In March 2016, Pat McCrory was the clean-shaven face of a conservative revolution in North Carolina — a governor who had changed voting laws that made it harder for minorities to cast ballots and had ushered in a “bathroom bill” critics called transphobic.
A year later, McCrory is a 60-year-old man who says he's having trouble finding work.
The former governor told WORLD Podcast host Warren Smith that HB2, the bathroom bill that became his signature legislation, “has impacted me to this day, even after I left office. People are reluctant to hire me, because, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s a bigot’ — which is the last thing I am.”
One of those “oh my gosh, he's a bigot” people is Samantha Bee, the host of TBS's “Full Frontal” — and one of the Republican's loudest critics.
After McCrory's remarks about his struggle to get hired, Bee offered a few suggested résumé tweaks to help him leave the ranks of the nation's 7.5 million unemployed.
“Sorry you're having trouble finding a new job,” the “Full Frontal” Twitter account wrote to McCrory before offering its “help.”
In addition to trumpeting his work on the HB2 bill, “Full Frontal” suggested that McCrory highlight legislation he signed “defining voting as between one ballot and one white person.”
And, the show's Twitter account suggested, he should play up his ability to multitask by emphasizing that he “also found time to discriminate against women.”
Although he has a steady employment record, McCrory can be a bit of a tough sell to some recruiters.
His name is synonymous with HB2, which bans municipalities in North Carolina from creating anti-discrimination policies and requires people to use public bathrooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificate.
The bill may have cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism and tax revenue — despite stemming from a governor who campaigned on a pro-business platform.
As The Washington Post's Matt Bonesteel wrote last month:
By one estimate, HB2 has cost the state between $77 million and $201 million in tourism and tax revenue (a number of businesses also canceled expansion plans in the state because of the law) and, according to a North Carolina group that recruits and promotes major sporting events in the state, that number will only go up because the NCAA is on the verge of keeping its major events — 133 of them — out of North Carolina through 2022.
Basketball teams from North Carolina, a hotbed for the sport, are playing March tournaments elsewhere, and the NBA scrambled to move its most recent All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans.
Because of HB2, a state that once held itself up as a shining example of life in the New South has been rebranded as an intolerant place.
And McCrory is now out of office.
Not even Donald Trump's coattails could save the governor from the wrath of voters: In November, McCrory was defeated by a few thousand votes in a state Trump won by more than 173,000 votes.
Still, he tried to hang onto his job, launching challenges at election boards to disqualify votes. Instead his deficit grew, and he threw in the towel a month after Election Day.
But a week later, McCrory flexed his gubernatorial muscles one last time.
In a last-minute, year-end special session, the legislature passed a law that would give Republicans control of the state Board of Elections during election years and reduced the number of state employees the governor can hire and fire by more than a two-thirds.
The Washington Post's Amber Phillips called the bills “two of several aimed at reducing the governor's influence in state government, the judicial branch, the education system and elections oversight, all while strengthening the GOP-dominated legislature's influence in all those areas.”
Although McCrory's waning moments in office have been described as a “Republican power grab,” he still has some positives to highlight to would-be employers, Bee said:
- Promoted a pro-business, anti-trans-people-doing-their-business agenda
- Empowered business owners to exercise First Amendment right to fire gays.
- Enacted powerful restrictions on the office of the governor of North Carolina just to spite my opponent (to whom I lost badly)
Bee also suggested that McCrory play up his proficiency in Microsoft Office 2010.
McCrory told the Raleigh News & Observer on Monday that he's accepted a few consulting and advisory board positions “and I've also been exploring other opportunities in academia, nonprofits and government,” although he wouldn't give specifics.
But, he told the newspaper, academic leaders he's talked to about teaching positions have been reluctant because they're worried about student protests.
“That’s not the way our American system should operate — having people purged due to political thought,” he said.
Correction: This post has been updated and corrected. It originally said North Carolina's HB2 law prohibits transgender people from using bathrooms that don’t match their gender assigned at birth; it has been updated to note that the law mentions gender listed on birth certificates, not assigned at birth.