Joe the Plumber runs for Congress
Tradesman who took Obama to task over tax announces Washington bid for the Republicans
A RIGHTWING working class hero who took on Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign is to put his money where his mouth is and run for Congress. Joe the Plumber, aka Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, has announced that in 2012 he will run as a Republican for an Ohio seat currently held by the longest-serving Democrat woman in the House, Marcy Kaptur.
Just over three years ago Wurzelbacher was an unknown tradesman. But on 12 October 2008 he became an instant icon for US anti-establishment conservatism and temporary media darling after he questioned Obama about how his tax plans would affect his one-man plumbing business.
After that five-minute conversation, Joe appeared alongside Sarah Palin and John McCain at rallies across America, became a poster boy for the Tea Party, scored a book deal and recorded a country music record. He even did a stint as a foreign correspondent, reporting from Israel during the Gaza crisis for the rightwing website pjtv.com with such observations as: "If I were a citizen here, I'd be damned upset."
Announcing his candidacy in his home city of Toledo, Wurzelbacher said that he was seeking office because too many people in Ohio had been forced out of their homes. "All I'm asking for is a fair shake," he said. "Americans deserve all kinds of people representing them, not just an elite, ruling class."
His campaign website, Joeforcongress2012.com, says that he will be "a fierce advocate for working class, conservative values" in Washington. The district in which he is running is a blue-collar area and the Republicans who recruited him hope his fame will bring in enough money to mount a serious challenge to Kaptur.
Wurzelbacher also revealed that he had considered running as an independent but decided he had a better chance of winning as a Republican. "Is it the lesser of two evils?" he said. "I don't know."