Buying in to the narrative:
But for McCrory, a rookie governor with little Raleigh experience, having Pope at his side during the early months of his administration has been an asset. McCrory can shoot hoops with the boys on Jones Streets. But Pope can throw some elbows.
While Rob does give a nod to the power Pope wields over the Legislature due to his fundraising/camapign contributions, he still casts him in a servile role, helping McCrory achieve his agenda. Not only does this go against human nature (power is not subservient), it also exposes one of the drawbacks of reporting on politics for too long: seeing patterns that may not exist:
There is some precedent for Pope’s role. When Democrat Jim Hunt was first elected governor in 1976, he was only 39, and had to deal with some old Democratic legislative bulls who thought they knew far more about how to run things in Raleigh.
Hunt relied on John A. Williams, a wealthy Raleigh businessman who was his budget director, to help shepherd his legislative program. Hunt was Mr. Positive. “John A.” was the muscle.
This kind of thing is bread and butter to political reporters. It's safe (focusing on a perceived pattern instead of a person), it gives the reporter an opportunity to remind everybody how knowledgeable and experienced he or she is, and the "both parties do it" aspect is a (constant) reminder that the reporter is non-partisan and objective.
And it's lazy, presumptuous, and misinformative. I know that's not going to win me any friends in the Capitol Press Corps, and it won't please a lot of people who treat politics like a favorite sport, with all the statistics and trivia that make for good dinner party conversation. But this ain't a game, as the tens of thousands of suffering families would tell you. If they had a voice, that is.
The lack of information continues:
Many will also disagree with Pope’s vision of limited government. North Carolina has traditionally been led by a progressive business community, while Pope’s political philosophy seems more libertarian in its leanings. But Pope does seem to have a healthy appreciation for the role of the state university system in the state’s economic development.
Ah, but not a word about Pope's attempts (and successes) to gain a foothold in various institutions of higher learning, either to artificially enhance the credibility of free market principles or combat multiculturalism by waving the pom-poms of Western Civilization. Of course, those things don't fit the narrative, so...