06/18/12 — Convince: It's time for Dalton, McCrory to make the most compelling cases they can

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Convince: It's time for Dalton, McCrory to make the most compelling cases they can

When you listen to the back and forth in the North Carolina gubernatorial election, you kind of have to wonder -- what does it all mean, and, really, is all the money being spent worth it?

It has been a hard year for the North Carolina Democratic contingent -- well, a hard couple of years, come to think of it. From scandal to budget troubles, there is plenty of evidence that something is rotten in Raleigh and that the party that has been in charge of the reins for more than a few years has lost its grip.

There will be a pretty big mountain to climb to convince voters that another Democrat should be entrusted with making the decisions necessary to turn North Carolina into a jobs mecca and to get its financial house in order.

There will be muck smeared everywhere as the November vote gets closer -- and both sides will get lots of help from their friends. There will be commercials, funded by nebulous political action committees, that call names, skew records and otherwise try to convince voters that there is a reason to keep the leadership intact or to jettison it and to start over.

And it just might be that there simply has been too much damage done for the Democrats to hold on to the last bits of their power grip. And if that is so, the Republicans might have this one locked up.

Truth is Walter Dalton was Beverly Perdue's lieutenant governor -- and he has been an integral part of what has been nothing but a disappointing administration.

Dalton is going to have to do more than just spout pabulum about improving education and "supporting North Carolina's children" to get the majority of North Carolinians to give him a chance at the big job. He is going to have to convince voters that he has the resulting spending cuts necessary to make the changes actually happen and that he is making a reasoned decision and not just simply saying what his largest potential voter bloc wants to hear.

He is going to have to come up with a coherent plan for attracting more jobs to the state and

a way to convince small business owners,

and others, that North Carolina really is open for business.

And he is going to have to cast off the shadow of scandal and corruption that have made many voters wonder what exactly has been going on in the Democrats' house over these past few years.

Republican Pat McCrory doesn't have as many hurdles as Dalton, there is no question about that, but, he, too, must successfully articulate his vision for North Carolina and how he is going to help those who are struggling with increasing prices, fewer jobs and an uncertain retirement.

There are bills to pay, yes, but there is a future to build, too.

McCrory is going to have to prove that he can handle both challenges.

So, perhaps there is a little fight left in the gubernatorial contest, and maybe there is no need to consider it over before it starts.

But in the end, it should be answers, not PAC funds, that determine who will be the next governor of the great state of North Carolina.

That outcome is certainly up to those who will mark their ballots this November.

Published in Editorials on June 18, 2012 12:29 PM