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After receiving a typically enthusiastic introduction from former Governor Jim Hunt Tuesday, Governor McCrory said, “Note to staff: Never have me speak after Jim Hunt again.”
Here’s another note he should send them: Know my audience.
McCrory was speaking at N.C. State’s Emerging Issues Form on manufacturing. He seemed to think he was speaking to a group of business people and manufacturing executives. The speech was spot on for that audience. But not for this one, which was mostly policy wonks – lobbyists, lawyers, educators, association executives and the like.
I don’t fault McCrory. But he should fault his staff. The first rule of speechwriting is: write to the audience – and make sure the speaker knows who they are.
That quibble aside, it was the first time I had a chance to measure McCrory as a public speaker.
He has one great strength: He’s likeable. Don’t underestimate that in a politician. (See: Mike Easley.)
What I couldn’t figure from his speech is what he really is: An affable front man for a radical ideology, or the model of a moderate, pro-business Charlotte Republican.
Either out of instinct or calculation, he distanced himself from Republican red-hots and from some of his and his administration’s fumbles.
He praised the value of a liberal arts college education “like the one I got.” In a bow to Hunt, he talked about the importance of pre-K education.
After saying why he opposed Medicaid expansion and a state insurance exchange, he said, “one thing I have to tell the politicians” – who might that be? – is that health care reform is the law of the land.
Clearly, this is a hard man to pin down. But in today’s polarized politics, that might be a strength – one Democrats shouldn’t underestimate.


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2 comments on “Listening to McCrory

  1. clarence swinney says:

    1945 -1980 we taxed high incomes and estates to pay down WWII debt.
    In those years we had fabulous economic growth.
    The Middle Class had much economic growth.
    Now, it is payoff time.
    We need to pay down the Republican Tax Cut Debt.
    Our income is $14,000 Billion.
    The 2013 budget calls for $2900B in revenue and a $900B deficit.
    It is a disgrace that we will not pay our way instead of leaving it for our kids to pay.
    We rank 4th on Inequality in OECD nations. Richest on earth. Yet! We rank third as Least taxed in OECD nations. Only Chile and Mexico tax less of GDP than America. Yes! We rank number two on taxing our corporations even though our top rate is highest. Obviously, something is crazy in America.
    Since 1980, our tax rates have been cut cut cut to favor the wealthy.
    In 2008, the top 50% got 86% of all individual income and paid 12..5% tax rate.
    That ratio has been similar for years.
    70,00,000 workers took home 14%.

    We Must return to taxing Wealth and high incomes. Would a higher estate tax hurt the ONE family which owns more wealth than 90% of our families. Romney wants to zero it not raise it to help balance our budget and pay down some of the debt that helped him get very rich.

    We CAN balance our budget. We CAN pay down our debt. The rich will fight any change.
    The Middle Class needs help to regain a good Standard Of Living. Help them. Clarence Swinney

  2. dap916 says:

    What scares me is that this post here is saying it’s okay to make sure you “speek to the audience”. You know…say what they want to hear. It’s most certainly how most politicians become successful and stay that way. But, it’s wrong. When a politician goes to a rally that has predominantly pro-gun people there, they speak “pro-gun” stuff. Doesn’t matter that this same politician wants major gun control legislation and will end up voting that way. It matters that he says what the audience wants to hear at the time.

    What also scares me about this post is Gary’s reference to a “radical ideology”. Know what that is to Gary and many left wingers? It’s pro-life. It’s anti-gay marriage. It’s pro-gun. It’s anti-amnesty. It’s believing spending is out of control and increased taxes aren’t the answer to our country’s/state’s fiscal problems. People that believe this way are “radicals” to the likes of Gary and those that he follows and/or follows him.

    McCrory will never, ever be able to turn a phrase like Obama does. He’ll also never have that dynamic personality Hunt had. I met him twice, both times in a group when I lived in Mebane and he had just such a great personality even away from the microphone. Obama is one smooth talker and I do agree with Gary here….in most cases, that means a whole lot more than what you actually say. It’s like I’ve been told by my bride so many times…”it’s not what you said, it’s how you said it”. Soooo true.

    Medicaid is expensive. Real expensive. A high volume of those taking advantage of this are the young…many just infants and they continue to keep this “benefit” for years on end because their moms got pregnant, had the kids and not being married and lower-educated making it difficult for them to get work, this qualifies both the parent and the children for medicaid. Medical care is extremely expensive. It takes a HUGE portion of the state’s budget. So, our young people have kids and know that if they get married, they don’t get the bennies. They live together anyway unbeknownst to the “system” and it’s just all good…except for the taxpayer who has to pay for not only their own medical care but for these people’s medical care as well. Oh, sure, there are those that truly need it and don’t do what I’ve presented here and I’m totally in favor of helping them…but, that doesn’t mean it’s not happening and not a HUGE problem in our state. If we do “expand” medicaid as asked to do by the Fed, then it will just continue and even get progressively worse. It’s wrong minded.

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