Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
It's always interesting how the statehouse races end up holding a funhouse mirror to the presidential contest. Josh posted the drill, baby, drill ad from Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican nominee for North Carolina governor. Now McCrory has also adopted John McCain's anti-elitism trope.
At a debate on WRAL tonight, the Republican gubernatorial candidate argued that Democrat Beverly Perdue's views on education are elitist.
He said that her statement that she wants students to aim higher than technical college is elitist.
"I don't look down at plumbers," he said. "I don't look down at mechanics or electricians or people (who) put down my wood floors. These people frankly make more money than I do and they deserve it because they have a greater talent than I do. ... We ought to respect them for learning a skill and a trade."
He charged that Perdue's approach is part of "the elitism that has taken over government."
I've heard a million politicians talk about the need for American students to do better to compete in the global marketplace. I've certainly heard community colleges talked about as necessary training grounds for lots of types of jobs. But I've never heard a politician say that recommending that people aspire to go beyond community college was anything other than a worthwhile goal.
McCrory's bio on his campaign Web site leads off with a summary of his own educational career. Looks like he done gone to one of them fancy four-year colleges. He might even have accepted -- and be bragging about -- an honorary doctorate:
Pat McCrory grew up in Jamestown, Guilford County, North Carolina and attended Ragsdale High School, where he was President of the student body. He is married to Ann Gordon McCrory.
Pat graduated from Catawba College in 1978 with a B.A. degree in Political Science/Education. In that same year he received his North Carolina Teaching Certificate, and in 2001 Catawba College awarded McCrory an Honorary Doctorate Degree.
Update: Catawba doesn't offer doctoral degrees, so I guess an honorary one is the best you can hope for.
GOVERNING Politics is the place for news and analysis on campaigns and elections. If there's a ballot measure in California, a legislative election in Alabama, a mayoral election in Anchorage or a governor's race in Rhode Island, GOVERNING Politics probably is writing about it. We love everything about state and local politics, from polls and campaign ads to policy debates and demographic trends.