Monday, January 4, 2010

Some thoughts on Perdue

I thought a lot over the holidays about what Bev Perdue could do proactively to get her approval ratings back on the right track and I finally came to the conclusion that the answer is nothing. She might be able to get herself consistently back in the 30s through piecemeal stuff but if she wants to attain a healthy level of appreciation from voters in the state she's going to have to handle a difficult crisis in a way that makes voters across the state take notice and change their initial perceptions of her.

Unfortunately that probably means something unpleasant- natural disaster, state financial shortfall beyond everything that's happened so far, etc.- but basically something that the whole state would be paying attention to and where her leadership would really be on display, for good or bad. Botching such a crisis would make it even harder for Perdue to get out of the basement but handling one well could be what it takes to get voters thinking about her differently.

Most everything a Governor does is insider baseball and doesn't have broad impact on people's perceptions about them. The exceptions when the Governor has to deal with something while the whole state is watching are rare, and how Perdue handles herself the next time one of those comes along could end up being what makes or breaks her Governorship.

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