North Carolina's Democratic governor suggested this week that the U.S. suspend congressional elections for two years so the people's representatives won't have to focus on reelection while they work to solve the nation's budget woes.
"You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things," Gov. Bev Perdue (D) told the Cary Rotary Club in North Carolina yesterday. "I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover.
"I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It's a little bit more contentious now but it's not impossible to try to do what's right in this state. You want people who don't worry about the next election."
That quote was caught by The News & Observer, which spoke to Perdue's spokeswoman afterward. The governor's office said she was "obviously using hyperbole to highlight what we can all agree is a serious problem: Washington politicians who focus on their own election instead of what’s best for the people they serve."
But North Carolina Republicans did not see it that way.
"To suspend an election would be removing the surest mechanism that people have to hold politicians accountable: the right to vote," GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood told The News & Observer. "Does the Governor not believe that people of North Carolina have the ability to think for themselves about whether or not the actions of elected officials are working?"
Gov. Perdue is not a very popular governor, but saw her approval numbers rise thanks to her handling of disaster relief after Hurricane Irene. Still, the Democrat-affiliated Public Policy Polling group said at the beginning of Sept. that she continues to trail likely Republican challenger Pat McCoroy 45 percent to 41 percent.
Image credit: The University of North Carolina.