It's hard for a candidate for lieutenant governor to get much attention in his own state, let alone anywhere else. But N.C. Republican Robert Pittenger has found himself on national TV and newspapers around the world.
And all he did was choke.
Pittenger was eating lunch at Saturday's GOP convention in Greensboro, sitting next to U.S. Rep. Howard Coble across a dais from former presidential candidate Mick Huckabee, the luncheon speaker. Coble said something funny, Pittenger started laughing and choked. As others sat around, Huckabee rushed over and gave him the Heimlich, saving the day if not more.
The account brought a brief mention in Sunday's Observer. But it brought Pittenger and Huckabee on "Fox & Friends" Monday morning and mentions on other network newscasts, including MSNBC's "Hardball."
The story was carried by The Australian ("Huckabee saves fellow Republican from choking"), The New Zealand Herald ("Huckabee is Heimlich hero"), and was picked up by Agence France-Presse, among others.
Huckabee, who had trained as an emergency medical technician, told ABC News it was the third time he'd saved someone from choking by using the Heimlich.
Said Pittenger: "I am not coordinated enough to laugh and swallow at the same time."