Yes, like many Moore Countians, I had to do a double take at that picture in the Sunday edition of The Pilot (of course, after wiping up the mouthful of coffee I spit out in shock). There was an ad in the paper claiming that U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (Greensboro) was endorsing Pinehurst village council member Joan Thurman’s candidacy for mayor. The ad included a not-so-warm photo featuring Thurman and Coble. There was no blurb / quote from Coble praising Thurman. In fact, the congressman looked pretty annoyed, or surprised, about the photo op.
At first, I thought “Wow, that’s a whole lot of OLD for one photo.”
Then, I thought about how it looked a lot like one of those proof-of-life photos that terrorist kidnappers send their victims’ families.
Another theory a buddy hit me with was that this was one of those “Pay $500 to have your photo taken with Howard” stunts you see at so many fundraisers. If that was the case, ol’ Joan has some REAL BIG ONES for claiming this as an “endorsement.”
I built on that theory. Perhaps Joan saw Howard at a party, and — in coordination with a photographer — sneaked up on him and took the picture. After all, Howard DOES have that surprised, “Who the hell are you and why are you taking my picture?” look on his face.
Then again, this could be legitimate. Thurman is a well-known, highly-experienced political enforcer for SpeakerrrrrRichardMorgan.™ Howard is old friends with SRM™ from their days in the Holshouser administration in the 70s.
(Holshouser had the decency to recognize the damage SRM™ was doing to the NCGOP and backed efforts to defeat him in the primary. Howard stuck with Richard to the bitter end. Joan, once Richard lost his primary, backed an independent candidate’s challenge to the GOP nominee for the county’s house seat.)
Coble and Thurman have been long-time, loyal friends to SpeakerrrrrRichardMorgan.™ I am willing to bet that the platform in Sunday’s ad for Thurman was cooked up by SRM™ himself. I’ve seen Joan in action. She has NO CLUE when it comes to the issues.