What’s a Republican to do About the Selection of Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention in 2012?

by johndavis, February 22, 2011

Click the Play Button Below for an Audio Summary [audio:http://www.johndavisconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/JDPR-2-22-2011-Charlotte-Host-DNC.mp3|titles=JDPR 2 22 2011 Charlotte Host DNC] “NC’s long-term industrial transformation — from tobacco, textiles, and furniture to research, energy, and banking — plays into what may be the centerpiece of the Democrat’s reelection bid, a call for the U.S. to focus on innovation to compete
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Click the Play Button Below for an Audio Summary
[audio:http://www.johndavisconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/JDPR-2-22-2011-Charlotte-Host-DNC.mp3|titles=JDPR 2 22 2011 Charlotte Host DNC]

“NC’s long-term industrial transformation — from tobacco, textiles, and furniture to research, energy, and banking — plays into what may be the centerpiece of the Democrat’s reelection bid, a call for the U.S. to focus on innovation to compete  in the changing global marketplace.” Associated Press, February 2, 2011

A Model of Innovation and Global Competitiveness … or Algorithmic Voodoo?

A headline in the Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2, 2011, read, “Democrats’ 2012 Convention Plan Aims to Keep North Carolina Blue.” The story suggested that Charlotte was selected to host the DNC’s national convention in order to send a signal to the political community that President Obama’s target map is not shrinking.  The President’s campaign team wants to show that they are confident of repeat wins in historically red states like North Carolina, Indiana and Virginia.

That’s all well and good, but I believe that there is an even more important reason for choosing Charlotte: North Carolina.  It’s not just Charlotte, it’s our state.  Our state represents Obama’s vision of the new model when it comes to innovation and global competitiveness.  North Carolina may have been “First in Flight” in the 20th Century, but our growing reputation in the 21st Century is “First in Innovation,” an outgrowth of being “First in Business.”

From Forbes to Site Selection magazine, North Carolina has been recognized as having the “Best Business Climate” year after year for a decade.  Democrats beam with pride when they see those national awards of distinction handed to our state.  However, Republicans act as if the criteria for identifying our exceptional competitive qualities are based on algorithmic voodoo.

What’s a Republican to Do?

What is a Republican to do?  Last fall, North Carolina voters elected Republicans to shore up the long-term prospects of maintaining the state’s favorable business climate by restoring financial health and efficient delivery of governmental services.  Those two qualities, financial health and efficient delivery of services, have fallen by the wayside due to unilateral state budget power over too long a period of time by those who put the Democratic Party ahead of the fiscal integrity of the state and the character of its leaders.

Voters are now counting on Republicans to take ownership of our state’s business climate, and to stake a claim for a fair share of all things positive in our state … including the positive qualities like our model business climate that led to the selection of our state as the host state for the Democratic National Convention.

Sharing the Credit for a Business Climate that is the Envy of the Nation

So, before you GOPers start grousing over the positive commentary on the selection of Charlotte for the DNC national confab in 2012, please remember that the mayor of Charlotte during most of the dynamic growth since 1995 was a Republican named Pat McCrory.

Over the past four decades, millions of Republican business leaders and Republican employees have helped build great companies and communities in North Carolina.  They, right along with Democratic business leaders and Democratic employees … and Independent business leaders and Independent employees … helped make our state’s business climate the envy of the nation.

Take a look at the lists of high praise below and give some thought about whether these honors would have come to North Carolina without the hard work and good successes of all of us.

North Carolina’s Business Climate – The Envy of the Nation in 2010

North Carolina’s Business Climate – The Envy of the Nation in 2009

North Carolina’s Business Climate – The Envy of the Nation in 2008

NC’s Industrial Transformation, the Centerpiece of the Democrats’ Re-election bid

Today, North Carolinians are younger, smarter, and more urban/suburban than they were 10 years ago according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Our 18.5% growth has also created greater diversity.  North Carolinians are just as likely to be from somewhere else USA; our demographic profile is more like the nation than the South.  As Ferrel Guillory, Director of The Program on Public Life at UNC Chapel Hill, wrote in his essay North Carolina: she ain’t what she used to be, “The state has transformed from biracial to multi-cultural.”  Why?  Economic opportunity.

North Carolina is one of the emerging states that best exemplifies the message of change that Obama won on in 2008.  That’s the thematic reason we were chosen to host the Democrats next September. Young, smart, diverse … first in innovation, leading the way in economic recovery and business investment.

Granted, the commitment by Duke Energy’s CEO Jim Rogers to raise the necessary $37 million to host the event was a critical factor; and, the fact that Charlotte’s new Democratic Mayor Anthony Foxx is tight with the President helped a bit.  Ummmmm, and then there is the prospect of a late-night, one-on-one game with Michael Jordan.  But none of that would have mattered if North Carolina had not developed into one of the most dynamic places in the world to live, learn, work, raise a family … and make money; one of a handful of states “leading the comeback from the worst recession since the 1930s,” according to an analysis by USA Today.

Associated Press writer Liz Sidoti said it best in her February 1, 2011 story titled, Dems choose Charlotte for 2012 convention. Sidoti wrote, “With the economy certain to dominate Obama’s re-election bid, North Carolina’s long-term industrial transformation — from tobacco, textiles, and furniture to research, energy, and banking — plays into what may be the centerpiece of the Democrat’s re-election bid, a call for the U.S. to focus on innovation to compete in the changing global marketplace.”

Will Obama Win NC Again? Will the GOP Hold the Legislative Majority?

As the Wall Street Journal story “Democrats’ 2012 Convention Plan Aims to Keep North Carolina Blue” suggested, Charlotte was selected to host the DNC’s national convention to send a signal to the political community that President Obama’s target map is not shrinking.

What are Obama’s prospects for winning North Carolina in 2012?  Well, half of all voters in our 100 counties live in 14 urban counties.  These 14 counties were carried by the Obama/Biden ticket with 1,027,114 votes to only 692,939 for the GOP presidential ticket of McCain/Palin.

Those 1,027,114 voters who supported Obama/Biden in 2008 still live here, and they are still more likely to support Democrats.  It’s an urban thing; same throughout the US.

However, in 2010, independent suburban voters, along with conservative Democrats and loyal Republicans, gave the North Carolina GOP a majority in the state Senate and state House of Representatives.  Those voters still live here too.

Whether North Carolinians will give Obama another win in 2012 is uncertain.  The more important question is will North Carolinians give Republicans another opportunity to lead the state following the 2012 elections.  That is equally uncertain.

What is certain is that Republican odds will improve if they begin to see the state the way everyone else in the country sees North Carolina:  youthful and innovative, diverse, leading the way to a globally competitive citizenry … an exemplary state with a business climate that is the envy of the nation … a state fitting for a national political convention.

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