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His staff says he has a “viral contagion.” Like the viral contagion of jobs, visitors, entertainers and businesses avoiding North Carolina like the plague.

The Governor cancelled all his public appearances – and avoided all HB2 questions – this weekend. Monday, he summoned up the strength to announce his proposed health budget. But he still wasn’t up to taking HB2 questions.

Maybe McCrory is feeling the pressure of being caught between his business base and his bathroom base. Maybe he’s trying to figure a way out of this mess over a too-sweeping bill that the legislature passed too hastily and he signed too fast.

Most (but not all) of the Republican legislators don’t care. Their constituents love HB2. But voters in a few swing districts may feel differently. And there’s no gerrymandering McCrory’s race (although you can try to suppress opponents’ votes).

Right after HB2 passed, a wise TAPster offered this:

“I had a boss and mentor one time who told me that anytime I was in a confrontation that I always needed to try and give the other guy a back door to get out. Meaning that there had to be a way for them to back down gracefully without too much embarrassment. We’re in that situation now as it relates to HB 2. We need to find probably a Republican, maybe Jim Martin, but somebody who is more statesman than ideologue who can help find a face-saving way for the legislature to back down before HB 2 really hurts the state….Who are the guys and gals who can help??”

Well, they don’t seem to be making many statesmen anymore.

But maybe that’s a job for the bipartisan North Carolina Leadership Forum, which Leslie Winner and Charles Neely wrote about in an N&O op-ed (“Leaders must engage in civil dialogue”).

Or maybe we’ll just have to settle this at the ballot box.

 

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