Friday, May 23, 2008

Speaker Joe Hackney in Boone

Speaker of the N.C. House Joe Hackney was in Boone this a.m., hosted by Watauga County's own state legislator Cullie Tarleton, to hear from community members and give them insight into this current session of the state legislature.

Hackney is an impressive leader, and he handles these sorts of "listening" tours with great diplomatic skill (Virginia Foxx might take a lesson). That many movers and shakers (well, more movers than shakers) all in a room together saying "gimme, gimme, gimme" must make him feel at times like a sahib beset on every side by the beggars of Calcutta.

He seems to have mastered the ability to say "no, not likely, and don't hold your breath" to people who might seem to demand a little more instant gratification. He didn't promise anybody anything, forbearance in a politician that is positively heroic. But he also showed a willingness to listen and learn, adding local facts and needs to an already impressive fund of knowledge about how this state operates and where it's (ideally) headed in the 21st Century.

Good man. Good show.

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