He’s wasting his time. The state political rumor mill has been churning out scuttlebutt about Treasurer Dale Folwell’s well-honed ambitions to be governor of North Carolina. It can’t come as a surprise that this hard-charging hard-liner would seek to bring his brand of extreme conservatism to the grand rambler on Blount Street. Folwell has, after all, been pursuing this dream since long before he became the first Republican treasurer in generations. But the gratifying truth is that this libertarian zealot will almost certainly never get to impose a vision of minimal government, one perhaps even more purist than the dogma purveyed by Sen. Phil Berger, onto a state that can hardly sustain more attacks on its public architecture.

This crusader seems unsatisfied with turning a traditionally staid office into a cudgel for his war against government. He wants, instead, to be the top dog in the Blount-street doghouse. But this ambitious man and his disregard for the life-security of state employees will face one big, looming obstacle in his quest to be governor: One Robinson, Mark, R-Extremist. In his blinding ambition, Folwell has seemed not to calculate just how formidably the lieutenant governor overshadows nearly every Republican on the state political scene. Indeed, polling by Carolina Forward, a statewide center-left group of which I am a contributor, shows Robinson a laughable 50 points ahead of Folwell.