As political observer Gary Pearce first pointed out on Twitter last night and again on Talking About Politics this morning, it was downright strange that North Carolina Transportation Secretary Tony Tata was tweeting out promotions of his new novel during Governor McCrory’s State of the State speech last night.
I mean the speech did go on and on but, honestly, Mr. Secretary.
“My highlight of the night was seeing tweets from Tony Tata being posted during and after the speech. Gadzooks! Was a member of McCrory’s Cabinet actually tweeting during the speech? And not even about the speech, but about the novels Tata has written?
This is a big story!
I had to go on Twitter myself to spread the news. Within minutes, Tata himself tweeted back at me: ‘@jgaryp didn’t touch my phone during state of state. Publicist runs personal Twitter and schedules tweets. Thx for asking.’
He added, ‘Great speech!’ Which just proves he wasn’t listening.”
Later, Tata tweeted this:
“no this is me! But rarely on personal Twitter and only late at night if so. Hope you have a great night!”
The tweet exchange appears to have been deleted later from Tata’s account. I found it in the cache on TweetDeck.
Okay, so now we know that Tata’s tweets are apparently not really his own…most of the time. That’s a bit of a relief in light of Tuesday’s story (“What’s the deal with North Carolina’s Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata?”) in which we explored Tata’s ambitious second life as a novelist and political commentator. Let’s hope he also soon informs us that he’s not really penning the novels that bear his name and that a stunt double handled all those appearances on Fox News as a foreign policy commentator. Then maybe we won’t have to worry so much about why we’re paying a man $136,000 per year to run a $4 billion, 14,000 employee agency who seems to have so much spare time on his hands.