Dennis "I'm a Pittsburgh Boy" Miller headlined tonight's Pennsylvania Chamber annual dinner, but first Governor Tom Corbett took the stage with words of appreciation for the assembled business leaders.
"It's an honor to be with you tonight, to be with you who are the creators of economic opportunity for Pennsylvanians," he said. "The ones who dream the dreams, the ones who actually take the risks, who work the long hours and who invest in the guarantee of a return.
"It's you, the people in this room, who create the jobs in Pennsylvania. That's one of the miracles of our marketplace, and it's what makes our state and our nation great."
He credited the chamber for its advocacy, and said that with the work of the Legislature they had eliminated the inheritance tax on small family businesses. (The line drew applause.)
And he said businesses have created more than 130,000 new private-sector jobs since 2011, when he took office.
"You might not read about this every day in your local newspaper, but here's a headline: Pennsylvania is back and stronger than ever," he said. "Together we've accomplished a great deal, but there is a lot more to do."
Corbett's opponents -- not least the growing field of Democrats seeking to replace him -- dispute that the state economy is doing so well.
On Friday, for instance, former DEP secretary Katie McGinty and York County businessman Tom Wolf pointed to an uptick in the state unemployment rate -- which rose from 7.5 percent in July to 7.7 percent in August -- as evidence that Pennsylvania is falling behind.