EDITORIAL: "Big John" Perdue Not as Big as He Thinks

EDITORIAL:  "Big John" Perdue Not as Big as He Thinks

A Putnam County lady recently introduced herself at a restaurant to John Perdue, State Treasurer and one of the several Democratic candidates for Governor.  After she told Perdue her name, she asked him for his.

"Why, I'm John Perdue!" the Treasurer boomed.  "Big John Perdue!"

The lady, who has since relayed this story to us, indicates that Perdue seemed in a state of amazement that this lady (or anyone?) would not instantly recognize him.

Now we need to say upfront that Perdue is not the only West Virginia politician who suffers from this delusion.  In fact, political leaders probably require more than their share of self-confidence to do what they do, namely interacting with the public regularly.

However, Perdue's remark to this polite lady from Putnam underscores the great need for our state's political leaders to get out and interact with the public--and not just during political season.  Except for the Governor, who is always in the news as a result of the natural duties of that office, very few West Virginians have frequent and direct contact with other state government officials.  At best, perhaps they know their local legislator.

But for politicians like John Perdue, surrounded at the capitol by his handpicked staff and some familiar faces in the capitol cafeteria or press room, a sense of one's fame apparently begins to settle in.  We hate to burst Perdue's bubble, but we would not be surprised if over half of the state employees who work at the statehouse recognize him, either.

Perdue is simply like many state officials: generally unknown among the public.  Unless Perdue can come up with a more compelling thesis for his campaign than his height, Big John is going to get to head back to his State Treasurer's office for another year.

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