Chances are you missed last night’s Democratic debate, which, of course, ran parallel to the series finale of Downton Abbey, because the DNC doesn’t actually want you to watch these things. Which is a shame, because they’re usually pretty good—if you define “pretty good” as two adults talking about issues and not making juvenile references to each other’s genitalia.
Anyway, if you just had to see whether Lady Edith got her man, here’s a decent-enough collection of highlights.
Michigan votes Tuesday. North Carolina votes a week from Tuesday. And that’s why …
1. Bill Clinton is coming to town today.
Former president Bill Clinton will be in Raleigh on Monday morning as part of a three-city North Carolina tour to promote the presidential campaign of his wife, Hillary, and to urge North Carolinians to vote early.
Clinton will be at Market Hall at 215 Wolfe Street in Raleigh, just south of Moore Square downtown, at 10:15 a.m. Doors open at 9:15 a.m. People interested in attending can sign up and find more information at nando.com/clintonvisit.
The website publicizing the event says that “President Clinton will lay out what’s at stake during this election and why Hillary is the only candidate who can break down barriers that hold North Carolinians back, deliver results, and protect the progress that we’ve made under President Obama.”
He will make stops in Greensboro and Charlotte later in the day.
2. Also today: Mayor Nancy McFarlane’s State of the City address.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane will deliver the State of the City address Monday afternoon. The address will be part of the Raleigh Rotary Club meeting that begins at noon. McFarlane is expected to speak at 12:30 p.m. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.
A preview from her prepared remarks:
Everything is awesome, indeed—except maybe for young Raleigh residents, who want to see the city stop dithering over things like a bike share and AirBnB.
City leaders want Raleigh to be considered one of the coolest, best places for young people to live in America.
But, when faced with some programs or rule changes that might reinforce a progressive image, Raleigh’s City Council has hesitated.
Last year, the council heard requests to legalize home rental services like Airbnb, adopt a bike-rental program across the city and loosen regulations on food trucks, which have gained popularity nationwide. Months later, those requests are still under consideration, even though the proposals are high-demand items for many younger residents.
Young voters such as James Riley, an Airbnb host in Cameron Village, are keeping an eye on the council. Riley, 32, wants Raleigh leaders to govern and create laws without making mistakes. But he also doesn’t want them to take so long that they appear out of touch with young residents.
“It reflects on Raleigh as a progressive or regressive city,” he said. “So far, they’ve been more reactionary.”
Mayor Nancy says they’re working on it.
The city in recent months has allowed food trucks to operate – albeit on private property – in more areas of town. It has added bike lanes throughout the city. The council also supports a proposal to expand Wake County’s transit system to including commuter trains from Raleigh to Durham by 2027. And it aims to promote Raleigh’s reputation for live music by soon launching a monthly music television show at an estimated cost of $4,500 per episode.
“As a city that’s competing for talent with cities around the world, you have to look at what those market drivers are,” McFarlane said.
She expects the council to address each of the three issues this year but suggested city leaders’ support may vary topic to topic.
3. Nancy Reagan dies at ninety-four. The Gipper’s leading lady joined him in that drug-free conservative utopia in the sky.
Unlike other presidential wives, Nancy Reagan didn’t testify before Congress about health care, celebrate controversial Supreme Court decisions or sit in on Cabinet meetings.
“She never emerged as a political player in her own right. Nor did she seek to,” says historian David Greenberg, the author of “Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency.”
“On the other hand, neither did she confine herself to the domestic sphere. And by taking an active role in her husband’s business, she helped to reconcile conservatism to the reality of women’s changing roles. Her views may have been conservative, but her political involvement implied that it wasn’t improper for women to participate in what conservatives considered the man’s sphere.”
Reagan, who died Sunday at 94, wasn’t out to break the rules of being first lady. But she knew well how to work within them. Ronald Reagan had promised to champion conservative values when elected in 1980, and Nancy Reagan was in some ways a throwback to a more old-fashioned approach.
Of course, when Nancy did wade into public policy, it was to mixed results: the effectiveness of “Just Say No” was middling, and the zero-tolerance policies it spawned ended up having unforeseen consequences. On the other hand:
Reagan had other causes and in her post-Washington years openly broke with conservatives by advocating (and allying herself with the liberal Sen. Edward Kennedy) for embryonic stem cell research for Alzheimer’s, the disease which afflicted her husband. But while first lady, she stated most of her opinions in private. Often in tandem with such White House moderates as Chief of Staff James Baker and longtime adviser Michael Deaver, she favored better relations with the Soviet Union, opposed high military spending and urged the president to speak openly about AIDS.
Also, there was the time Nancy Reagan saved UPI reporter/liberal firebrand Helen Thomas from the KGB.
4. The Tar Heels get their revenge, clinch ACC.
No. 8 UNC rode a massive 64-29 rebounding edge to hold off No. 17 Duke 76-72 at Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday night, avenging an earlier loss to the Blue Devils in Chapel Hill.
The win gave UNC the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship and the No. 1 seed in this week’s ACC Tournament.
That’s all for Monday’s Roundup. We’ll see you tomorrow.