Overnight celebrity, Joe "The Plumber" Wurtzelbacher, of Toledo, Ohio, initially flush with fame, isn't holding up too well under the harsh media glare the day after the final presidential debate. When first interviewed after the debate Joe became a verbal Roto-Rooter as the cameras rolled, calling Obama a "Socialist" and saying his tax plan "infuriated him." The press went plumb crazy. John McCain invoked "Joe the Plumber" 21 times last night. McCain's "average Joe" was used as a verbal club which he repeatedly used to try to clobber Barak Obama. At a recent campaign stop, Joe asked Obama a question about taxes on a plumbing business he was "planning on buying." With no more detail than Joe provided, Obama gave a very general answer about small businesses making more than $250,000 dollars a year, and indicated the possibility of a tax increase. McCain's campaign adopted angry Joe using him to attack Obama's tax plan, claiming it would destroy America's small businesses, ad nauseam. Today tax experts said that under Obama's plan, Joe would, in fact, not pay higher taxes and might even get a tax break when figuring actual taxable earnings.
Journalists soon started doing some background checking on Joe. First of all, Joe has never been a licensed plumber or contractor, which is a requirement in the City of Toledo. He has never even formally apprenticed as a plumber. Joe has never belonged to Columbus plumber's local 189 as he supposedly claimed on his internet facebook page, and more details are coming to light hourly. Joe's concern about paying more taxes becomes clearer with reported findings that he already has problems paying what he owes. He is reported to have had two liens against him of more than $1,000. One of them, a personal lien from 2007, he reportedly still has not paid. Seems McCain's vetting of Joe, his folk hero de jour, was no better than the vetting of his ill advised VP choice, Sarah Palin.
Details or facts have not been of much interest to Senator McCain lately as he grimaces his way forward, trying to score a last cheap political point. Before using Joe Wurtzelbacher as a catch basin for his campaign's hogwash he might have checked the drain before it overflowed all over them.