“I’m a plumber… just a plumber,” that’s how Joe Wurzelbacher described himself when he lashed out at the media for scrutinizing his opinions and personal life, last weekend. Yeah, Joe is that guy. Joe the Plumber. The Joe that Republican presidential candidate John McCain mentioned repeatedly in the third and final presidential debate. In fact, McCain referred to Wurzelbacher as “my buddy, Joe.”
Wurzelbacher was thrust into the public arena after having a brief chat with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama back on October 12. During the encounter, Wurzelbacher complained about Obama’s tax plan, which he says would keep him from purchasing the $250,000-plus small plumbing business where he works. McCain jumped on this and portrayed it as an example of how Obama’s tax plan hurts the small business owner.
McCain’s strategy for using Joe the Plumber to trash Obama’s tax plan is typical politics. The surprise in this drama is the Holland, Ohio plumber named Joe. Fast forward to reports that now show shy Joe is loving his 15 minutes of fame so much he wants to extend it.
On Thursday, Keith Olbermann on Daily Kos reported rumblings in the publishing industry about Joe the Plumber putting out feelers that he’s looking for a book deal. Also in the last few days, a flurry of stories on the Internet about Joe the Plumber mulling over a run for Congress.
Then, there’s the interview chat Joe did Friday on the Washington Times website. Joe answered questions and spouted off freely about his views. He said Obama made him “scared for America.” Also, Joe says that when he met Obama, despite all he’d heard about the candidate’s ‘presence’, he came away thinking the Illinois senator was “very average.” This from a guy who apparently doesn’t understand our tax system nor that he needs a plumber’s license to work in his own community.
In the glare of the spotlight and caught up in dreams of fame and major dollar signs, Joe the Plumber seems to have forgotten that he is really the one who is average and “just a plumber” by his own assessment.