Disclaimer: My godfather was a plumber for 40+ years, having learned his trade in the Navy during WWII. I have great admiration for all of the trades. They have knowledge and skills I will never approximate, so this isn’t a put down of plumbers. It’s about being someone’s monkey.

Joe Wurzelbacher..your 15 minutes of fame were up last week.

I don’t know that Joe the Plumber is dumb. Maybe he’s dumb like a fox. At first I thought he was being exploited by people who couldn’t care less about his welfare. His question to Obama during a campaign swing through Ohio was seen by the McCain campaign as a gaffe about “spreading the wealth.”  Obama’s answer was treated as if it was a full-fledged policy statement and economic plan, not an off-the-cuff response to a question. Given how few openings the Obama campaign has given MCain it’s not surprising that they seized it like a drowning man lunges for a liferaft. Ironically, it was Joe who first declared the Obama tax plan “socialist.” The light bulb lit up in someone’s head–“hey, that’s a tack we haven’t tried!”   Joe the Plumber is now Joe the Campaign Strategist, Economist, and Political Scientist. What’s next? Joe the Calendar Boy?

After a few days of notoriety, one would have hoped that Joe could have slipped back into relative obscurity to live his life and ply his trade. Unfortunately for Joe, the campaign kept trotting out the “Joe the Plumber” shtick, keeping alive a bogus issue.

But not so fast–Joe turned the tables on McCain and wants to use his new fame to his own advantage. Now we hear that he is contemplating  a country western singing career, a book deal and a run for Congress. He has a publicist. Unfortunately, for those few minutes he has been on TV Joe has proved to be the only person of national prominence to know even less about foreign policy than Sarah Palin.

I thought that Joe was not recognizing that as soon as the campaign is over he would be kicked to the curb, or more accurately, left by the side of the road. Six months from now he would be a trivia question, a briefly entertaining side note in a campaign not known for levity. Maybe, but here’s the irony: today Joe blew off a McCain rally in aptly named Defiance, Ohio. Just didn’t show up. How do ya like me now, Johnny?!!

Joe, let it go. Snake pipes, install faucets. Be happy. Someday you can tell your grandchildren that you stood on stage with that woman who ran for vice president. And they’ll look at you and ask, “who???”

Advertisements