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Perdue gives a pep talk

Gov. Bev Perdue roused the N.C. delegation at a convention breakfast Tuesday, touting how the convention will help the state. “We show up well,” Perdue said of North Carolina’s image this week. “We dress up and know how to act.”

Her call-and-response speech met a sleepy delegation, weary from two nights of parties and two days of political meetings. But Perdue was so energized Tuesday – the way a candidate would be – that a TV reporter asked her if she wished she were still running. Perdue demurred.

In her speech and repeated TV interviews, Perdue cites the 2008 fall of Charlotte-based Wachovia when asked about North Carolina’s economy, explaining the state’s hardships in recent years. “We saw devastation in the financial services industry,” she said. But now “we are poised for greatness.” (Raleigh) News & Observer

GOP leaders say Obama can’t win N.C. this year

Republican legislative leaders said in a conference call Tuesday that President Barack Obama won’t win North Carolina despite Democrats’ holding their national convention in Charlotte. They also predicted the GOP would extend its majority in the state legislature.

"Conventions have little effect on election outcome," said N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, who lives in Mecklenburg County.

Obama won North Carolina narrowly in 2008, Tillis said, and the circumstances that led to that victory don’t exist four years later. Republicans have a 68-52 majority in the state House, and a 31-19 advantage in the state Senate. Tillis said Republicans have a good chance of reaching a veto-proof majority of 72 seats with the November elections.

N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger, a Republican from Rockingham County, said Senate Republicans have a chance to maintain their 12-vote advantage. “Whether we will or not depends on fundraising,” he said.

What went unmentioned in the call was the advantage Republicans gave themselves in redistricting. Republicans were in charge of drawing new district lines this year. The new districts make it easier for Republicans to extend their majorities. N&O

Sheheen networks, looks at rematch with Nikki Haley

Two years after losing his bid for governor of South Carolina, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen is having private meetings with governors at the Democratic National Convention this week in preparation for a possible 2014 rematch with Gov. Nikki Haley.

“I’ve been asking some questions about what it was like for them in their states, just for me to learn and listen,” Sheheen said Tuesday.

Sheheen would not say whom he has met with, other than Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who spoke to the South Carolina delegation Monday. Like Sheheen, Schweitzer is a Democrat in a state that has routinely voted for the Republican presidential candidate in recent elections.

But some state Democrats are more concerned with building a Democratic “farm team” than focusing on finding a candidate for governor.

“We’ve got to drill down, drill down to state and local races,” S.C. Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter told delegates Monday. “One office we don’t have a problem with is someone running for governor. We’ve got at least four or five people out there now talking about it.” The (Columbia) State

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