After landing a surprise starring role in the final presidential debate, "Joe the Plumber" has found himself in the international spotlight. And at least one of the candidates is hoping his run at fame lasts just a little more than 15 minutes.
John McCain hit the stump the morning after the debate, and has already incorporated Joe Wurzelbacher into his stump speech in an attempt to hit at Barack Obama's tax plan:
"Joe's the man," said McCain in Pennsylvania on Thursday morning, at his first event after the debate. "He won and small businesses won across America. The American people are not going to let Senator Obama raise their taxes in a tough economy."
Wurzelbacher is suddenly a certified TV news star, giving interviews right after the debate and making the rounds of the morning news shows. In case you missed it, here is his encounter with Obama that turned him into a debate topic:
To some, Wurzelbacher represents a man on the cusp of the American Dream, ready to buy a business but worried about his taxes. To others, he's a possible plant, someone who just speaks too well, is too informed and seemingly too supportive of McCain for someone who says he's undecided.
At the Jed Report, Jed Lewison says it "seems odd that he just happens to be buying a business that would earn exactly the amount of money that would qualify it to be a McCain campaign talking point - $250,000."
Over at gather, Jerry M writes, "That man was obviously a plant with starkly right wing, conservative views. The only question is whether he was planted by the McCain campaign or by himself. But if you saw the interview, it was clear that he had an agenda."
On the other hand, Town Hall bloggers say Joe is turning into McCain's best friend yet.
"If there is any winner in tonight's debate it's Joe the Plumber and that should put McCain closer to the 'W' column than Barack Obama," writes blogger Amanda Carpenter. "By speaking directly to Plumber Joe, John McCain was able to explain why ‘Senator Government,' a welcome Freudian slip for Obama, is wrong for the economy during these turbulent economic times."
And Jonathan Garthwaite blogs: "My humble advice to Sen. McCain - talk about ‘Joe the Plumber' all the way to Nov. 4th. Whether it's taxes or health care or ACORN, explain to the voters how ‘Joe the Plumber' will be affected if Barack Obama is elected. Talk about government intrusions into ‘Joe the Plumber's' life. Talk about the hopes and dreams of ‘Joe the Plumber' and how Obama will get in the way. Talk about ‘Joe the Plumber's' family. Joe, Joe, Joe."
The election's other Joe, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden, took to the airwaves to point out that not many "Joe the Plumbers" in his neighborhood make $250,000 or more per year:
Another topic under discussion today is McCain's mannerisms. When he wasn't speaking, he let his body do his talking for him, letting viewers know when he didn't like what Obama was saying:
McCain is generally very expessive with his face. But to some, this was comparable to Al Gore's body language during the 2000 debates with George W. Bush. Gore sighed heavily when Bush was speaking, which many considered rude. And at one point, while Bush was speaking, Gore walked uncomfortably close to him:
And finally, back in the present day, the most lasting image from the debate may end up being this one, which is already popping up just about everywhere:
McCain was apparently headed in the wrong direction after the debate, and made a comical face when he realized where he was going.