In part one, we saw the woes that may await the governors of New Mexico and Missouri. Now, let’s have a look at a few governors who might actually rise from the ashes of this Coronapocalypse.
As pressure mounts to restart their economic engines, ten governors running for re-election in 2020 are all but positioned for a landslide win. It isn’t due to the handling of the bug; it isn’t because they are stellar governors or extremely popular. It’s merely because the pandemic has gifted these heads of state with constant media coverage while potential opponents languish in basements under stay-at-home orders.
Citizens tune in for daily live briefings and watch the news morning, noon, and night for reassurance that the social distancing, face masks, and shelter-in-place orders are working. Hours of earned media that, for challengers, are impossible to duplicate.
In the words of Mel Brooks, “it’s good to be the king.”
In late October of 2019, Morning Consult released a poll that had the Indiana Democratic Party chairman, John Zody, salivating like Pavlov’s dog. The survey of 13,000 or so Hoosiers found Eric Holcomb was the second-most anonymous governor in America. Anonymity does not help propel anyone into office.
It was undeniably the best possible news, and Zody was nearly giddy in posting on the party web page:
“Governors act to meet the challenges facing middle-class Hoosiers, Holcomb’s most notable achievement is setting the record for most international junkets. Jet-setting around the globe might be good for Holcomb’s name ID in Mumbai or Vienna, but it clearly isn’t moving the needle here.”
The folks in Indiana know their governor now. Heck, most refer to him as just Holcomb, as if he’s the good ole boy down the street in a suit or the helpful neighbor everyone can count on when the chips are down. What Zody might call a quiet, somewhat boring demeanor is now paying off in spades. Calm and collected in facing a crisis is just what the doctor ordered.
In normal election cycles, “it’s the economy, stupid” is nearly an absolute indicator of regime change. But not 2020 – we blame the virus for killing the most robust economy America has seen in the last 60 years. Governor Holcomb is phasing in a plan that jumpstarts the economy of his own state: Most businesses, bars, and restaurants will be open in a matter of days, and all without terrifying citizens. With the Indiana primary scheduled for June 2 and most people thinking it’s simply gauche to campaign and throw mud at the guy protecting the state, Indiana Democrats are feeling the pain as that tiny glimmer of hope begins to die of Coronavirus.
Big Sky Country
Social distancing in Montana has been in effect since, well, always. There isn’t a lot of loitering when the nearest Walmart is a hundred miles away and neighbors are often separated by thousands of acres. Of course, Democrat Governor Steve Bullock steered his state through the worst – 457 cases and 404 recoveries. But Bullock played ball with national efforts and enjoyed his daily pressers, and, by the end of April, Montana resumed business as usual. Well almost. There is limited capacity for events and social distancing encouraged. But, yet again, social distancing is simple to comply with in Big Sky Country.
Montana’s travel quarantine has not changed. Out of staters and residents returning home for non-work-related purposes have to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Bullock is term-limited out for governor and launched his campaign for U.S. Senate in early March, challenging incumbent Senator Steve Daines (R-MT). It is a battleground race for Democrats to pick up seats.
And the Homecoming Queen is …
Suffice it to say, our nation’s governors have faced the most challenging of opponents in staring down an invisible virus. Some have battened down the hatches, shuttered their metropolitan areas, and heavy-handedly stripped many Americans of their freedoms. It may take a toll for those who have a more libertarian bent electorate. The Democratic governors of New York and California, Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom respectively, had the most to lose. They will have the lengthiest road to recovery.
But there is one governor who balanced the wishes of her constituents with common sense and self-preservation. South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi L. Noem did not issue a stay at-home-order. She rebuffed the media as they attempted to shame her into compliance. She refused to destroy the economy, and she stuck to her guns throughout:
“I believe in our freedoms and liberties. What I’ve seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security and they don’t have to do that.”
How did the good folks of South Dakota take to that message? They threw her a parade.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.
For home study students and young people, Liberty Nation recommends…
Freedom and the Coronavirus
High School: Coronavirus Lockdown Meets Growing Protest
Middle School: Lockdown Protests in States Across America
Elementary School: Americans Protest Coronavirus Lockdown
The Cost of Coronavirus
High School: How COVID-19 Has Impacted the US Economy
Middle School: The Economic Cost of COVID-19