It isn’t every day you see your governor, in collared shirt and necktie and sporty sunglasses, pushing a broken-down car to the side of the road.
But Monday was that day. There was definitely a damsel in distress in this story.
Gov. Michael Dunleavy was driving in Wasilla during heavy traffic, when he noticed a significant backup along the southbound lane of the Parks Highway.
A car was stalled up ahead. Dunleavy was on a conference call with his executive team, and told them to hold for a few minutes; he’d be right back because there was a car stalled in the road.
Dunleavy pulled his truck to the side of the road, got out, held his hands up to stop traffic, and motioned for people to put their hazard blinkers on. Then he and another Good Samaritan got behind the stalled car and pushed it to the side of the road. A police officer came by and took over the scene to help out the stranded driver.
The governor got back in his truck and continued his phone meeting, never mentioning the incident.
But truck driver and heavy equipment operator James Egnaty caught the moment on his telephone.
The governor’s staff didn’t know about the incident until people started seeing the photo on Facebook, where it was shared by Egnaty in a group called “What’s Important in the Mat Su Valley.” From that page it’s been shared over 1,000 times.
Gov. Dunleavy said nonchalantly, “This is what we do as Alaskans.”
The incident became a social media sensation with memes (humorous jokes and commentary) that were both positive and negative toward Alaska’s 12th governor. A challenge was issued by a New York reporter to his own governor, Andrew Cuomo, in this message on Twitter: