Editorial: Roy Cooper and the triumph of leadership

Posted January 6

A CBC Editorial: Friday, Jan. 6, 2017; Editorial# 8107
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

This week Gov. Roy Cooper told the state’s top business leaders he wanted to be “an aggressive recruiter,” building North Carolina’s economy and stressing three initiatives: expand Medicaid; improve public education funding and repeal House Bill 2.

He had specific goals:

Cooper also laid out expectations from the high-profile audience:

  • North Carolina’s hospitals need to fill the small funding gap to secure the federal dollars.
  • Business leaders must press legislators to refocus and demand adequate investments in education.
  • Business leaders also need to pressure the legislature’s GOP leaders to free rank-and-file lawmakers to vote on HB2 repeal. Cooper said there are enough Republicans who will join with Democrats to pass a no-strings-attached HB2 repeal.

Cooper made his case in a clear, compelling fashion. He avoided empty catch-phrases like “Carolina comeback.” Missing were unspecified accusations of “broken systems.”  Absent were petty, partisan, personal potshots at those who might disagree with him.

It wasn’t the showmanship of style over substance. It wasn’t partisan one-upmanship. It wasn’t dictatorial. It wasn’t Democratic or Republican.

It was leadership. It was refreshing.

Unfortunately the reaction from the top leader of the legislature didn’t follow the same tone.

Senate Republican leader Phil Berger’s quick retort was personal, inaccurate and mean. No surprise.

Cooper’s proposals are certainly not above examination or criticism. But Berger’s response was neither. It was the vitriolic and belittling claptrap that plays to the narrow political base of a gerrymandered legislature.  After six years, it is tired, boring and insulting.

Cooper, by contrast, demonstrated in his remarks Wednesday he has a broader constituency. He is looking out for all of the people of North Carolina.

The state’s legislators should pay attention. You can’t gerrymander an entire state and thwart the will of the majority forever.

With court-mandated redistricting, 2017 is an election-year for the General Assembly. It is likely there will be some clear choices ahead. As Berger and his allies continue to divide North Carolinians, Cooper will be doing the opposite.

Roy Cooper wants to work for and lead all North Carolinians. Phil Berger and his legislative cronies want only to work for those who follow their narrow, ideologically-driven agenda.

This fall voters will have a choice: narrow divisiveness or genuine consensus building. That choice should be obvious.


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  • Randy Smith Jan 7, 2017
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    WRAL, your bias is blatant. I want to see you be as hard/tough on Cooper as you were on McCory. But, you won't be.

  • Marty McCaffrey Jan 7, 2017
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    So, is WRAL going to measure this governor's accomplishments vs promises like they did the last one?

  • Kevin Weidner Jan 6, 2017
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    Correction: Title should read:
    "Roy Cooper and the Triumph of Legal Filings"

  • Mike Morin Jan 6, 2017
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    Who writes these editorials? MAD Magazine? Laughable.

  • Paul Gemborys Jr Jan 6, 2017
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    These editorials are just hillarious!

  • Amber Perry Jan 6, 2017
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    Amazing the bias. Like McCory never did anything positive..... like have a budget surplus, or repay 2.5 billion in debt, add business, improve economy, he increase teacher pay. All because he was not for men in a women's restroom, he is terrible.

  • Raymond Mclemore Jan 6, 2017
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    Great opening Roy.

  • Brent Hall Jan 6, 2017
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    Absolutely!! Rid the legislature of the so-called leader and all his cronies!!