October 17, 2008 12:01 AM
Joe the Plumber
Wednesday night's debate gave us a new American icon--Joe the Plumber, who, according to John McCain, told Obama at a rally that Obama's tax plan would prevent poor Joe Wurzelbacher from buying the plumbing business he works for. McCain hoped to use Joe to rally opposition to Obama, and in the coming days likely will play Joe up in a big way. I won't go into why Joe's belief that he can't buy a business under Obama's plan is absurd on its face. What the Toledo blade found out about Joe is much more interesting: he isn't licensed as a plumber, and evidently there is a tax lien against him, which would preclude any dreams of buying a business until that's settled. Joe's plight wasn't an immediate game-changer during the debate, at least according to the instant polls, but that doesn't mean it won't gain traction, despite the fictional story. Right now, though, John McCain needs all the plumbing help his leaking campaign can get.