Kevin Stitt's only been in office for six months, but that hasn't stopped the Norman Transcript – which is hiring a new editor – to eagerly proclaim Gov. Stitt's first year in office a great success.
Grading the governor: Accessibility, outsider persona key to Stitt's first yearFor the first time, Jacob Rosecrants found himself invited to the Governor’s mansion to meet with the state’s top executive.The Democratic state representative, who was first elected in 2017, said as a member of the minority party, he’d never been invited before.“There’s a big difference between what we had and what we have now, and that’s accessibility,” said Rosecrants, D-Norman. “He’s disarming. He’s just a regular dude and that’s what I really like about him the most.”He’s the type of guy Rosecrants would like to sit down with and have a beer.
Yep, he's just a regular dude...who's worth millions and millions of dollars and banned from being a banker in Georgia. Also, I wonder what type of beer he drinks? I'm going to go with Corona, Heineken or whatever crappy import they serve at corporate receptions.
Naturally, the people in his own party think he's doing great:
“I think what he was able to accomplish was just tremendous,” said State Rep. Mike Sanders, R-Kingfisher.Sanders said people were initially unsure about Stitt, a CEO with no state governing experience. But Stitt quickly surrounded himself with good staff and worked to bring the House and Senate leadership together, Sanders said.He’d give Stitt’s performance so far a “solid A.”“I absolutely liked his leadership style,” Sanders said. “Very engaging. Unlike other leaders that I’ve worked with (who) have kind of let their staff control the narrative, he was right in the middle of everything.”
The oil and gas guys love him, too.
Chad Warmington, president of the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma, said he’s impressed Stitt was able to convince the Legislature to save the extra $200 million to help weather the next economic downturn.“He does not think like a career bureaucrat or public official,” Warmington said. “He’s the ultimate insider in that he’s governor of the state, but he’s got the ultimate outsider viewpoint, meaning that his frame of reference is from a business perspective. He’s bringing a really solid understanding of how our businesses operate, and he’s bringing a really strong sense of fiscal discipline to state government.”He said he’d give Stitt’s overall performance an “A-plus.”
I actually think Kevin Stitt has done a pretty decent job so far as a Republican governor. I'd probably give him a "B." Sure, he was dealt a solid hand and hasn't had to address any major crisis, but he's brought his fractured party together, not deviated from his fluffy and optimistic Top 10 messaging, and — most importantly — has avoided the major gaffes, blunders and general incompetence that marred his predecessor's reign. Well, at least for now. We know how Oklahoma politricans operate.
For what it's worth, Gov. Stitt thinks he's doing a pretty good job:
Stitt said he’d give his first session performance an “A” because there’s always room for improvement.“I don’t want to get overconfident, but we feel like we had a really successful freshman season, and now we’re getting prepared for next session, and we expect to have as much success next year,” he said.
He gave himself an A because "there’s always room for improvement?" Does that mean in six months, when the Norman Transcript grades his first four years in office, he'll give himself an A+?