Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher announced his independent candidacy for the presidency of the United States today, citing a need to defeat "that socialist [Barack Obama]," a task he feels is not being accomplished by Republican challenger, Senator John McCain.
Joe the Plumber rose to National prominence following the third and final presidential debate, Wednesday night, during which he was mentioned one hundred and thirty-seven times by Senator McCain, and sixty-six times by Senator Obama. With the swing state of Ohio becoming ever more evenly split, and undecided voters harder and harder to find, each candidate was working hard to win Wurzelbacher's individual vote, in the hopes of swaying Ohio's twenty electoral votes their way.
Wurzelbacher remained unimpressed, however. When it was pointed out that he makes far less than $250,000, like most Americans and American small business owners, and would actually benefit from Obama tax cuts, he replied, "Yeah, well, he's still a Muslim and a douche."
On McCain, he is only slightly less critical.
"Frankly, the guy's ship is sinking and he threw my name around like a Goddamn life vest, like I'm gonna somehow save his doomed campaign."
McCain, for his part, has not backed down, today mentioning Wurzelbacher forty-three times in a speech to The Top One Half of One Percent, a financially conservative Republican group.
"And what about Joe Wizzlebasker - Joe the Plumber?" McCain said at the rally, "What if one day he makes $250,000.23 under an Obama government? My friends, believe me when I tell you that on that day Obama himself will rush over with his IRS buddies and take Joe's home, take his business, all his food, and pee all over his wife and kids. That's not change I can believe in.
"Joe Wurdleburgen needs a different kind of change! Joe the Plumber deserves better than bankrupcy and ruin to reward success! Joe's wife deserves more than a face-full of Senator Obama's urine!"
While McCain may be discounting Wurzelbacher as a true presidential competitor, the media is hungry to know more about this new face. In fact, little is known about Wurzelbacher's policy positions thus far, except that he favors a flat tax of no more than 2%, and the dismantling of National Public Radio.
The New York Times has reported that Wurzelbacher's political influences are "almost entirely limited to" conservative radio talkshows and a variety of discredited email forwards from friends and relatives, though Wurzelbacher himself claims that he does "occasionally" watch Fox News.
With the election just a few weeks away, much of the media speculation following Wurzelbacher's announcement has been focused on who he would tap for his running mate. The AP reported early Thursday that there were indications that McCain's own running mate, Sarah Palin, might be considering defection, though she was on a Moose hunt late Thursday, and could not be reached for comment. Other thoughts on likely candidates include radio commentators Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, and the late President Ronald Reagan.
In the end, though, it's the American people who will decide whether Joe the Plumber is given the chance to prove that a regular guy who owes back taxes, makes $40,000 a year, and has yet to get his plumber's license can not only vote against his own economic interests, but just might become the next President of the United States.