Two Political Analysts Say Gov. Perdue's Decision Doesn't Add Up

7:09 PM, Jan 30, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- We've had a few days to digest Gov. Bev Perdue's decision not to run for reelection, but there's still a bit of mystery surrounding her reasoning.

On Saturday, Gov. Perdue told a crowd of reporters why she decided against seeking a second term.

"If I were perhaps a typical politician, and I'm not, I've never been," the governor said, "I would have said 'To hell with this' and gone right along and run for governor and let [my fight for education] become a political wedge and let the Republicans say 'Oh, whoa, she's tax-and-spend, she's doing this to win votes and garner favors.'

"I chose not to do that. I have chosen to stand aside and to let other people have the political discussions and political battles while I go to the people of the state and tell them I think in all sincerity and all genuineness, I think the heart and soul of North Carolina is at risk."

But can she push through a ¾-cent sales tax increase to fund improvements to the state's education system as a lame duck?

Perdue says yes.

"Don't anybody dare tell me that I'm a lame duck and that I can't do this even without the bully pulpit," she said to WRAL. "I will not go away. There are going to be people in this state until the day I die who continue this conversation with me about education."

Political experts WFMY News 2 spoke with aren't so sure.

"It's called lame duck for a reason," UNCG lecturer Thom Little said. "Most of the powers you had [as governor] either are gone or they're going to be gone because you will not be back. We now know any threats you make as governor -- that 'I will do this' [and] 'I will not do that' -- those threats are going to be null and void."

Wake Forest University political science professor John Dinan agrees.

"It's very difficult to see how her ... announcing she's stepping down increases the chances Republicans go back on their campaign promises from 2010 and say, 'OK, we're now open to a tax increase,'" Dinan said.

Perdue said she believes she could've beat likely challenger Pat McCrory in this fall's election, but both Dinan and Little questioned why a candidate who expects to win a contest would drop out of the race.

WFMY News 2

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