Remember Joe the Plumber, whose brief casual interaction with candidate Barack Obama in 2008 shot him to stardom in Tea Party circles when John McCain repeatedly praised him in a subsequent debate?
Well, ‘Joe’ (whose real name is Samuel Wurzelbacher) parlayed his fame to gain the Republican nomination to run for Congress in the newly drawn Ohio’s 9th Congressional district (that extends all the way from Toledo to the west of Cleveland), running against long-time Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur.
After winning the nomination, Wurzelbacher has run an unusual campaign, to put it mildly, staying largely out of sight, skipping debates with his opponent and generally keeping a low-profile, upsetting local Republicans who seem to think that he is not serious. Wurzelbacher himself says that “politics suck” and that he hates it with a passion, not quite what you expect from a candidate running for an important public office.
He says that he is focused on door-to-door campaigning. He has raised and spent a lot less money than his opponent and as of September 30, had just $8,000 left.
However the Tea Party Express has endorsed him. In 2010 it had a track record of successfully endorsing extreme candidates in the Republican primaries for US senate seats (Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Sharon Angle in Nevada, and Joe Miller in Alaska) who then went on to lose in the general election to their opponents. Joe the Plumber seems likely to join them.