"After seven terms, the only mayor that many Charlotteans have ever known is stepping down."
So wrote Creative Loafing contributor Mary C. Curtis in her 2009 cover story on Pat McCrory, who had served as Charlotte's mind-numbingly moderate mayor over the previous 14 years. McCrory had stepped down to run for governor, an office he lost to Beverly Perdue.
Curtis' profile was uncharacteristically friendly for CL, a paper that's called out the former mayor for everything from his paternalism to his bad temper. Taking pot shots at Pat had become sport around these parts; between columnists John Grooms (on the left) and Tara Servatius (on the libertarian right), CL has often wondered in print what face the mayor would wear on any given day to any given group of voters: Moderate McCrory or Tea Party Pat? We've called him a dork and made fun of his vanilla, Mayberry worldview in a city with prominent and growing African American and Latino populations. And we've spotlighted his dark and clueless sides when others pat him on his enthusiastic back.
For example, aw-shucks Pat is the same McCrory who once said, "Too many of our youth, primarily African American, are imitating and/or participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action." He's the same one who, when the economy tanked in 2008, announced, "It came with little or no warning."
CL often hurt the former mayor's feelings, he told Curtis. "It can get pretty cruel. Creative Loafing, they hate me," he said, but added, "it doesn't impact me as much as it used to."
Aw shucks. Even current Democratic Mayor Anthony Foxx soft-balled the former mayor in the piece. "I may quibble with him over a position he takes or one thing or another or in some cases the style he uses to make his points," Foxx said of McCrory, "but I don't think anyone can take away from him the amount of time and energy he's put into the job."
And no one can take away from CL the amount of time and energy we've put into exposing McCrory's weaknesses, even if we did give him a nice little send-off.