I got back into Raleigh Sunday just in time to catch Jerry Meek giving a talk at the Quail Ridge Bookstore on Wade Avenue. The speech by Meek, which focused on the book "Don't Think of an Elephant" by George Lakoff, attracted many locals, a few candidates for the General Assembly, and a sitting General Assembly member, Grier Martin. The speech focused on ways to frame the debate and successfully convert moderates and conservatives to the position of the Democratic Party. But to me the event highlighted Jerry Meek more than the book.
The event shows both that Meek, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and political science and Law School from Duke, is a serious thinker of politics able to articulate his thoughts coherently and a person willing and even excited to go out amongst us common Democrats. Meek gave his talk and then received questions from the audience members, most of whom Jerry addressed by name. The speech included many astute tips on how to frame the debate with Republicans; my favorite was his tip that when addressing hunters concerned with gun control you should reply that Democrats are not going to take guns from hunters but 20 more years of Republican environmental policy will render the gun useless.
But again, the most interesting part of the event was Meek's willingness to connect with the average Democrat; this is a pattern that continues from other actions by Meek including canvassing himself and the creation of the North Carolina Democratic Party's blog. Meek's leadership and ability to connect with the party should place the Democrats in a good position to win in November.