The McCain campaign strategy seems to be invoke something, find out it was a big mistake, but try to go with it and convince the American public that your mistake was actually part of the plan (see: Sarah Palin). So it is with Joe the Plumber. Without looking into Joe's credentials (or lack thereof), McCain decided to thrust the guy into the national spotlight in a an ill-advised debate style which hinged on him. Once the media looked into the guy (as McCain or any other sane individual knew they would) they found out some interesting facts.
Joe the Plumber's real name is Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher and, in reality, he is not really a plumber. Despite insisting that he does not need a license to practice his trade, the folks who run Toeldo, Ohio say that he does. And his claim that he is about to buy his employer's $250,000 plumbing business may not be true, either. In any event, it is worth watching Obama's answer to Sam (Joe), because instead of brushing him off, he takes the time to explain his plan to him and makes sure that he understands it:
Wurzelbacher seems to get it and to appreciate Obama's time to answer his question. Now, beyond McCain's initial incantation of Joe the Plumber at the third debate, his campaign seems to be grasping the idea of Sam (Joe) the Plumber (probably in their attempt to portray themselves as populists). McCain has even gone so far as to call up Joe (Sam) to ask him to come out to some campaign rallies. Rather than let the Joe the Plumber fad die, McCain seems to want to embrace it despite the recent revelations of the real Joe (Sam).
Palin also seems to be embracing Joe the Plumber. She has said that he had the courage to stand up to Obama and that should be commended. Indeed, it should, because politicians do not get asked legitimate questions (it is too bad that this time it seems that the questioner was not the best person to be asking the question given his tax history). But Palin should not be praising Joe the Plumber, for when she faced a similar incident in Philly and was called out on it later, she said that Katie Couric was participating in "gotcha journalism": (you can ignore the interview with the guy who asked the question, because he seems like a pompous ass)
So, isn't Palin caught in "gotcha politics" (isn't that a pizza place?) when she invokes the Joe (Sam) the Plumber question? Is it not hypocritical for Palin to say that she should not be called out on her answer to a random voter (in which she agreed with Barack Obama's ill-advised plan to enter sovereign Pakistani land to get terrorists without Pakistani approval, which is in direct opposition to John McCain's position), but that Barack Obama's answer should be scrutinized? Or is it still sexist to ask Sarah Palin about things she has said and what she believes?
All of this Joe the Plumber stuff is getting annoying. He asked Obama a good question, and Obama answered him quite well. The McCain campaign, looking for anything to bring attention off of their policies and anything else that may mean something to the voter before the election, have continually brought up Joe the Plumber to show, "Hey, look, I own eight homes, but I still care about your average Joe; I'm a populist! Greed and corruption on Wall Street!" Once Joe's 15 runs out, it'll be back to the Ayers non-connection. But while McCain and Palin continue to use the image of Joe, I propose a name change . I think we should call him Joe the Unlicensed Contractor. Peace.
Photo - Obama and Sam (Joe) (www.timesonline.co.uk)