Thursday, January 14, 2010

Perdue's 'helter-skelter agenda reboot'

Gov. Bev Perdue has launched a new agenda in a busy round of speeches on education, jobs creation, public safety and other issues, notes policy analyst Chris Fitzsimon, a former broadcast newsman and former aide to then-House Speaker Dan Blue. Fitzsimon writes a blog for NC Policy Watch, a program of the N.C. Justice Center in Raleigh. He notes that Perdue has made speeches in Greensboro, Kannapolis, Charlotte and other places and sought to emphasize her plan to introduce a number of new issues this year. Here's what Fitzsimon has to say about Perdue's efforts in his latest blogpost, available here.

"The agenda and the press push feel more like a campaign than a week in the governor's office. That's ok. The state could use a lift and we certainly need more jobs, a higher graduation rate, and a more open and honest government.
"Perdue's on the right track, but there's something missing somehow from her approach this week. Not just the specifics of each proposal, presumably they are coming soon.
"It's more the helter-skelter nature of her agenda reboot, tying to do everything in the first real week back from the holidays. Adding a bullet point about crime as part of her education and government reform agenda is an example of what feels like a frenzy to remake her image immediately.
"And while most of Perdue's proposals do make sense, there's nothing that feels radically new, despite the catchy names, nothing that people will be talking about on their own for the next few weeks.
"But maybe that's ok too. An active, engaged governor is vital to the state's success and we clearly have one.
"Perdue told the Greensboro crowd that she will have "initiative after initiative" in the next four months. Let's hope some of them fill in the gaps that she left this week and that she saves some energy to translate the cleverly-named programs into action".
Fitzsimon's observation about the lack of anything radically new is something that political observers have talked about for a while now. Perdue has a tough job ahead of her given the lingering slow economy and expectations that there's something she might be able to do different. But with falling state revenues to support new initiatives in any major way, and the sheer difficulty of changing things in Raleigh because of an entrenched bureaucracy and authority spread out over independently elected Council of State agencies over which she has no authority, the problem of fixing things is a big one indeed.


Anonymous said...

Whether it's 'helter-skelter' or not, at least she's showing up, and that's half the battle. Bev has a hard time catching a break these days, but slowly-but-surely, she's getting there. I had a hard line Republican call me this week while she was watching a live broadcast of the governor's Greensboro/Kannapolis/Charlotte speech. "I'm very impressed and want to believe her--she sounds so sincere," was the gist of the conversation. I DO believe her and have from the beginning. Success is taking the hand you dealt and making something out of it. Bev was dealt a terrible hand. Yes, she can be quite 'political' at times and, Yes, she really needs to avoid those "I can do everyting" type statements (i.e. I am and will always be known as the Jobs Governor), but, on balance, she is covering the Tar Heel landscape like no recent governor has (with the exception of early Jim Hunt). Finally, Her Governess has launched her Big Idea and it deserves an honest but critical look..and not one of cynicism and sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

11:01 Pretty much agree but she will have regain the fact that as an ex-teacher she dissed teachers and state employees. She may be pro-education but she has allowed Pete Gorman to experiment with pay for performance. The only thing she could do to regain teacher support is to allow collective bargaining.

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