Tar Heel Trauma
“Thank you, New York Times,” the North Carolina Republican Party’s rather sarcastic letter began. “We southern hillbillies are always honored when the Old Gray Lady’s beacons of intelligence bestow their political wisdom from on high.”
The offense that sparked the missive was a July 10 New York Times editorial–entitled, “The Decline of North Carolina”–that blasted the state GOP for “tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot.”
CHARLOTTE, NC — Though Governor Andrew Cuomo is often named as a potential presidential contender in 2016, he has exerted tremendous effort to have a low-key presence at the Democratic National Convention and generally prefers cooperating with Republicans rather than criticizing them. However, in an address before the New York delegation’s breakfast to the DNC this morning, Mr. Cuomo launched an uncharacteristically direct attack on the GOP and gave a stirring defense of President Barack Obama.
Mr. Cuomo began his speech thanking the other politicians in attendance and the convention’s organizers before quickly pivoting to the presidential election.
“One more thank you,” he said. “To a man who has stood by the State of New York for about four years. He was there for the State of New York when it was teetering on the brink, like so many other states when this nation was teetering on the brink. A new man came to office, a new leader, a new president, and he’s been a phenomenal partner to the State of New York helping us through this transformation and these difficult times and let’s thank President Barack Obama for what he’s done for our state!”
CHARLOTTE, NC — Last night, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was cut off as he was giving a lengthy speech delivering the New York delegation’s votes at the Democratic National Convention. This morning, Politicker asked Mr. Silver how it felt to have his speech cut short when we saw him at the New York delegation breakfast.
“I wasn’t expecting that and, you know, we’re a big state, we have a lot of votes and there’s a lot to say,” Mr. Silver said.
CHARLOTTE, NC — So far, the street protests at the Democratic National Convention seem to be much larger than anything seen at the RNC last weekin Tampa. This afternoon, streets had to be closed and checkpoints were moved when a group of protesters took to the street on Stonewall Street a couple of blocks from the site of the convention. Politicker came out to see the protests and so did Joseph Smith from Port Hueneme, California, who was wearing an “Obama” basketball jersey and said his wife was a delegate. Mr. Smith got into shouting matches with several of the protesters, many of whom were cursing the president. Mr. Smith told Politicker he thought the protesters were being “disrespectful” and he suggested the protesters, who were mostly white, were working against minorities.
“I think it’s disrespectful in general for people,” Mr. Smith. “You’re talking about Obama did this and did that. George Bush did it, Senior and Junior, but they seem to forget. … If you really want to know what it’s about, it’s black and white.”
One of the protesters bristled at this characterization and pointed the minorities in the protest group out to Mr. Smith who dismissed this by saying, “You always had Uncle Toms in slavery.”
Love & Marriage
GASTONIA, NC — A super PAC with ties to evangelist leader Gary Bauer is trying frighten would-be Obama supporters in at least one Southern swing state by raising the specter of the President’s support for gay marriage. The “Campaign for American Values” has launched a pro-Mitt Romney television campaign with an ad warning viewers that ”Obama trying to force gay marriage on this country.”
In the commercial, which is entitled “New Morning,” a couple wakes up to coffee and the threat of legalized same sex marriage as they peruse the morning paper.
“Obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country. That’s not the change I voted for. Marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s not the change I voted for,” one of them says,
“That’s not the change I voted for either,” the other agrees.
The ad closes with a narrator advising the couple to ward off this potential onslaught of married gay couples by voting “for someone with values” as the words “VOTE ROMNEY/RYAN” appear on the screen.
Mitt Romney has already shown television audiences what he would do on the first day of his hypothetical presidency, but his newest ads reveals what he’d like to do with his first 100 days in office. Mr. Romney released four variations of an ad entitled “First 100 Days” for audiences in Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and North Carolina. The ads contain different promises for each state.
Legislators in North Carolina have proposed a bill aimed at making sure there will be enough booze at September’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Under current North Carolina law, state-run liquor stores, which are the only source for hard alcohol in the state, must be closed on Sundays and on Labor Day, the day before the convention is scheduled to start. The bill would allow the stores to remain open on Labor Day to prevent bars and restaurants from running out of booze due to the combined imbibing of holiday weekend revelers and early DNC arrivals.
Today, political types were focused on drinking margaritas, b-ball with the president and avoiding accidents. Here’s our roundup of the day’s best Tweets from the campaign trail.
After voters in North Carolina voted to ban same sex marriage and civil unions in their state yesterday, American Foundation for Equal Rights Executive Director Adam Umhoefer released a statement calling the ban a “profound injustice.”
“The passage of Amendment One is a profound injustice. Singling out a class of citizens for discriminatory treatment is unfair, unlawful and violates basic American values,” Mr. Umhoefer said. “Gay and lesbian Americans, like their fellow citizens, want nothing more than to marry the person they love. Committed, loving couples and their families should not be denied this most fundamental freedom.”
With his latest campaign ad blitz in the battleground states, President Barack Obama would like to remind you that the economic crisis began before he was in office. His ad, which will air in nine states, articulates what are clearly becoming the main early messages of his reelection bid; the economic recovery may be slow, but it is happening and the Obama administration has made a number of acheivements that make it worth keeping the faith for the many voters who believed in him during the last election.
“In 2008 an economic meltdown, 4.4 million jobs lost, America’s economy spiraling down. All before this president took the oath” a narrator says in between grim news clips from the financial crisis as the ad begins.