By Erik Wasson - 01/26/12 08:48 PM EST
With the announcement Thurday by North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue that she won't seek reelection in November, the door could be open for Obama fiscal commission Co-Chairman Erskine Bowles to run.
According to an analysis out Thursday from Public Policy Polling, Bowles is the strongest Democratic candidate against former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R).
Bowles served as chief of staff to President Clinton and twice ran for Senate before becoming, until 2010, the head of the North Carolina University system.
Along with Republican Alan Simpson, Bowles presented a fiscal commission plan in late 2010 that would have cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion.
A source close to Bowles said he would be surprised if Bowles did run this year for the governor's seat, since he "has no interest in being a politician again."
That being said, it would give the deficit hawk a platform to draw attention to his signature issue and the Bowles-Simpson plan.
The problem with that for President Obama would be a focus on the deficit, and on the fact that he largely ignored the Bowles-Simpson plan, in a state where the party is slated to hold its national nominating convention in September.