Editorial: Governor’s message encourages

Feb. 11, 2014 @ 11:06 PM

His party was so disconnected he pulled them into an old building, fed both sides and closed the doors until compromise could be reached.

Gov. Pat McCrory brought a refreshing message to the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce annual banquet on Monday night. His parting line was his best.

“Get rid of the turf. Be a team.”

If only it were so easy, even when the idea seems to be a no-brainer.

McCrory was the first sitting governor to visit the chamber event as the guest speaker. And rather than speak from a script, he chose to engage in a question-and-answer session.

The questions didn’t grill him; rather, it gave him a free chance to explain some choices he’s made in his first 13 months in office, explain how they’re working out and offer some solutions for the future.

His message was intertwined neatly and with purpose. It gave residents of rural counties like Vance, Granville and Warren something to cling to for hope, and it gave reason for pause as to just how deep a mess we’ve dwindled as a state.

“We can do the same and get the same results, or we can do something different,” McCrory said.

He chose the risk of change. So far, he likes the direction. And he knows many remain opposed, vigorously opposed.

We’re not sure he sold the crowd in a county registered two-thirds Democrat, but he offered a message we’ve touched on before. Middle ground has disappeared, and McCrory said instead it is the boundaries that need to go away.

He advised the group of chamber members and their guests to join him in seeking economic boundaries, not geographic. His best illustration in imagery was noting a brochure of Rock Hill, S.C., next door to Charlotte, a brochure with the Charlotte skyline and airport prominent. Rock Hill, by the way, is doing well.

“We need to define economic boundaries, identify the region and sell them,” McCrory said.

The Republican governor didn’t promise quick fixes or guarantees. But he did say he believes agriculture and manufacturing are pivotal for a North Carolina comeback in a state that has become flush with pharmaceutical, technology and banking growth.

That’s good news for the Tri-County team. And turf we like to be on.