by Bob Geary
[Update x 2: McCrory spokeswoman confirms, Governor hasn't been at a protest, but he does walk from the Mansion to the Capitol — which is not really what he said on Wednesday. The question remains why he won't listen to the protesters or meet with their leaders? http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/07/12/3026255/mccrory-says-he-mingles-with-protesters.html]
When Gov. Pat McCrory told a reporter in Wilson on Wednesday that he frequently wades into the Moral Monday crowds, perhaps he meant that he sometimes walks by — incognito — with his earbuds on.
She did see McCrory Tuesday on the periphery of the pro-women's rally behind the Legislative Office Building, she told me.
He was out for a walk, dressed like a jogger with a hat on and earbuds, and he stopped briefly before moving along. She didn't register who he was until she read about his claim re: Moral Mondays. She'd heard someone say to him, "Incognito, I see," and thought she should know who he was. But she didn't at the time. She thought he might've been a reporter.
Her ID jibes with what McCrory told the Wilson Times, which was that he'd been out and about the day before — Tuesday, in other words, rather than on a Moral Monday. An excerpt:
McCrory said he has come out to hear what protesters are not happy about on the Moral Monday protests.
"I go out in the crowd all of the time,” McCrory said. "Frankly, yesterday I went out and talked to several of them and they were not very respectful. They did not represent the majority of those who call themselves moral by cussing me out. But that’s the way things go some times.”
My friend says no one cussed the Governor, at least while he was anywhere near her.
[Update: Also, we have this sighting, not at a Moral Monday, but not too far away — from a young woman who says she did talk s**t to the Governor.]
McCrory's story has been met with disbelief by Moral Monday organizers, who note that he's declined repeatedly to meet with them and has been dismissive of their views. The Rev. William Barber, it should be noted, consistently tells his listeners to be respectful of people and limit their criticisms to policies, not persons.
McCrory's press office has been mum so far — feeding the wonderment.
In the meantime, McCrory's tale sparked many a Facebook parody. One I liked — posted by a couple of INDY folks — featured a picture of a Moral Monday crowd in which someone was dressed up in a Big Bird costume. No wonder McCrory'd never been spotted!!
New today, there's a faux Twitter account, @patwasthere recounting all the other places our Governor's been that you didn't know about.
Historical moments in #patwasthere pic.twitter.com/L4PerdbrMB
— Pat Was There (@patwasthere) July 12, 2013