Back in the early months of 2008, I didn't think all that much of Bev Perdue, who is now the governor of my home state of North Carolina. The Democratic primaries here were pretty nasty, and I voted for the one guy on the ballot who'd run no commercials at all. But I voted for her in the general election.
Now, Jeez Louise, am I ever glad we've got her. If you do a quick Google news search of Bev Perdue, you'll only find stories that pertain to her job as governor. "Perdue Wants Tax Hikes," "Perdue Expected To Attend K-12 Funding Rally In Greensboro," "Perdue Job Approval Plummets."
There's nothing about her gallivanting around the country attending events she wasn't invited to--events that would be a long, long way from Raleigh, by the way. She doesn't get into feuds with late night talk show hosts.
And unlike the governor just across the state line to the south, Ms. Perdue has the sense not to go off to Argentina for five days and advise her aides to tell everyone she's hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Since last year's Republican convention, I've had a great deal of sympathy for the people of Alaska. when the outspoken, inept, and blatantly ambitious Gov. Sarah Palin burst on to the scene. How embarassing is it to see your head of state on the Today Show insinuating that David Letterman is a pedophile?
Now my heart goes out to my fellow Carolininians to the south. Gov. Mark Sanford seemed smart enough, even though he also showed himself to be blatantly ambitious when he drew national attention for his desire to use Federal Stimulus money to pay down state debt. But who knew that all the time he was talking about fiscal responsibility, he was also sneaking off to write steamy e-mails to his Argentinian girlfriend about the curve of her hips and the gentleness of her kisses?
We've all said it before. What the hell was he thinking? And flying down to Argentina for God's sake! What if the plane crashed? What if he was kidnapped by drug dealers or war lords or whatever is they've got down there in Argentina these days? What if there were a coup? He's the governor, for crying out loud! Didn't he think someone would notice he was gone?
The answer is always "Well, I wasn't thinking." No, there had to be some sort of thought process going on when he made the plane reservations and found his passport and drove to the airport. Plenty of time to say "maybe this isn't such a good idea..."
Anyway, if you live in a state other than Alaska or South Carolina, take some time out to appreciate the fact that your governor is busy doing gubnatorial things, like fighting tax cuts, or supporting casinos or releasing stimulus spending reports.
North Carolina may not approve of the job Bev Perdue is doing. But we're proud of the fact that she's doing her job and not some boy toy in Argentina.