posted on September 13, 2012 12:42
Walter Dalton put out a strong, thoughtful and comprehensive jobs plan this week. It was long on good ideas, but – unfortunately – short on political punch. It illustrates the challenge Democrats face in a short-attention span age.
Republicans have the virtue of brevity and simplicity, if not quality. Pat McCrory has a bumper-sticker jobs plan: “Cut taxes. Cut regulations. Drill, baby, drill.”
Dalton’s plan has solid, thought-provoking ideas: “Make out-of-state businesses compete for our incentives.” “Establish an infrastructure bank (I-Bank).” “Establish a comprehensive state energy plan.”
But reporters had a hard time boiling it down. Even the campaign struggled. Its news release said the plan is “focused on refocusing and retooling our economic development approach so it’s more strategic and results-oriented, recruiting businesses and investors to stimulate job growth and retraining our workforce for 21st Century jobs.”
That’s a bit long for a bumper sticker. Or even a 30-second ad.
One Triangle CEO who likes Dalton was surprised there wasn’t more about education. Especially given his work on pioneering Early College initiatives.
You can combine thoughtful ideas with punchy presentation. Bill Clinton was the unmatched master at that.
Dalton’s theme could have been three words: “Innovation. Infrastructure. Education.”
As a Southern politician once said: “You have to get the hay down where the goats can get it.”