Raleigh, N.C. — The skills and circumstances that made Gov. Pat McCrory a popular moderate mayor of Charlotte didn't always translate to the state's top job, and McCrory had to acknowledge Monday that he would be a one-term governor.
After releasing a two-minute concession via YouTube video, McCrory has declined to publicly talk about his four years in office or his future plans. But he is scheduled to meet Wednesday with President-elect Donald Trump in New York, and a source close to McCrory said he could be in line for a top job at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Energy or the Department of Transportation.
FEMA would be a good fit for McCrory, his supporters and critics agree, noting that he was at his best leading North Carolina through hurricanes, floods and snowstorms.
"The governor is probably one of the finest crisis governors we've ever had," Republican political consultant Chris Sinclair said Tuesday.
Sinclair and Democratic counterpart Brad Crone also praised McCrory's push for government savings and efficiency.
"We're going to get our fiscal house in order, and we're going to make it better for generations to come," Sinclair said. "I think we as citizens will forever feel the impact of that."
But transitioning from mayor to governor takes political savvy, strength and nuance.
"The legislature put him in too many boxes and too many corners that made him look like a far right-wing social conservative," Crone said.
Crone cited House Bill 2, which the governor quickly signed and fiercely defended, even when the law prompted a national storm of criticism for limiting gay and transgender rights.
"The big anchor around McCrory's neck is going to be HB2," he said.
McCrory also took heat for the state's handling of coal ash, film incentives and a toll road project on Interstate 77 north of Charlotte.
"He was used to walking the street and everyone liking him," Sinclair said. "Then he gets here, and immediately some folks don't like him, and that was a big adjustment."
After one term, McCrory must now adjust to not being governor, yet few doubt his run in government and politics is over.
"I think the future for Pat McCrory is very bright," Crone said.