Editorial: Waiting for McCrory's vision to take shape

Apr. 20, 2013 @ 07:21 PM

All right, so North Carolina hasn't plunged into a fracking-shattered abyss after Pat McCrory's first 100 days as governor.

By and large, he seems committed to his vision of improving education, making government more efficient and bolstering the state's economy.

For a politician with no prior state-level experience, he's managed to win approval from at least 46 percent of North Carolina residents in an Elon University poll. That's not great news, as the rest of those surveyed either disapproved or didn't have an opinion either way, but it's all right.

Those who disapprove may be focusing on his early glitches, such as boosting his Cabinet members' salaries, antagonizing North Carolina's university leaders and picking someone who opposed organized pre-kindergarten to run the state's pre-K programs. Or they might take issue with actions that he's taken, such as signing into law a cut in jobless benefits to accelerate repayment of federal debt, refusing to allow expansion of Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act, supporting voter identification and going along with (at least at first) a plan to mark immigrant driver's licenses with pink stripes.

Lately, he's also taken some hits for championing a $100 million incentives package to bring MetLife to the Triangle. With that deal would come 2,600 jobs, but perhaps at the expense of luring more varied industries to the region.

In an Associated Press article last week, David McLennan, a political science professor at William Peace University in Raleigh, gave McCrory credit for settling in rather well during his first three months.

"I think he's done a good job of using his first 100 days to try to acclimate himself," McLennan said.

During the past week, he shared proposals for revamping how the state distributes transportation funds and for overhauling Medicaid. Obviously, he's moving forward with his agenda as planned.

From our view, McCrory so far seems to have proven more effective than his Democratic opponent, Walter Dalton, ever could have hoped to be with a General Assembly controlled by Republicans.

He told the AP last week that he doesn't have much use for partisan labels: "I'm governing from a pragmatic, visionary point of view."

But with political friends who are known to cause self-inflicting wounds with ill-advised ideas such as a bill calling for a single state religion, we hope that the governor's pragmatic vision calls for him to lead from closer the center.