Joe the Plumber (no longer a plumber; first name actually Samuel) popped into our town yesterday evening to sell his new book and to remind people that he's still a plain and simple guy. Mission accomplished, on at least one of his missions.To be perfectly fair to Joe, it's easy to see why he might strike out in a town like DC. The weather wasn't good here this week. It's a liberal town. There's too much other stuff going on. Awww hell, who am I kidding? Nobody would buy a book by this moron, period.
About 11 people wandered into the rows of seats set up hopefully in the basement of a downtown Border's bookstore to hear Joe speak. Joe addressed them from behind a lectern and with a microphone, but that seemed unnecessarily formal.
It's fair to say Joe's appearance at Borders at 18th and L streets wasn't eagerly anticipated. People just kind of shuffled over when Joe strode in with Thomas N. Tabback, the co-author of "Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream." Annie Hickman, a young woman whom Wurzelbacher called "sweetie" during a brief Q&A, was browsing when the PA announced that Joe was in the house. "I'm missing pottery class for this," she said.
Joe had something to say about hard work and having good values; it's probably in his book, but he said it bluntly and plainly. He has presence; he's solidly built, with a shiny bullet head, and large, workingman's hands. "I'm just your average guy," he said several times.
Joe says he plans to work in construction once his gig doing commentary for a conservative Web site runs out at the end of March. Plumbing? Not happening. "I show up on a plumbing job and the first thing someone's going to say is 'Joe the Plumber didn't do the job right,' " he said. "The next thing you know, it's on the national news. It would be naive to go back to it."
The only heat generated by Joe's appearance last night came when a young man named Jabari Zakiya recounted great moments in American racism (slavery, annihilation of Native Americans, segregation, etc.) and asked Wurzelbacher if the "hegemony" of the white man in America is "doomed" now that five states and the District of Columbia have majority minority populations.
Joe replied that he believes "our American heritage is being torn apart" by flag burners, critics of the military, and those who mock Christian values. He expressed his admiration for patriotic immigrants, and said he dislikes terms like African American and Asian American ("We're all Americans," he said). For some reason, he concluded by saying, "America has always been a kick-butt, take-names kind of country."
Wurzelbacher was scheduled to speak and sign books for three hours, but the Joe Show was over in 55 minutes. Total copies of "Joe the Plumber" sold: five.
The irony here? Since Joe is "planning to work in construction", Obama's Stimulus Package will prolly help him more than anything McCain could have done.
Question: How ironic is it that Joe is going to benefit more under Obama's Presidency? What would you do with 15 minutes of inexplicable, un-asked-for fame?
Joe the Author, Plumbing New Lows in Interest [WashPost]
 Although it should be noted, his booksigning during CPAC was nearly as empty. Chew on that.