going to be gracious and welcome this young lady to my office and hear her out over a piece of her cake — from her grandmother's recipe, I'd be pleased to learn.
I'm going to emerge then from our meeting, pose for some lovely pictures, and say how delighted I am that a young person is taking such an interest in state government ... and I'm going to take the concerns she expressed very seriously.
In fact, having just put my foot in my mouth again recently while playing golf in the pro-am at the Wyndham PGA event in Greensboro — that's when I said that I was so glad to be in a place where I could get "real" feedback on my policies, because where better to hear from real people about how I'm doing than at an exclusive country club — I'm literally grabbing for this opportunity, which is tailor-made for me to start undoing the image I'm building up for myself as a clueless jerk who can't stand it when people don't suck up to him.
That's what I'd do. But I'm not the governor, Pat McCrory is. And what he did, of course, is call Miss Kimrey's request to meet with him ridiculous and chalk it up to, you got it, a left-wing conspiracy.
So McCrory missed out on meeting a 12-year old who is extremely bright, very well-spoken and polite, and in no need of anyone to put her up to anything — Madison Kimrey is the real deal and the only unreal thing about her is that she's 12 and 4'8, but she sounds and acts like a young adult. A serious young adult.
With a serious question that the governor would do well to ask himself: How does it help voter integrity to get rid of a program that helps high-school students get ready to vote when they're 18?
Or, as Colin Powell asked at a CEO forum in Raleigh today after McCrory had high-tailed it out of there, how can there be such widespread voter fraud in North Carolina as McCrory claims and yet it's undetected? Powell, with whom McCrory really doesn't want to share cake, blasted the voter-suppression bill our governor is so proud of, saying it delivers a clear message to minority voters that they're being punished for turning out in big numbers in 2008 and 2012.
McCrory skipped out on Miss Kimrey, but our local TV stations didn't. Check for her on your local news this evening.