Courtesy Robert J. Elisberg
Setup? US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (L) speaks to Joe Wurzelbacher as he canvasses a neighbourhood in Holland, Ohio in this October 12, 2008 file photo.
Just when you didnâ€™t think things could get worse for John McCain — they go in the toilet.
So, you remember Joe the Plumber, who John McCain kept relentlessly bringing up. And up. The apparently undecided plumber who had complained to Barack Obama that he couldnâ€™t buy his own plumbing company because heâ€™d have to pay 3% more in taxes. The plumber who John McCain lauded as an Everyman while oddly proclaiming â€œCongratulations! Youâ€™re rich!â€ in the midst of a disastrous recession. The fellow who said that Barack Obama â€œtap dances better than Sammy Davis Jr.â€
Well, it turns out heâ€™s the one gliding around the dance floor so much, you should expect to see him soon on â€œDancing with the Stars.â€
You see, Joe Wurzelbacher is apparently related to Robert Wurzelbacher. Who is the son-in-law of (are you ready…?) Charles Keating!
Yes, that Charles Keating. The Charles Keating of the Keating 5 Scandal. For which John McCain was reprimanded by the United States Senate, for his involvement in attempting to illegally influence government regulators. The Charles Keating who John McCain has been trying to avoid have mentioned. So, he basically mentioned it 24 times.
(By the way, lost in all the attention paid to John McCain not getting the same career-ending censure by the Senate, as did the other four defendants – the reason for that is because heâ€™d been in the House of Representatives at the time of his transgression. The Senate decided that they didnâ€™t have jurisdiction over him to give the same penalty. So, his career was saved.)
Anyway, back to Robert Wurzelbacher, Joe the Plumberâ€™s father. You see, Robert Wurzelbacher was an executive of American Continental Corporation, the parent company of Charles Keatingâ€™s Lincoln Savings. Thatâ€™s the bank which caused citizens to lose their life savings and cost U.S. taxpayers $3.4 billion. As part of that scandal, Robert Wurzelbacher pleaded guilty to three counts of misapplying $14 million and served 40 months in prison.
And now, Lincoln Savings, Robert Wurzelbacher and Joe the Plumber are back with John McCain.
â€œCongratulations! Youâ€™re rich!,â€ indeed.
Never mind that Joe the Plumber has state tax liens files against him. As the court representative says, Joe the Plumber might not even be aware of the lien.
Never mind that Joe the Plumber says he wasnâ€™t convinced by Sen. Obamaâ€™s argument. Given his background, why should he be?
Never mind that Joe the Plumber is concerned about a tax increase if his business makes over $250,000. After all, since any business has an estimated value of five times its annual profit – that means Joeâ€™s hoped-for business is valued at $1.25 million. So, either he has that in the bank or can get a loan for its value. (Assuming he can get a loan today, of course…). Though, now you see why John McCain gave Joe the Plumber a shout out, â€œCongratulations! Youâ€™re rich!â€
But then, maybe John McCain gave Joe the Plumber a shout-out because he wanted to give a boost to a friendâ€™s relative. Nice touch.
So, apparently these are the people who John McCain seems to keep palling around with.
Mind you, I thought it odd when John McCain first brought up Joe Wurzelbacherâ€™ s but then never referred to his last name again. I thought perhaps heâ€™d forgotten it. Or it was too hard to pronounce. Apparently though there was a better reason for him to quit saying the name â€œWurzelbacherâ€ 24 times. If only Sen. McCain (R-AZ) had remembered the pesky Tivo, where you can rewind.
Now, in fairness, John McCain might not have known than Joe Wurzelbacher was from that same Wurzelbacher family. He might have thought it was just some regular Wurzelbacher. And who knows, maybe theyâ€™re not even related?
But never mind all of that. This is an election, and what matters is the votes. And in the end, if John McCain wants the vote of Joe the Plumber, then heâ€™ll likely get it. That was his point all night, after all. Of course, he might not getting the votes of many other plumbers.
The United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters has endorsed Barack Obama.
â€œObama will help us keep existing jobs and work to develop new, higher paying jobs here in America, reform our health care system, fix our ailing schools and make sure that the pensions of our retirees are safe,â€ the UAPP said.
By the way, as long as weâ€™re on the matter of John McCain forgetting the name of Joe Wurzelbacher and who heâ€™s related to. Thereâ€™s one other name he forgot at the debate.
At the end of the evening, Mr. Obama began his final statement by thanking Sen. McCain and â€œBob for moderating.â€ When it was John McCainâ€™s time, he too thanked Bob Schieffer by name, then turned to Sen. Obama, looked at him, hesitated briefly, and then sayd, â€œAnd you.â€
At least he didnâ€™t say â€œJoe Wurzelbacher. â€œ
For the 25th timeâ€¦