Chrissy Pearson, Governor Perdue’s communications director, took me to task for my blog “Smile, Gov.” (But she did it nicely. Her email began: “Season’s greetings.”)
I’m happy to oblige any elected official – or their representative – who reads my blog and wants to respond. So here is Chrissy’s full message:
“I’m sorry you only selected a single quote out of an entire hour of discussion during which our governor frankly and compassionately talked about the challenges facing this state. She painted the realistic picture, and she told reporters – all dozen of them – how this state is positioned to muscle through this recession and come out better on the other side.
“Nothing sums up better than this quote, taken from the end of our talk:
‘I think that people are rightly worried about the economy still. I’m worried about my children and grandchildren now. I think everybody’s worried about their kids’ future. [But] I think we all have to figure out that the best days are not over yet. I tried to say that yesterday.
‘I think that it’s really incumbent on all of us and the media if you can help that it’s not going to be worse. I think the fact that it’s a global economy and you hear so much about China and you hear so much about India and you look at those numbers on math and science and you see how crummy it is that America’s doing that you just say whoa…we’re like England in the last century…. our best days are behind us. I refuse to feel that way. During the next year, I systematically am going to focus on the future and what positive things we can do to turn around that kind of malaise, especially in our state. But I think it’s an American malaise and I think our national leaders need to stop snarking at each other and begin to focus on the future for America.’
“And, peppered throughout:
‘Once again we were selected as the best state in the country by Site Selection Magazine to do business. That’s not an easy award to get in this kind of climate. We kept our AAA bond rating, which to me is the lynch pin of North Carolina’s ability to recover. It sends such a strong message. It’s one of the things that’s discussed in every economic development meeting I have. We have been talked about [as one of the] most successful states in America on growing jobs…. But I say all that to really lay down the marker that North Carolina is very successful. We are still seeing tremendous opportunities for businesses….”
‘…at the end of the day I feel pretty good about where we are today as compared to how I felt in January, February, March and April of 2009 and I know that we’re coming out. The core missions I’ve defined in my mind — and I guess that’s one of the beauties of being older — is that I know fundamentally what’s important to me and what I’m willing to risk. In my mind the hallmark of North Carolina’s success generation after generation has been our investment in education…. it’s up to me and other people to continue to remind those folks who have moved to North Carolina of why this state is so successful and about the investments and history — the legacy that education has helped North Carolina have for our children and grandchildren. Our prior generations have defined us today.”
‘This cycle this next year is about what’s at stake for North Carolina. It’s about the future. Where do you want to go, not where have you been?’”