These days the vehicles most in-demand seem to be the hybrids -- a combination of evolving designs with the best of new technology, fueled by a new mixture of energies.
What's hot on the highways also holds true for political parties.
With North Carolina's Democratic county party conventions now behind us, party builders are elated. Statewide, we have more than 50 new county chairs heading up our county parties. Most of these are folks who have been driven by their political passions to become increasingly involved. Many of them are technologically astute and are tuned in to new methods for communicating with our voters and turning them out on election day.
The county chairs who were re-elected carry a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge and experience. They, too, are deeply committed to improving our results at the ballot box and to building an infrastructure for the next 20 years.
Eighteen months from election day, county parties are energized. Although statewide results haven't been tabulated, turnout at county conventions probably surpassed any off-year total in history. A few examples I've heard about -- more than 150 turned out in Polk, more than 200 in Yancey, over 100 even in Wilkes, where we're outnumbered by R's 55-30.
With the national party's Vote Builder (an evolution of the VAN) ramping up to come on line, we'll have the tools we need to create an historic result in 2008. Now it's a matter of completing construction of our new vehicle (through strategic planning and trainings) and capitalizing on the new energy that is increasingly available.
What does all this point to if we create appropriate plans and keep our eye on the prize? Can you say Blue State in '08? North Carolina hasn't tallied any Democratic electoral votes since 1976. Let's never forget what's at stake.