When Your Lt. Gov. Is More a Circus Peanut Than a Smartie, and Other NC Leaders’ Candy Matches

Read to find out what beloved (and hated) Halloween candies match our elected officials in North Carolina. Photos via Shutterstock, AP and Getty Images.

By Emiene Wright

October 25, 2021

We talk a lot about these influential leaders and their opinions. But we want to know which Halloween candy best describes them.

These North Carolinians are our political leaders, so they often get the serious treatment at Cardinal & Pine. But as we prepped this year for Halloween, we found ourselves pondering a different detail.

If they were a Halloween candy, which candy would they be?  

Are they sweet on the outside yet crunchy inside, like a Twix or Kit Kat? Crowd-pleasing Snickers, or fun and fizzy Nerds? 

Here’s our take; let us know if you agree, disagree, or who should be added to the list!

Gov. Roy Cooper—Werther’s Original

Described on their website “as blissfully indulgent,” these candies have a different reputation on the streets: non-polarizing, but no one’s favorite treat. 

Maybe that’s because despite their buttery characteristics, they take an awful long time to warm up. Almost as long as Ronnie Long and other people proven innocent of crimes have to wait for their pardons, Mr. Governor.   

Photo via Shutterstock.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson—Circus Peanut

Our second-highest office holder in the state is like the marshmallow candy with no nutritional value: a fake nut. 

Robinson takes delight in finding the most bigoted stance he can on, well, everything. He calls LGBQT North Carolinians “filth,” wants to deport non-Christians, and said any politician encouraging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine should be voted out of office. This in a state that’s seen 1.5 million reported cases. 

Circus peanuts’ only use are as missiles in a food fight, and Robinson appears to only be good for starting them.

Photo via Shutterstock.

US Sen. Thom Tillis—Now & Later

Now & Laters start off hard, brittle, and thick, but wait long enough and they soften, ending up pliable and sticky. 

This is not unlike our state’s famed senator, known for sticking hard to one position until he does a 180. Don’t like Tillis’ stance on something now? Wait long enough and he might have a different one later

Back in 2019, he vocally opposed then-President Donald Trump’s move to declare a national emergency to fund his wall at the US-Mexico border. Tillis penned an editorial in The Washington Post calling it “a dangerous precedent.” Two weeks later, Tillis toed the party line to cast his vote with Trump—just in time for his re-election campaign. 

Photo via Shutterstock.

US Rep. Alma Adams—Pink Starburst

Everyone loves Starbursts, and the pink treat is favored above all. 

Although pleasingly colorful, tart, and sweet, when stuck in the teeth they can also be pretty tenacious, much like Rep. Adams herself. The congresswoman is a champion of the people, fighting for expanding health care to uninsured North Carolinians, pushing for workers’ rights, and defending educational funding for vital institutions such as HBCUs and other institutions serving communities of color.    

Photo via Shutterstock.

US Rep. Madison Cawthorn—Good & Plenty

Oh, Madison. Cawthorn is that horrid pink and white coated candy covering a heart of black licorice. 

The crime of Good & Plenty is that it’s both tasteless and plentiful, much like North Carolina’s omnipresent and omni-offensive congressman.

When he’s not sneaking knives into school board meetings and defending traitors who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, he’s calling for the raising of “monster men” or beating down dead trees on video. We’d trade him for literally any other candy (even Three Musketeers!), but no one else wants him.

Photo via Shutterstock.

North Carolina General Assembly—Anyone Home?

Our beloved NCGA is in charge of the state budget, putting education policy, justice, health care, and economic programs in their hands. 

But the budget is decided in backroom deals with no public input

Meanwhile, our schools continue to suffer, and 500,000 North Carolinians await legislation that would grant them and their families health insurance. The Republican-led NCGA seems to feel no urgency in the matters. 

They’re like the residents of a fancy neighborhood who are home, but scurry to turn out the lights and hide when trick-or-treaters come calling. Maybe it’s time to break out the TP.

Photo via Getty Images.


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