Was North Carolina’s Governor Serious About Suspending Congressional Elections?

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US President Barack Obama tours WestStar Precision with North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue (R) on September 14, 2011 in Apex, North Carolina. Obama was in North Carolina to visit a yhe manufacturing facility and the North Carolina State University to speak on his proposed American Jobs Act.  AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama tours WestStar Precision with North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue (R) on September 14, 2011 in Apex, North Carolina. Obama was in North Carolina to visit a yhe manufacturing facility and the North Carolina State University to speak on his proposed American Jobs Act. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: MANDEL NGAN/2011 AFP

America, meet Bev Purdue. North Carolina's Democratic governor since 2009 has stepped into her first national controversy after proposing yesterday that "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." That's obviously a terrible idea — wouldn't delaying elections merely prolong a gridlocked, divided Congress? Incidentally, it would also be, like, the most flagrantly unconstitutional thing ever. But it's okay, because Perdue wasn't actually suggesting we suspend elections, her spokesman claims.


Later Tuesday afternoon, Perdue's office clarified the remarks: "Come on," said spokeswoman Chris Mackey in a statement. "Gov. Perdue 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."

That is a serious problem! But, if you listen to Perdue, it doesn't quite sound as if she was just "using hyperbole" to make a point. It sounds like she sincerely made a suggestion — one she hadn't really thought through — while speaking off the cuff. She wouldn't be the first politician to do that.

Perdue jokes about suspending Congressional elections for two years [News Observer]
Was Perdue joking? You decide. Listen here. [News Observer]