Speaker Tim Moore is off to an impressive start. In less than two months, he’s passed bipartisan legislation and struck a tone remarkably different than his predecessor. He may prove to be the balance that keeps the Senate’s most extreme impulses in check while providing a bridge between the Senate and Gov. Pat McCrory.
When Moore took the Speaker’s gavel, he said that Republicans need to show that they can govern. He’s right. After almost four years of tearing down and remaking state government, it’s time to make it work.
Moore was able to cobble together the first truly bipartisan coalition in years to pass gas tax reform and an incentives package. He got more than the three or four Democrats that Thom Tillis used to get to claim bipartisanship. And he got applause from both sides of the aisle.
And the difference between Moore and Tillis couldn’t be more stark. Tillis never seemed to understand his role very well. He didn’t have the experience or connections to govern or reach across the aisle. Moore has been in the legislature for a long time and has built relationships with members of both parties. He’s been involved in North Caorlina politics, to some degree, since he was in college, including serving on the North Carolina Board of Governors.
Tillis got rolled by the Senate. Don’t expect that to happen to Moore. He’s been around longer and understands the legislature better. He’s shown that he knows how to work around the most troublesome members of his own caucus without too much public grumbling. It’s early still and that may change, but he’s setting some early precedents.
Moore’s no fool and he’ll do what’s necessary to keep his base calm. Don’t expect him to reverse course on marriage equality or Medicaid expansion. However, he seems to looking for what he can get done instead of what causes division. North Carolina needs a dose practical leadership instead ideological grandstanding.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >