Searching through Santa's bag of goodies
RALEIGH -- The weather outside is hardly frightful, and there is no need for a fire that is delightful, but it is that time of year again.
Yes, it is time to check over who, among the political honchos of North Carolina, has been naughty and who has been nice, and devise a little list of Christmas goodies.
So, without further ado, here are my gift-giving suggestions for the season.
• For Gov. Beverly Perdue, as she prepares to leave office, an all-expense paid tour of the great parks of America -- Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Great Smoky Mountains, and that newest one atop a high hill in Raleigh. Word has it that Raleigh park will be a great place to look down upon the North Carolina General Assembly.
• For Gov.-elect Pat McCrory, a new house. Oh, that's right, he kind of gets one of those with the new job. OK … a new car. Oh yeah, he'll get one of those too, probably a dark-colored SUV driven by Highway Patrol troopers. Hmmm. What to get the person who has everything? Of course, a gift card. Let's just make sure that it doesn't involve a retailer who sells out of a spacious warehouse or that specializes in casual field jackets.
• For outgoing Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, the latest toy from the makers of Silly Putty, "Sticky Mud." This product, amazingly enough, sticks to whatever it is thrown at, even Teflon-coated political opponents who portray themselves as post-partisan, practical problem-solvers from economically vibrant Southern cities. The container for "Sticky Mud" includes a secret compartment filled with enough campaign cash to make up for even the biggest disparities in fundraising.
• For House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is believed to have aspirations of taking on U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan in 2014, a copy of the recently unearthed and previously unknown memoir from the late Jesse Helms, "Beating Jim Hunt, Befriending Bono and Other Tales of the Politically Astounding." Tillis will want to pay particular attention to the chapter entitled, "Where's My Chief of Staff?" He can probably safely ignore the chapter, "Just Say No and No and No and No."
• For Senate leader Phil Berger, the latest life-like robot made by Mattel, "Whipping Boy." A special custom model, designed to look and sound like Gov. Beverly Perdue, will provide hours of fun for Berger as he rails against her every word and move, months after the real Perdue is far removed from Raleigh. Berger will particularly enjoy the programmed responses each time a question is posed to the Whipping Boy. They include, "Because I'm governor," and "Where's My Red Veto Stamp?"
• Finally, for North Carolina voters, a year or more of relative peace from campaign commercials and cable TV pundits trying to turn every election into the most important election ever and every candidate into a saint or villain.