Why I Love the Fictional Earl Ray

There are these people out there, and sometimes you don’t even know who they are, but you’ve got to love them.  I can no longer contain my adoration for my personal candidate for the next individual elected to the chief executive office for the great State of West Virginia…….please give it up for @ActingGov_WV!

Hailing from Chapmanville, West Virginia, this tan, rested and ready top gun on Twitter states his bio as follows:

The (fictional) Governor of WV is the head of the executive branch of WVa’s government and the commander-in-chief of the state’s military forces (fictional).

The profile pic of @ActingGov_WV

I like the real ERT very much so far, but if for some reason he can’t fulfill his duties I rest comfortably knowing that the fictional Earl Ray Tomblin is ready to roll.

I can hear your thoughts, dear reader.  Why would anyone spend their time creating and sustaining a fake account, masquerading as Earl Ray Tomblin, and being completely clear that it’s all fiction?  I can’t say for sure.  But I can hazard a guess or two.  This person knows state government, and not just the structure and processes and rules.  He knows the people.  He knows how the personalities of those people can work for or against functional governance.  And God bless him, he knows that so much of our crazy world at wv.gov is just pure hilarity.

Citizens in every state across the U.S. of A. are losing their collective sense of humor, and that is understandable.  I follow and appreciate @ActingGov_WV because he makes me laugh at things that need to be laughed at, including myself as a voter and a citizen.  He also has a gift for poking at people who take themselves too seriously in a very gentle way that keeps things in perspective without trying to take a body count.  Having worked in the Governor’s Office myself a few years back, I can assure you that this skill is rare and to be treasured.

It is impossible to share all the great tweets because, well, they are all great.  If you are on Twitter and follow West Virginia politics, you really need to find @ActingGov_WV and treat yourself to the full smörgåsbord of fun. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite tweets from a very funny mind:

  • OK. Get this clear. Tent was a Manchin thing. It’s in state code that all Manchin stuff is tacky. #lookitup
  • John Raese sure does love the people of West Virginia, Alice Click. That’s why he lives in Florida. #totallyobvious
  • Sending intern to Natalie’s kickoff to spy. Also to bring back some pizza. Don’t tell Mrs. Earl Ray.
  • Joe apparently wants all state residents to stop what they are doing and listen to his maiden Senate speech tomorrow. #yeahright
  • Marcellus shale will give me a perpetual perfect tan and get me on Jeopardy.
  • May do musical chairs next Board of Public Works meeting. If you don’t grab a chair, you can’t run for governor. #imfast
  • When Senator Jenkins talks about the “Far East” I’m suspicious he means Jefferson County.
  • I think Betty is giving Kabler gift certificates to the Food Court. Will have to step things up. Delivery + a behind the scenes tour.
  • As Senate President, may order heat in Sen. Jenkins turned off over the weekend. Freeze all his hair products.
  • Are we sure there is actually a real Shelley Moore Capito and not just a bot in DC pretending to be SMC?
  • UK Parliament amending the Act of Settlement isn’t going to put the Speaker in line to be King of England, either. #justnothisday
  • Text from Joe. He wants to know why we haven’t made his birthday a state holiday yet.
  • Polishing the ATV for the ride into the chamber.
  • May challenge Natalie to a shovel-off for the next big storm. Won’t tell her I’m bringing the ATV. #planningahead
  • Clearly, one should not trifle with Daily Mail reporters. The editorial staff is a different matter, altogether.
  • Communications staff is in for a rough meeting this morning; expect an explanation of why @CartneyWV gets better press than me.
  • I walked to the candy machine instead of sending an intern. #fitwv
  • Considering submitting legislation to make the Speaker the governor of Mason County. #dontwantitanyway #compromise

And my personal favorite, naturally:

Thanks @ElizGaucher for the #ff! I always insist the staff read your blog. 😉

Though I am bracing for:

@ElizGaucher kissing up, dropping resume hints.  Think she’s too pale to do get the job done. #letherdowneasy

Erudite…that’s goes with ranch dip, right?

There are times you read something truly amusing and you may never really know if the person who conjured it was trying to be funny; then there are times you know.

Brooks McCabe

Yesterday I read a tweet by @BrooksMcCabeWV that still has me laughing.  He had my vote for the next governor of West Virginia long before this, but now I can just tell one story and explain why he is the man for me, as well as why I believe he is the candidate our state needs in that office.

The tweet was a faux head-scratching over a journalist’s evaulation of him as “too erudite” for most voters.  The exact critique was this:

McCabe has some minuses as a candidate — he doesn’t exactly take command of the room when he enters, and with a doctoral degree from WVU, he can come off a bit too erudite for his audiences.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of a governor “taking command of the room.”  It’s philistine and tiresome and more often than not a glaring wart on a man’s character if he has to act that way.  The story I heard from the business summit at The Greenbrier was that McCabe quietly took a few steps up in a large hallway and, un-mic’ed, began talking about his vision for West Virginia.  He gathered a large group that soon crowded the area and listened to him intently and respectfully.  My clearance goes through rumor, but I also understand that quiet talk generated $20K in campaign support on the spot.

There will always be people who need someone to “take” command of them; who look for a big guy with too much hair product and a macho background to make them feel taken care of and important.  West Virginia has no shortage of these dudes salivating in the wings.   Then there are other people who appreciate a leader with an education, a respectful mild-mannered approach to others, and a flawless wit.  That leader is Brooks McCabe.

His tweet?  “Looking up ‘erudite’ in the dictionary.”  You gotta love it.