Gary has a point in his column (below) ‘Pat and Jesse’: Pat McCrory’s fight with the Associated Press isn’t like Jesse’s long-running battles with the media.
In Jesse’s eyes, the media was biased. It didn’t like his conservative philosophy. Plus, as Senator John East once said admiringly, Jesse was a brawler. Part of him loved a good fight. But he was also subtle, picking his fights (with the media) on issues most people agreed with him on.
Pat McCrory’s a different kind of leader. He’s genial and personable and prefers avoiding a fight to diving into the middle of one.
But after he read the Associated Press report saying he hadn’t disclosed $600,000 in salary and stock options he’d received for serving on the Board of Lending Tree (an on-line lending company) he lost his geniality – he came out swinging, ripping into the AP saying itwas lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.
The Governor fired both barrels and when the bell rang ending the First Round the AP returned to its corner on wobbly-knees.
But the Governor still had a problem too – he’d picked a fight that left him facing a lose-lose proposition: If the AP was right he was in a fix. And if the AP was wrong it was still going to be hard to convince people Lending Tree had paid him $600,000 for his acumen about mortgage banking.
When the bell rang for Round Two as soon as he threw the first punch it was clear the Governor meant to cure that problem – because he didn’t even mention Lending Tree. Instead he lit into the AP saying there were folks in Raleigh and Washington, D.C. who wanted to attack anyone who came out of the private sector and went into public service but, he added, without his time in the private sector he wouldn’t have been as good a mayor of Charlotte as he was and he wouldn’t be doing as good a job as Governor as he is.
The way the Governor said it sounded perfectly reasonable – but, in another way, he’d jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.
Because next he may hear Roy Cooper asking: And how exactly did working for an on-line lending company that was fined $3 million for misleading consumers make you a better Governor?