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Governor Cooper may be doing something few politicians can or want to do: talk to both sides of a divided state.

This week the Governor, who won thanks largely to urban voters, announced a jobs initiative for rural counties. Last week, he spoke on the same day at two events symbolizing the two North Carolinas.

In Mooresville, he honored Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller for their racing-business and charity work. Then, in Ellerbe he dedicated a bridge for Henry Frye, the state’s first African-American chief justice.

NASCAR and civil rights are a twain that rarely meet. About all the two events had in common were cars and the Orders of the Long Leaf Pine that Cooper presented.

A TAPster, obviously a Cooper fan, sent links to the Earnhardt and Frye videos and wrote:

“In watching them back to back, I was struck by the broad audience and also the fact that the Governor really sticks to his usual message of creating opportunity, tearing down barriers and expanding access to education. (It highlights) the desire and ability of elected leaders to speak to different audiences in a meaningful way with a similar basic message (without it being super intentional/forced or less-than-sincere). It feels very unTrump and I found it valuable to watch.”

Can a Governor with rural roots (Nash County) and urban roots (Raleigh) appeal to both? That would be quite the feat in today’s political world. And a lesson for all Democrats.


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