I watched the debate last night with the Saint, and I was struck by one thing in particular. The fact that Joe the Plumber was directly talked to by the candidates. This is echoed in this mornings media discussions on the major networks, and the cable networks. In short, last nights debate was about "Joe the Plumber", and "Joe won".
This is a HUGE strategic mistake by Obama. Whether it is enough to change the outcome of the election remains to be seen. However, in the closing weeks of the campaign, when Obama had all but sewn up the election, the remaining discussion could possibly be all about Joe. Certainly the next 3 days of media will be about Joe.
Prior to the debate, I don't think many people had heard about Joe. If you weren't a news junkie pouring through YouTube clips for the latest campaign clips, or watching Fox News, you might have missed it. But by Barack directly targeting Joe in his debate responses, its become all about Joe. And that is not a strong point for Obama. As Joe mentions in his GMA clip here:
"To be honest with you, that infuriates me," plumber Joe Wurzelbacher told Nightline's Terry Moran. "It's not right for someone to decide you made too much---that you've done too good and now we're going to take some of it back."
"That's just completely wrong," he added.
Joe as "Everyman" is evident in the video. This is your average hard working family man. This will directly target the swing voters in battleground states. It will further demonstrate that Obama is too far to the left. Obama will be on the defensive trying to explain why people who do not pay any taxes currently, will need to get a check with Joe's money.
As evidenced in the GMA clip, the Obama camp (and the media is just one arm of that camp) will hit the following talking points hard:
- Obama's tax plan won't affect someone as "small" as Joe. He doesn't make $250,000 (currently).
- Even if he did have to pay the additional taxes, "its not that much, only 3% more".
- Joe Wurzelbacher already had his mind made up about the race and therefore his opinion about the race and Obama's tax plan is not to be acknowledged. This is where the questions about who he's planning on voting for come from.
If I were in the McCain campaign, I'd immediately start airing an ad, showing the "other" Joe's in America. The electrician, the general contractor, the bricklayer, the store owner, the small factory owner providing jobs to Americans.
And if I were Joe, Id prepare for the onslaught the media is going to bring on him. His background will be looked into, probably with as much vigor as the Palins. I expect we'll soon start to hear "stories" about how Joe is not what he seems. If it isn't a "youthful indiscretion" in his past, it will be that he's too good, or a Christianist, or something else.
One things for sure, Obama cannot let the current theme about "Joe the Plumber" remain.
In football terms, Obama just threw an interception with 4 minutes left in the game, and now McCain has the ball. All he needs to do is put it in the end zone in the remaining time.
Gateway Pundit and Michelle Malkin are covering