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National, international press takes note of N.C. politics

The national and international press is taking note of the Republican sea change in North Carolina and its new governor, John Frank reports.

The latest clip comes from the Economist in a Feb. 16 piece titled "Farewell to Purple." The article details the North Carolina's credentials as a swing state, such as Mitt Romney's 92,004-vote victory in 2012 and President Barack Obama's 14,177-vote win four years earlier, and juxtaposes it against the current reality of completely Republican control of the lawmaking process.

The key, the article notes, is Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, a former non-ideologue mayor who has "recently been dipping his toes in more partisan waters." In conclusion, it highlights McCrory's recent controversial comments about higher education to make its point: "It seems that Mr McCrory, like his state, is turning right."

McCrory's remarks about teaching liberal arts education are also featured in New York magazine's Feb. 11 edition on the "Approval Matrix," a graphic that serves as the magazine's "oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies."

In the grid, McCrory ranks second most "despicable" for his higher education remarks about how the state shouldn't help pay for courses like gender studies. "The egghead-hating governor of North Carolina wants to stop "subsidizing" the liberal arts. Will UNC because a trade school?" it asks, next to McCrory's photo.

The only more despicable item in the graphic is Alex Rodriquez of the New York Yankees for his potential use of steroids.

Ask a strange question...

Ask a strange question, get a strange answer.

As reporters, we at Under the Dome appreciate the value of asking the unexpected. Politicians and their handlers are so well-trained these days that sometimes only a curveball can work.

But even we found New York magazine's question of John Edwards' chief New York fund-raiser, Leo Hindery Jr., to be a bit odd. Even stranger was his answer:

If Edwards were abducted by aliens tomorrow, and to get him back you had to choose between Hillary and Obama, whom would you choose?

That’s like asking who I would love if my wife died. I'm so committed to John Edwards that I wouldn't have a clue what to do if he wasn't around.

To summarize: John Edwards will be kidnapped by aliens, and his fund-raiser loves him like a wife.

Twenty-one, twenty-two...

John Edwards' newest adviser could be John Mayer.

New York magazine reports that the adult alternative singer met the presidential candidate at the Time 100 gala for the most influential people in the world, which included Elizabeth Edwards. 

Mayer offered his tips for connecting with young people:

"He was talking about the language of young people, his generation," Edwards said. "He basically said, 'You've got to get me in the first twenty seconds. I watch movies on YouTube, and if they're 25 seconds long, they're five seconds too long.'" Edwards said that he set up a meeting with Mayer to hear more from the singer.

Apparently, Edwards didn't take his advice, since he asked to hear yet another 20 seconds from Mayer. 

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