So the Charlotte Chamber took our local movers-and-shakers set to Miami last week, hoping to mine that sun-drenched port city for insights that might help Charlotte’s growth and development.
The Chamber trip is a local tradition, one that often takes 100-plus Charlotte bigwigs out on walking tours of the host city and sits them down for panel discussions and seminars probing into the Big Issues of the Day.
The Miami trip was no different. Our road-tripping business and governmental elites cycled through a series of high-minded panel discussions, serious speeches and sobering seminars.
The events carried somber titles: “Investing in Entrepreneurship,” “The Arts and Economic Development” and “Challenges and Opportunities in Public Education.”
All well and good. But while these discussions aim to drill down to the heart of Charlotte’s problems, they tend to be, well, rather polite. Even political enemies and business rivals try to mind their manners.
But this year is all about Donald Trump, right? And what’s he all about? Defying political correctness. Saying exactly what’s on your mind, no matter how impolitic or insulting it comes out sounding.
So what would happen if you stripped the corporate varnish off a hypothetical Chamber trip’s agenda? No more glossy generalizations. Now let’s see what our day’s itinerary might look like.
Breakfast speech: “I totally stayed out of that FAA airport ruling that just landed on Bob Rucho’s power-grabby little dentist fingers” – Anthony Foxx
Rebuttal: “I’d totally do a root-canal on you for free right now, dude” – Bob Rucho
House Bill 2 panel: “Potty politics: How we wrecked economic development and became folk heroes to our bases!” – Jennifer Roberts and Dan Bishop
Bathroom break (Monitored by N.C. Traditional Values Coalition)
Lunch speech: “We really, truly hate you all, and that godforsaken city you live in” – Phil Berger and Tom Apodaca
Rebuttal: Not allowed
Mid-afternoon panel discussion: “We don’t know if those toll lanes will work, either” – I-77 Mobility Partners CEO Javier Tamargo and N.C. Transportation Board Chairman Ned Curran.
Transport to Gubernatorial Dinner Event (Courtesy of Cintra)
Dinner Speech No. 1: “My opponent shoved a teacher and hugged Donald Trump” – Roy Cooper.
Dinner Speech No. 2: “My opponent emailed LGBT activists on Bev Perdue’s private server” – Pat McCrory.
This is exhausting. No wonder the Chamber keeps it professional. But I can still end my imaginary day on a positive note.
Cocktail discussion: “Pay Hike Power – How 43 percent raises can turbo-charge Charlotte’s economy” – Trevor Fuller, Vilma Leake, Dumont Clarke, George Dunlap, Ella Scarborough and Pat Cotham.
Eric: 704-358-5145; firstname.lastname@example.org