In my Saturday column, I wrote about Gov. Bob Scott's up-and-down relationship with The N&O. In my view, it is inevitable that at times prominent politicians and the press will be at odds. When he was governor, Scott sometimes was mad at us but he also had good professional relationships with many N&O staffers, including columnist Charlie Craven, capital reporter Jack Childs and managing editor Woodrow Price.
Several readers thought I was trying to get in a final dig at Scott, who passed away recently. That was not my intent. I liked and admired Scott, who was governor from 1969 to '73 and president of the state community college system from 1983 to 1994. I interviewed him several times in 1980s and 1990s. He was a pleasure to work with -- gracious, yet disarmingly candid. In giving interviews, many public figures either grandstand or are cautious and bland. You often get the feeling they aren't saying what they really believe. Not so with Bob Scott. He was thoughtful. After pausing for a second, he spoke plainly and directly. He was good to interview because you knew you were going to get some good quotes.
With reporters and the rest of the world, Gov. Scott had the common touch. Unlike many politicians, he wasn't full of himself. As our Rob Christensen reported, there was always a sense of fun about him. He held an annual Possum Dinner when friends in black tie would gather at the Executive Mansion to enjoy possum, sweet potatoes, greens and persimmon pudding. Click here to read more from Christensen. Generally, he was accessible to the public and press. In that regard, I hope Gov. Beverly Perdue follows his lead. Gov. Scott served the state well and he did so in a plain-spoken style that we might never see again.