2nd Lt Gov Debate, and a Change

Last night was a big change for me. Coming in to the debate I was voting for Smathers, with Besse as a close second, Hampton a distant third and Dalton dead last.

I left with Dellinger and Dalton changing places. I am still pissed at Dalton for many of his votes, but there were two very important parts of the debate for me.

First, early on, during the opening statements and the first two questions, Hampton was relentless in his attacks. I am sure DFL and others will say that it was simply raising important issues. Frankly I thought the attacks looked mean spirited and childish. By the end of it Dalton could have stood up and said "I am pro-life" and I wouldnt have cared. Thankfully he stayed in his seat and talked about being pro-choice. But Hampton's method of bringing up the differences was mean spirited and off-putting.

I knew it was not going to be a fun evening when every chair had a piece of paper on it, one side of which was Pro-Hampton, the other side of which was purely negative Dalton. When someone campaigns like Hampton has, I dont care where he stands on the issues. Its destructive and divisive.

Second, Dalton impressed me. First of all he is an encyclopedia. With people like me, his ability to take credit for everything the Democratic legislature has done in the last 10 years is a mixed bag. Recently the state Senate has made some horrible decisions especially in the budget, by giving help to the rich at the expense of the rest of us on taxes. But ultimately this state is well managed, and Dalton knows that most people are happy about what they have done. His encyclopedic knowledge of what has been done is not just impressive, its important.

Additionally, the key moment for me was the question on minimum wage. An audience member’s question argued against the minimum wage. And, while all the candidates had a good answer, Dalton’s impressed me. The thing that annoyed me about some recent decisions in the state Senate has been the disregard for working people. Dalton brought up a debate that he had on the floor with Senator Fred Smith. His recalling of that debate was the only time I saw him really animated during the debate, and his argument won me over. Not only was he able to display a deep knowledge able to shut down any Republicans, but he was also able to show some real concern for the people of this state who struggle every day to make a living.

Overall, the debate was great, but the crowd size was disappointing to say the least. I hope that many more people come out to the future events. What I will say is that all of these candidates want to be Lt Gov, and they all want to do what is best for this state.

I don’t have my notes in front of me (so forgive the paraphrase), but Pat’s response on electability sums it up best. “I’m not running to the left to win this primary. We are talking about traditional Democratic values. Who can argue against good education, good jobs and putting people first?”

Ultimately, I believe that the LG's office will look signifigantly different after this years election than it has the prior 4 years. Mike Easley's now famous reluctance to be a very public figure has left an opening for a public face of the executive branch. That opening has been filled fully by Bev Perdue.

I see Perdue and Moore being signifigantly different if they are elected. The situation will also be signifigantly different if a Republican wins. Dalton's style makes sense if you assume that Perdue is going to be the next Governor. Besse's style would be very similar. While he isnt as knowledgable about the details, I think he would learn quickly, and I would be very happy with the decisions that he would make.

On the other hand, I believe that Smathers would be a different change, and would be the best choice no matter who is the next governor. I know that he could dive right in and change minds in the legislature. And I know that he could go to local communities and be the face of the state for those who need assistance to succeed.

Ultimately, any Lt Gov will only be effective if they are able to use the bully pulpit to change public opinion and to make deals in the legislature. Frankly, after his performance last night (on top of the other times I have seen him) I think Dellinger would be unable to be effective as Lt Gov.

So there you go. Pat Smathers is my number one still, based more upon his personality and his unique and innovative ideas. Dan Besse is still my number two, because I think I would agree with him on almost every issue. Walter Dalton is now my number three, based upon his experience and his passion for an issue I care deeply about. And Hampton Dellinger is relegated to number four, due to his personality and his campaign strategy.



I'm sure you're right - the Lt. Governor's office will look different after this race - there's no question in my mind about that. I enjoyed reading your perspective and hate that I missed the chance to meet you last night.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Linda, you met Blue South

at the Edwards rally in Chapel Hill, he was the one that let us into the "special bloggers" area. :::Waves at Will:::

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

I didn't remember that!

now I'm embarrassed. Sorry Will.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Awww don't be embarrassed

at our age, I attribute it to "sometimers".

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Thanks, BlueSouth

Thanks for your angle on all this, BlueSouth. It sounds like we had very similar reactions to the candidates. Like I said, the worst we'll end up doing is a reflection of what we've got now, but the possibility of having someone from outside the Raleigh cocktail party circuit sounds refreshing.

I'm still undecided between Smathers and Besse. Besse needs to show folks that he's not a single issue candidate, and Smathers needs to demonstrate that he can draw more support. Dalton's the most conservative guy in the race, and Dellinger's style isn't what I want in my leadership.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Policy vs. personality

I put policy ahead of personality 99.9% of the time, so I could never follow you into giving Dalton any benefit of the doubt. I'm sure he's smart, but so is Art Pope.

Dalton has been a leader in the North Carolina Senate for a long time. Over those years, that Senate has gradually come to represent corporate interests over people interests. There is one vote that epitomizes the devolution: the roll back of the income tax rate on the wealthy. The Senate insisted on cutting that rate while leaving in place a broad-based and regressive sales tax increase.

Kay Hagan helped too. This is the deal they came up with and forced through. If I'm wrong about this, someone please correct me.

To me, it doesn't matter if the guy is nicer than Beaver Cleaver's dad. Wrong is wrong.

As Leonard Cohen would say, "Everybody Knows."

Beverly Perdue. Oh please.

Either she did or didn't exhibit "leadership" in the Senate. And you've just admitted that the Senate has come to represent corporate interests over those of people.

Who has any familiarity, really, with what goes on in that house and is able to deny that Beverly Perdue is part of the good ole boys' club, has been playing the good ole boys' game for years, and is still counting on the good ole boys for her campaign contributions.

Bev Perdue never stood up to the good ole boys and never will. She's their puppet.

Everybody knows.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Good Ole Boy

Sadly, that's what I've heard as well. I've said it before and I won't rest until I see it happen...but it's time for the last of the good ole boys.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


That hurts.

The national business magazine rips Moore for preaching investment ethics while his campaign takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from managers who handle hundreds of millions in the state pension fund, the North Carolina Retirement System.

Do I think Moore's being bought?

Of course not. He's just a different kind of good old boy. A younger kind.

I agree for the most part

But trust me, if you met Dalton your head would be swimming in about 2 minutes after he started listing off all the other things the state has done.

A big problem I have had with the state budget process is that it has been behind closed doors. I dont think Dalton had any problems with the budget they passed, but after last night I would believe him if he told me that he argued against that. Did he? Who knows. And he voted for it, so that is bad enough. But like I said, he impressed me.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"


"Raleigh-centric" was what Pat said a few times.

The difference for me that I see between Besse and Smathers is the style. I see Smathers going straight to the people and to as many local officials as possible, while having the right personality to convince legislators. Besse I see as being intimately involved with the legislature and the various committees. The quiet professor type, making reasoned progressive decisions.

I think both will be good, but different styles. Like I have said, Smathers' ideas plus his personality has wowed me from the beginning.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"


Dan Besse scored best in this second debate as well as in the first debate. As in the first debate, Councilman Besse was the most articulate and knowledgeable on the environment as well as on equal opportunity for those whose backs this country was built upon.

Councilman Besse can be seen at major events advocating for women's rights, health care, and creative partnerships between rural and urban communities. If you've ever seen Councilman Besse speaking at a local party event or at the State Convention, you can tell that he does his home work. Dan is not just committed, he is the most experienced, and he knows how to motivate people.

By the way, the State Convention is tomarrow in Hamlet, don't forget to go. Make sure you meet Dan if you haven't already. He is a real down to earth guy. Of course he will take the time to make some comments to the Convention. . .All of that and he still took the time to report in tonight and invite all the LG candidates and us bloggers to the HKonJ February 9th.

Different debate

Or a different dictionary - because you use "relentless" and "attack" differently than I think they are actually meant to be used.

But you're entitled to your own opinion.

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire