Friday, October 31, 2008

Joe the Plumber has left the building with Elvis!

Joe Flaherty as vampire Count Floyd in Second City Television's Monster Chiller Horror Theatre - "This is going to be scary, scary boys and girls!"
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Joe Wurzelbacher, also known as" Joe the Plumber," appears at a rally in Ohio with Rupblican nominee Senator John McCain (National Post/Reuters/Brial Snyder)

The Increasingly Complicated Life Of Joe The Plumber
Kelly McParland, U.S. Politics
October 30, 2008

Life sure has been heady for Joe the Plumber since that fateful day when Barack Obama appeared in his neighbourhood and Joe wandered over to ask him a question.

Joe is Joe Wurzelbacher, the unlicensed plumber from Toledo who became famous when he was repeatedly mentioned during the final debate between Obama and John McCain. Caught in the lights of the great U.S. media machine, Joe has been turning up all over the place, endorsing McCain, campaigning with Sarah Palin, and taking a whack at a little foreign policy analysis in the bargain.

As Palin discovered, though, this fame thing can work both ways. Especially when you start talking about the death of Israel and a socialist takeover of the U.S. Maybe he should have had a word with Palin before freelancing his opinions; the Alaska governor has become an expert on the trouble you can get into when you start offering the inside scoop on other countries.

Joe has been campaigning with the McCain camp in Ohio for several days now, first with Palin, and lately with McCain. His first bit of bother followed comments he made about the likely fate of Israel should Obama be elected president.

Asked by a McCain supporter at a rally in Columbus whether he agreed “a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel,” Joe responded "I’ll go ahead and agree with you on that" he said.

That wasn’t all, though. He let loose on the dangers to America as well, acknowledging he was “honestly scared for America,” should Obama win.

“I love America. I hope it remains a democracy, not a socialist society. ... If you look at spreading the wealth, that’s honestly right out of Karl Marx’s mouth,” he said. “No one can debate that. That’s not my opinion. That’s fact.” Joe ackowledged he’s no expert, telling Fox News: “You don’t want my opinion on foreign policy. I know just enough about foreign policy to probably be dangerous.” But the McCain people weren’t so reticent, issuing a statement hinting Joe could just be the next John Foster Dulles:

“While he’s clearly his own man, so far Joe has offered some penetrating and clear analysis that cuts to the core of many of the concerns that people have with Barack Obama’s statements and policies,” it said.

The Republicans were so happy with his first few appearances, they invited him back for more.

He was supposed to show up at a rally in Defiance Thursday morning -- or at least John McCain thought he was.“

Joe’s with us today,” McCain told the crowd, beckoning for Joe to show himself.

No sign of Joe. “Joe where are ya?” McCain tried again.

Still no Joe.

“Joe, I thought you were here today…,” the Republican nominee tried one more time before giving in. Oh well. Let’s try another tack. “You’re all Joe the Plumbers! So all of you stand up!” he yelled at the crowd.Turns out Joe was at home, unaware he’d been expected in Defiance.

Contacted by CNN, Joe said it was news to him. He must have beat it out of there pretty fast, though, because he did show up later in Sandusky, where McCain told another crowd about the mix-up.“I was at an event earlier and I introduced you and even though you weren’t even there they cheered for you loudly, so thank you,” he said, telling the folks that Joe is “what the free enterprise system is all about.” There are reports that Joe has signed up with an agent to manage all the requests for his time, and another report that someone started poking into his records after the debate made him famous.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that someone accessed information on Wurzelbacher’s driver’s license and his vehicle registration from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database three times after the debate, It said the records were accessed using accounts assigned to the Attorney General’s office, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department.

The information was not sought by the attorney general’s office, but the accounts were used by other law enforcement agencies, according to the report.

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