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One on One

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Primary lessons learnedPrimary lessons learned
[Jul. 25, 2004] After each election, those of us who consider ourselves "insiders" try to figure out what there is to be learned from the way things turned out. Obviously, July is not the best time to persuade North Carolinians to go to the polls. Precincts that posted a 20 percent or better turnout were designated "high-turnout." Detailed analysis will probably show that voters showed up in higher numbers where local hotly contested races brought out a more enthusiastic electorate. Still, we ought to commit to a stronger effort to keep the primaries from being postponed every time there is a challenge to the legislature's districting plans. By D. G. Martin
Albright and Helms - Another model for American foreign policyAlbright and Helms - Another model for American foreign policy
[Jul. 18, 2004] With the current administration's management of international relations under increasing critical scrutiny, any description of a different way of doing things is a welcome contribution. Those who criticize the management of foreign relations by the current president and his team are more credible if they can show that another approach to diplomacy worked well. By D. G. Martin
Of course, he's still running for presidentOf course, he's still running for president
[Jul. 2, 2004] When John Kerry asked the crowd of 15,000 at last Saturday’s rally in Raleigh if they would let him borrow John Edwards for four years, they shouted back, “Eight, eight, eight.” Kerry recovered quickly with something like, “How about 16?” He was recognizing that the crowd, like Edwards, viewed the vice presidential nomination, win or lose, as a stepping stone to an ultimate goal of having a North Carolinian in the White House for the first time ever. By D. G. Martin
It's not over until NovemberIt's not over until November
[May 31, 2004] Here is a rule that politicians and political pundits never seem to remember. November elections are not settled in the spring before the election. This is a rule North Carolina Democrats ought to take to heart. Otherwise they are going to be fooled into thinking they already have the governor's race all sewed up. By D. G. Martin
Vote for a person and not the party? Don't brag about it.Vote for a person and not the party? Don't brag about it.
[May 24, 2004] One of my friends is a proud "I vote for the person-not the party" man. So, I was a little surprised the other day when I heard him talking about the upcoming U.S. Senate race. He likes one of the candidates very much, but he is not going to vote for him. By D. G. Martin
Who should take the blame for the prisoner treatment in Iraq?Who should take the blame for the prisoner treatment in Iraq?
[May 17, 2004] Whom are we going to blame? I thought of that question this week while reading again about the Shelton Laurel Massacre during the Civil War. Confederate troops who were guarding a party of Union loyalists in western North Carolina simply executed them. A witness reported the massacre and the resulting news story embarrassed and demoralized supporters of the Confederate cause. By D. G. Martin
1000 places in North Carolina to see before you die1000 places in North Carolina to see before you die
[May 9, 2004] "But why didn't you include the Ava Gardner Museum in your list of '50 Things Every North Carolinian Should Do'?" The museum hostess pressed me for an answer when I stopped by a couple of years ago. By D. G. Martin
What is Edwards running for?What is Edwards running for?
[May 3, 2004] Is John Edwards running for vice president? That question, which is always on the minds of North Carolina political observers, came back into the news last week. The North Carolina Democratic Party announced officially that Edwards won 57 delegates to the party’s national convention. By D. G. Martin
The search for homecooking - and "third places"The search for homecooking - and "third places"
[Apr. 26, 2004] Homecooking. It is a word that warms our tummies, doesn't it? Barbecue, collards, fried chicken, hot biscuits, real mashed potatoes, banana pudding, sweet tea and more good old time North Carolina fare. By D. G. Martin
The Democratic Caucuses - What's the HeadlineThe Democratic Caucuses - What's the Headline
[Apr. 18, 2004] “Kucinich wins big in North Carolina.” I was trying to write a headline for a story about last Saturday’s Democratic Party presidential caucuses. At first, Dennis Kucinich seemed to be the big story. For someone who had not been seen in North Carolina until a few weeks ago, he made a pretty nice showing in several counties. He won a crushing victory in Buncombe County (Asheville) with 40.8% of the vote, with John Edwards following with 32.2% and John Kerry with 16.3%. By D. G. Martin
Alistair Cooke, Luminosity, Cornelia Phillips Spencer and Heroes’ SinsAlistair Cooke, Luminosity, Cornelia Phillips Spencer and Heroes’ Sins
[Apr. 12, 2004] Oh, if Alistair Cooke could be with us in Chapel Hill this spring. Cooke died late last month at age 95. A native of Britain, he spent most of his life in America, and for the last 58 years regularly sent back a letter to his former countrymen about his adopted homeland, looking at America with a loving, critical, ironic eye, helping the British understand the complex heart and soul of their former colony. By D. G. Martin
Just like the Roman Empire - Well, not quiteJust like the Roman Empire - Well, not quite
[Apr. 5, 2004] "Aren’t we just like the Roman Empire, headed for the same kind of fall?” We hear this question sometimes when someone wants to make the point that the United States is doing something that will lead to its ultimate decline. By D. G. Martin
High gasoline prices - Just one piece of the energy challengeHigh gasoline prices - Just one piece of the energy challenge
[Mar. 15, 2004] Why has the price of gasoline gone so high so fast? This question was of the top of my list last week when I attended the conference on “creating a sustainable energy future” sponsored by Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences. By D. G. Martin
Kerry's victory lap - He's passing it byKerry's victory lap - He's passing it by
[Mar. 7, 2004] What does John Kerry do now? His exhausting marathon race to the nomination ended for all practical purposes last week. Kerry and his campaign advisers now have to deal with the changed circumstances that no longer require him to rush frantically from state to state to campaign against fellow Democrats. By D. G. Martin
UNC professor urges us to “rethink Islam”UNC professor urges us to “rethink Islam”
[Mar. 1, 2004] In one of the presidential debates earlier this year, ABC’s Peter Jennings asked candidate John Edwards, “…[M]any people, I think, believe that the greatest security threat to the United States in the 21st century is the possible confrontation between the West and Islam…. [C]ould you take a minute to tell us what you know about the practice of Islam that would reassure Muslims throughout the world who will be listening to you that President Edwards understands their religion and how you might use that knowledge to avoid a confrontation…?” By D. G. Martin

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