As America pauses for the national holiday, North Carolina politicians have special reasons to give thanks. Here are a few things that should have our state pols whispering words of gratitude before they dive into the pumpkin pie.
• Gov. Pat McCrory is thankful for the abundance of young people willing to take high-paying jobs in his administration, and puppy love.
• Dr. Aldona Wos, head of the state Department of Health and Human Services, is thankful for the Affordable Care Act insurance enrollment site healthcare.gov. True, some North Carolina doctors still aren’t getting paid for treating Medicaid patients, but at least NC Tracks isn’t bringing down a presidency.• DHHS spokesman Ricky Diaz has 85,000 reasons to be thankful.
• Former Gov. Bev Perdue is thankful for Gov. Pat McCrory, another strong candidate for the title “Governor Misspeak.”
• Legislative Democrats are thankful that their chamber microphones still work. Otherwise, would anyone know they’re there?
• Attorney General Roy Cooper is thankful that the next election for governor is still three years away, giving him plenty of time to back out.
• The governor’s guests are thankful that the Administration Building is close to the Executive Mansion – in case they have to use the bathroom.
• Phil Berger Jr. is thankful for Phil Berger Sr.
• U.S. Rep. George Holding is grateful for big, comfy chairs suitable for naps and campaign donations that allow him to eat in D.C.’s finest restaurants.
• U.S. Rep. Mel Watt is thankful for the nuclear option.
• Charlotte’s newly elected Democratic Mayor Patrick Cannon is thankful for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
• Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is thankful for the Common Core. It gives him a spoon to stir the tea party.
• The Humane Society is grateful to know how state Rep. Michael Speciale feels about dogs.• Chris Walker, the governor’s first communications director, is thankful he couldn’t sell his house in Nashville back in February.
• Moral Monday protesters are thankful for community service.
• U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is thankful that her election is a year away. Maybe voters will have forgotten about the disastrous rollout of the health care law.
• Ann McCrory is thankful for her Charlotte home, where protesters never gather.• State House Speaker Thom Tillis is thankful that Greg Brannon and the Rev. Mark Harris could split the tea party vote.
• Former Wake County school board member Debra Goldman is thankful for the 59 voters in Ronda who wrote her name in on the ballot for town commissioner, returning her to public office.
• Democrats with an eye on Congress are grateful U.S. Rep. Howard Coble has decided not to run for re-election. The redrawn district leans a little more Democratic now, but the longtime lawmaker had a faithful constituency.
• State capital reporters are grateful for a governor who brings cookies to abortion-rights protesters, a DHHS secretary who hires inexperienced staff at high salaries, and Democratic and Republican lawmakers who rarely censor their true feelings when they’re in committee or on the chamber floor. If it weren’t for y’all, we’d have no reason to come to work.
Staff writers Lynn Bonner, Rob Christensen, Mary Cornatzer, John Frank and Craig Jarvis
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