As I predicted the day after he bobbed to the surface to play pool noodle to a sinking campaign, Joe the Plumber is all the McCain-Palin ticket has left. And they're hoping his copious hot air can propel them out of the deep end. Check out how their lead pollster crows about making JTP famous in a memo yesterday:
This has been the week where “Joe the Plumber” has literally become a household name. An astounding 59% of voters in these battleground states have heard “a lot” about this story, 83% have heard “a lot” or “some” about this episode.So it's all JTP, all the time. But like Palin, JTP tends to wander off message, quickly getting out of his depth. I caught a clip of Fox's Cavuto show this weekend and watched in astonishment as Cavuto consulted JTP about the stock market as if he were some kind of financial oracle. The result was pretty much what you'd get if you took financial advice from your household pet; he didn't have a fucking clue.
He's equally clueless on the topic of foreign policy. But unlike the credulous Cavuto, who is dumb enough to think the PUMAs are an electoral force, Fox's Shepard Smith actually pushed back:
His protestations to the contrary, JTP was tap-dancing around the reasons for his accusation that a vote for Obama is a vote for the "death of Israel" like, as he might put it, Sammy Davis, Jr. Kudos to Shep for calling him out on it.
Will the ongoing revelation of JTP's vast ignorance diminish his effectiveness as a political tool? That certainly seems to have been the case with Palin, and it illustrates the danger of predicating your message on symbolism rather than substance.
But there's enormous precedent in this country for making election decisions based on empty symbolism; after all, a tee-totaling, bible-humping, male prep school cheerleader managed to pass himself off as an aw-shucks cowpoke with whom voters would like to have a beer, to our ruin. Will McCain pull off a similar feat? If so, there's always Plan C:
[Shep Smith story via TS at Instaputz]