Editorial Roundup: Alabama

Dothan Eagle. May 1, 2022.

Editorial: Kay Ivey’s petulance

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has been in public service long enough to know that perception often carries far more weight than reality. Case in point: the governor welcomed former President Donald Trump with open arms last summer when the 45th president held a “Save America” rally in Cullman late last summer. However, she was nowhere to be seen in Troy on Tuesday when sitting President Joe Biden arrived to tour a Lockheed-Martin plant. Ivey’s spokesperson said the governor had “prior commitments.”

Perhaps Ivey is too embarrassed to face the president, having made belittling him a central theme in her re-election campaign. She might have gained a great deal of political mileage by taking the opportunity to tell him “No way, José!” in person.

The explanation is probably far simpler. In 2017, Ivey was asked about allegations of sexual wrongdoing against Republican candidate Roy Moore in a special race to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. The governor said she had no reason not to believe the accusers, but that she would vote for the Republican.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine why Ivey isn’t greeting Biden. He’s not a Republican.

It’s sad that Alabama’s top elected official would be so petulant. The unwritten rules of decorum suggest that a state’s governor should welcome a sitting president. It’s a matter of respect between offices, and has little to do with the personalities who hold the seat.

With her small-minded display of disrespect, Ivey embarrasses herself and the people of Alabama. She should have showed up, held her nose, and extended her hand.

She would certainly expect the same.