In the world of Raleigh politics being appointed a Cabinet Secretary is somewhat akin to being a Grand Duke or a Marquis – you get power and respectability and folks you never heard of start singing your praises,'' writes veteran GOP consultant Carter Wrenn, in his blog, Talking About Politics.
But then, usually, just when a new Secretary is getting comfortably settled into his new office, other folks he never heard of start calling him a scoundrel.
Last week, in one day, the Democrats – who’ve been somnambulant since last November – suddenly came to life, erupted, and lit into two of Governor McCrory’s Cabinet Secretaries.
Secretary Kieran Shanahan did a stint on the Raleigh City Council before he was appointed to head the Department of Crime Control – so he’s seen rough and tumble politics. But last week, when the newspaper reported he was still practicing law part time, rough and tumble politics turned into elbow throwing and eye-gouging.
Over on BlueNC one Democrat blasted Shanahan for ‘moonlighting’ then another Democrat lamented that what was worse than Shanahan’s moonlighting was his not disclosing his clients, adding, “Maybe Shanahan has sweepstakes poker people for his clients, or beer wholesalers, or payday lenders.”
Next, over at Politics NC, Thomas Mills and the Democrats shifted their fire to Governor McCrory, asking the Governor what he thought of Secretary Shanahan’s wife running her lobbying business out of Shanahan’s law office. Mills wasn’t done. Next he pointed out the Governor had appointed Shanahan’s law partner to the Banking Commission and said, “Just think about it. The Secretary of Public safety, a Banking Commissioner and a politically plugged-in lobbying shop all under one roof! Hell, it’s a one-stop shop for special interests. What could possibly go wrong?”
The long knives were out.
A couple of days later, having lunch, I heard a Republican say to a Democrat sitting on the other side of the table, Couldn’t you all have left his wife out of it? Without missing a beat the Democrat looked up and shot back, How would you feel about Michele Obama lobbying – wouldn’t you want to see a list of her clients?
I reckon I’m done saying the Democrats have no fight left in them.