Since John McCain made Joe the Plumber famous in the third presidential debate, Joe Wurzelbacher (his real name) has been enjoying his 15 minutes of fame.
Many local plumbers disagree with his stance, however.
“I think the guy’s a clown,” said Jeff Wolfe, owner of Jeff’s Plumbing Inc. in Sacramento. “They need to get him off the TV.“
Wolfe said Wurzelbacher has no business being a spokesperson for plumbers, as he is not even a licensed plumber.
Joe the Plumber, according to McCain, hopes to own his own business in the future, but would be hurt by Barack Obama’s tax plan if he earns over $250,000 per year. Currently, Wurzelbacher works for someone else.
David White, owner of Poot and Scoot Plumbing in Davis, said earning enough to fit into that tax bracket will take time.
“I think he’s in the realm of fantasy if he thinks he’s going to make that kind of money right away,” White said.
White also disagreed with McCain’s basic argument, saying people who earn more should pay more taxes.
Bob Amos, owner of Aaron Plumbing in Davis, said he disagreed with McCain’s philosophy as well.
“I personally feel that people making over $250,000 a year should pay more taxes,” Amos said.
In terms of the election, the local plumbers have their own political opinions.
“There’s really no one to choose from that’s going to be exceptional,” Wolfe said. “We do need a change though.“
Amos shared similar sentiments to Wolfe’s.
“I think we do need some change,” Amos said. “I personally am going to vote for Obama. That’s my opinion.“
White gave his opinion, not as a plumber, but as an American.
“Just as an American, hopefully we can push forward,” he said. “I am an ardent supporter of Barack Obama just because of his forward thinking.“
White also said he hopes that people turn out to vote today, and all of the people that say they are going to vote actually do.
As for Wurzelbacher’s popularity, the local plumbers see it as a campaign stunt.
“I think McCain’s just kind of using it to propel his campaign,” Amos said. “I think for people that don’t really know what Obama’s tax plan is, I think it’s effective. I don’t think it’s effective for people who are familiar with Obama’s plan.“
White said the McCain campaign is “grasping at straws” and seizing an ordinary guy to garner support. Still, he said Wurzelbacher was instrumental in being part of the hype.
“He wanted to do it,” White said. “He wanted to get out there and get involved in the McCain campaign and he did. He got his 15 minutes of fame.“
Some feel that 15 minutes is more than enough.
“I can’t wait until the election is over with and I don’t have to see him on TV anymore pretending to be a plumber that earns $250,000 a year,” Wolfe said.
Today may not be the last of Joe the Plumber, as Wurzelbacher is working on a book and planning to start a charity, according to FOX News.
ELYSSA THOME can be reached at email@example.com.