By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
January 16, 2013
RALEIGH — North Carolina’s new governor — the first Republican at the state’s helm in 20 years — set his sights on “unlimited opportunity” Saturday, telling the inauguration crowd that government “should not be a barricade or an obstacle to progress” but that it should work to “form partnerships, encourage entrepreneurship and promote an environment that encourages growth, innovation, research and intellectual curiosity.”
The swearing in event, staged on the grounds of the historic State Capitol and facing Fayetteville Street, was symbolic of a “different view,” said Gov. Pat McCrory, one in which government is in the background with Main Street in the fore.
“Too many people are out of work. Our state’s unemployment is the fifth highest in the country, and many of our leaders in Washington struggle to find solutions,” he told the crowd, careful to highlight Tar Heel successes but also vigilant in admitting the state’s failures and the pain brought on by recession. While sharing his vision of improved transportation infrastructure, better schools that offer training that the workforce needs, and a focus on efficiency and effectiveness in state agencies, he made it clear that more and bigger government is not the answer.
“I need to let the citizens of North Carolina know one thing, government cannot solve all these problems alone because there is no new money falling out of the sky. Like struggling families across our state, government has to live within its means,” he said, pausing as applause nearly drowned out the rest of his statement.
“We should not ask for more money from you because the result is more pain to families and small businesses on Main Street,” Gov. McCrory said. “Instead, government is going to pay its bills, moving away from borrowed time and borrowed money.”
Referencing his parents’ move to Guilford County in 1966, the governor said North Carolina was “poised to be the role model of the new South for the next 40 years,” and encouraged the crowd that the Tar Heel state could once again “fulfill and even exceed that potential.”
Saluting farmers and manufacturers, the governor, who spent 14 years as mayor of Charlotte, said turning North Carolina’s economy around will take self-starters and hard workers and a new culture of government focused on customer service and teamwork.
“As governor, my approach will be to e
xpand agricultural exports, unleash our energy resources, harness new technology in education, create a climate for existing businesses to expand and new businesses to locate and grow jobs while rebuilding our brand of economic development in North Carolina,” he said.
In addition McCrory, members of the Council of State — three Republicans and six Democrats — also took their oaths of office at the ceremony, which included a moving invocation from the Rev. David Chadwick of Forest Hill Church in Charlotte and a benediction from Bishop George E. Battle of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Rev. Chadwick repeated his challenging and beautiful prayer from McCrory’s private swearing in, held a week earlier so the Governor would be in office for the Legislature’s Opening Day Jan. 9. (See: Powerful Invocation Prayer at Swearing-In Ceremony of Governor McCrory was Centerpiece of the Moment)
Bishop Battle asked God’s blessing on the Council of State and members of McCrory’s cabinet.
“We pray that you and you alone will instill our leaders …with the affection and the true meaniing of what they pledge here today that they will live up to their commitments made to the people of North Carolina,” he prayed, further asking the Lord to protect leaders from misunderstandings and partisanship that cloud the political process.