Shipp: Governor's legacy is being shrouded in government secrecy.
I've reported and written on a dozen governors in my day, and I can tell you one thing for certain: Nearly every governor said the office surprised him. Almost all experienced an unanticipated defining moment, which marked his tenure for history.
What is Perdue's legacy? Some contend that his decision to shut down public schools for two days to save motor fuel will become the most unforgettable image of the Perdue years. In the heat of the moment, that assertion sounded plausible.
Alas, in the age of information overkill, the school closings already are fading from memory as we approach an unknown new crisis just beyond the next horizon.
Come to think of it, Perdue has yet to clearly define himself.
After nearly three years in office, we hardly know Perdue. To be sure, his list of governmental achievements, for better or worse, are little more than digitized copies of the state Chamber of Commerce's legislative agenda. He has reduced spending on education, cut back on Medicaid, established several new Web sites on the Internet and - and - and -. And what?
At the end of nearly three years in office, the legacy of Perdue remains a cipher. A culture of secrecy in state government has allowed the public only fleeting glimpses of how, when and where important decisions are made.
These flashes of insight are never quite enough to give us a focused picture of the governor. To Perdue and his advisers, such fuzziness serves as a protective covering. To Perdue's well-paid team, this shield may be far more important than establishing a clear legacy for the state's first Republican governor in modern times.