Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Democratic governors look at arena

Some members of the Democratic Governor's Association are in Charlotte this week for a fundraiser and policy talks. Two of the state chief executives got a tour Monday of Time Warner Cable Arena - site of their party's 2012 national convention.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who heads the DGA, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick answered questions:

About the benefits a city gets from hosting a convention: "I can tell you, from Boston (host of the party's 2004 convention), that the Democratic convention was very good for us," said Patrick. "It created lots and lots of jobs.... Many, many more hotel and convention space opportunities were created in Boston; we still enjoy the benefits. So this is a convention that is going to be good for Charlotte."

About the decision by some labor unions to boycott the convention because North Carolina is a right-to-work state: "We are a large, diverse party...with a very, very big tent and a lot of interest," said O'Malley. "And part of that party happens to be the great numbers of people in the South ... This is one of the smaller venues, site-wise, that we have had ... (But) we always want to have as large a coalition as possible. And if any labor union or any of the groups that make up the Democratic Party choose not to come, sure, that's a disappointment. But we are still going to have a much broader and more diverse consensus and coalition than ... the other party."

About whether the Democrats can re-energize the young people, African-Americans and others who helped President Obama win in 2008: "Nobody is taking this (re-election) for granted. And we shouldn't," Patrick said. "I say to Democrats who are nervous: 'Good, good.' Because that edge is important for us. It means we need to get out there and work, it means we need to make the case to people at a grassroots level ... And we need to show people that they've got a stake in each other and in the outcome."

About what Democrats can do to boost Obama's sagging poll numbers in North Carolina and nationally: "None of us should be happy with the state of our economy," said O'Malley. "But at the end of the day, you're going to have a (GOP) economic plan that was a miserable failure, contrasted with a (Democratic) plan that has, in many cases, been effective and could be more effective. And there's a long period of time that's going to go by between now and the election. And when people make their choice, the president is not going to be running against the Almighty. He will be running against an alternative." Tim Funk

N.C. poll shows Obama lags in job performance

If President Barack Obama hopes to carry North Carolina again, he has some work to do, according to an Elon University Poll released Monday.

Fifty-one percent of N.C. residents disapprove of the president’s job performance, while 42 percent approve. The poll of 594 voters has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Obama’s jobs proposal hasn’t won that many fans either.

Just 35 percent of North Carolinians said they would encourage their member of Congress to vote for the president’s jobs proposal. Thirty-six percent don’t like it and 28 percent aren’t sure. Jim Morrill


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