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I was given a tough assignment last week. A group of 300 business and civic leaders from Louisville and Lexington, Ky., visited Charlotte to learn about how we have become such a successful city.

Joseph Pulitzer well understood how essential a free and vigorous press was to America.

Greg Brannon sure seemed knowledgeable about the U.S. Constitution at North Carolina’s first Republican U.S. Senate debate last week. He wielded it like a pair of nunchuks, pummeling nearly every question with the Founders’ vision.

Patrick Cannon was always engaging -- as long as you could be of help to him.

Concerned about the city’s poorest children, Charlotte leaders gathered last week to talk about how to provide them … broadband?

Is being moderate a virtue? If you’re a politician, that depends on where you sit – and what kind of reelection campaign you face. That was demonstrated by back-to-back announcements last week.

Search the Charlotte Observer’s photo archives for “ImaginOn,” and you’ll find 275 pictures. Most of them show children at the uptown building laughing and learning, enraptured in a librarian’s storytelling or mesmerized by live professional theater.

Dear Charlotte Observer editorial page editor of 2064,

The national fight between tea party Republicans and everyone else is a long-running war, and each election and clash in Congress is one more battle within it. The next big confrontations (after a February debt ceiling skirmish) are the 2014 primaries – and both Carolinas will have a major say in whether the tea party regains recently lost ground or continues to lose steam.

Moderate voters in Charlotte and across the state are kicking themselves for supporting consensus-building “Mayor Pat” only to find that Gov. Pat McCrory can be quite different. But my interview with him last week and a breakfast with him a couple weeks earlier make clear he hasn’t changed a bit in one respect: This is a man obsessed with his image and how he’s portrayed. It’s clear he doesn’t go a day without being deeply frustrated by what he sees as unfair attacks on his good name.

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Taylor Batten
Taylor Batten is The Observer's editorial page editor.
CharlotteObserver.com