Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wedding present for GOP chief Tom Fetzer

Political analyst and consultant John Davis always has an interesting take on North Carolina politics. Davis cut his political eyeteeth in Mississippi before settling in this state, and his savvy analysis of state legislative and other races has always brimmed with insight.

Davis took note the other day that fromer Raleigh mayor Tom Fetzer, a longtime bachelor and now N.C. Republican Party chairman, married over the weekend. Davis wasn't invited, he noted, but he is giving Fetzer "a wedding gift in the form of a true story about a transformative lesson I learned from a reclusive millionaire banker in Mississippi … a lesson that may help Tom as he works to lead Republicans in North Carolina towards their goal of winning power over the state budget in 2010, as well as winning influence over reapportionment following the next census."

Here's a link to that story. The short take on it is all about being willing to learn from your mistakes instead of being defensive about past performance. The whole story abut the reclusive Mississippi bankers is worth reading, but for those pressed for time here's what Davis says about Fetzer's task, and his opportunity:

Fetzer’s experience as a candidate, party activist and consultant gives him the ideal skill set for political combat. As the first GOP mayor of Raleigh in the 20th Century, he built a winning coalition that led to three wins and raised a record-breaking $500,000 for his reelection.

Another vital change underway at the North Carolina GOP is a renewed commitment to unity evidenced by the rallying theme for the 2010 elections, “One Team, One Goal, Victory.” A quick glance at Fetzer’s endorsements for party chairman reveals that the theme is more than PR fluff. He received the backing of the who’s who from the Helms, Holshouser and Martin eras. Almost every former party chair along with current and former statewide elected officials worked together to help elect him chairman.

However, the final and most difficult change for North Carolina Republicans has yet to be made, and that is the need for crafting their message for the 2010 electorate. Many are saying that 2010 is trending Republican-friendly … a year that could be as revolutionary as 1994, the first time in the 20th Century that the GOP won a majority of the seats in a legislative chamber. But North Carolina is nowhere near the same state it was in 1994.

Our state had only 3.6 million voters in 1994. We have 6.1 million today. In 1994 only 10.3% of North Carolina voters said they were “Liberal.”2 Today, that number is 24%.3 Now here’s the real clincher: In 1994, Democrats had a market share of 59% of North Carolina voters, compared to 33% for the Republicans and only 8% Unaffiliated. Today, Unaffiliated voters have tripled to 23%, the GOP share is about the same, and Democrats have plummeted 13 points to 46% … at the same time the number of “Liberals” has more than doubled!

My wedding gift to Tom Fetzer is the transformative political lesson from a reclusive Mississippi banker, the importance of embracing past mistakes so that they are not repeated. Accepting the fact that we are not the Old South of 1994 is critical to winning in the New South in 2010.

5 comments:

don yelton said...

You have said a mouthful and the old guard will not realize the fruits of victory that they feel is theirs if they do not form the right message. Open doors, transparency and straight talk and forget the behind the scenes dealings.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe we should make a fresh start by OUTLAWING political parties altogether and REQUIRE any candidate seeking elected office MUST RUN as UNaffiliated. We must shut down the oppressive demopublicans who were never meant to rule us as a '2 party' system.
DARE a demopublican to shut down their evil control today and restore power to the smallest minority, the individual citizen!

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Afiz said...

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