Play it again Sam
It seems "Joe the Plumber," the Ohio tradesman who engaged in a debate over taxes with Obama -- and whose cause was taken up by John McCain in last night's debate -- isn't really a licensed plumber. And his name is not Joe.
But he does owe $1,200 in back taxes. No wonder he's upset about the Obama plan that he says would prevent him from buying a $250,000 plumbing business.
I had some doubts earlier today that Joe would become the economic symbol that McCain would need to turn the tide in the campaign. After all, critics have repeatedly said Obama has failed to connect with the public on the topic because he hasn't put a human face to the problem.
McCain thought he could use Joe as the GOP metaphor. But got more than he bargained for.
Wurzelbacher was putting the pipe elbow before the wrench when he lamented Obama would prevent him from buying a business. Why? Because he isn't considered professionally qualified to run the shop.
Association of Plumbers, Steamfitters and Service Mechanics revealed that Wurzelbacher was not a licensed member of their trade.Not only is Wurzelbacher only qualified to work for someone else with a master license, but he seems to have an, ahem, tax problem.
"That means that he has not completed the training program necessary for him to sit for a license test," said Tony Herrera, market recovery specialist for Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 50 in Toledo, Ohio.
According to records on file with the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, the state filed a tax lien against Samuel J. Wurzelbacher for $1,182.98 on Jan. 26, 2007, that is still active.In other words, Wurzelbacher believes laws and regulations don't apply to him. Funny, that does put him in the company of many Republican business types.
The McCain camp's failure to vet Joe the Plumber before holding him up as an icon is yet another in a long list of snap decisions made for political gain without thinking through the possibilities.
You know, like Sarah Palin.