The John McCain campaign wants everybody to jump on the “Joe the Plumber” bandwagon by announcing a contest that will select and air the video submitted by a citizen that best shows why he or she typifies the hardworking “Joe.”
“We want to hear from you and share your story with the American public,” says the challenge featured on JohnMcCain.com. “It’s simple ... make an ad telling us why you are ‘Joe the Plumber’ in 30 seconds and your video could end up on the air as a TV ad.”
It has become clear that in the critical final weeks of his campaign, “Joe” will be the leading icon and bandmaster of the McCain message. At a rally in St. Charles, Mo., yesterday, McCain declared “Joe the Plumber” to be nothing less than the “third candidate” in the presidential race.
Ever since he was featured in the third Presidential debate, “Joe” has become a household personality. So much so that the Arizona Senator has elected to run with this football into the end zone — despite the negative attention the real item, Joe Wurzelbacher, has suffered.
Unfortunately, the real and original “Joe,” an Ohio tradesman, turned out to be officially Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, a guy who throws around a mean wrench but is not licensed.
Worse, while lambasting Barack Obama’s proposed tax increase, Samuel Joseph was discovered to be delinquent on paying his own — with a $1,200 tax lien against him by the state of Ohio, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Blemishes aside, “Joe the Plumber” will continue to signify the gaping distance between the two candidates in basic philosophy. “I’m Joe the Plumber – Don’t Tax Me for Working Hard,” shouts the banner on the McCain campaign’s homepage.
In addition to encouraging video submissions, site viewers can also click on some tools to help them create their very own “Joe the Plumber” rally sign.
The potential video contestant is reminded of some of “Joe’s” significant history:
“During Barack Obama’s recent event in Toledo, Ohio, ‘Joe the Plumber’ asked a simple question and got a surprising answer from the Democratic nominee. When he asked why Barack Obama’s tax plan was going to punish him for working hard and living the American Dream, Barack Obama responded, ‘When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.’
“In that brief exchange, the American people got to see what this campaign is all about ... a choice between honoring the hard work of everyday Americans like ‘Joe the Plumber’ and increasing taxes to ‘spread the wealth.’
“In these tough economic times, there is no doubt that John McCain and Sarah Palin stand firmly on the side of hardworking ‘everyday Joes,’ who understand the value of honest work and the American Dream.”
The contestant is urged to “share your story of living the American Dream, working hard, or owning a small business to tell America why you’re standing with John McCain and Sarah Palin.”
Further instructions suggest the use of appropriate imagery, language and music — while refraining from the use of copyrighted music, pictures or videos.
The contestant will have (after space for disclaimers, etc.) exactly 27 seconds to: Tell us why you are like Joe the Plumber. How would Barack Obama’s plan to “Spread the Wealth Around” hurt you? Explain why you’re voting for the McCain-Palin ticket.
When the contestant has produced his or her gem, it will be sent to the campaign using a YouTube video link, or can be made an attachment to an email going to JoeIn30Seconds@johnmccain.com.
The final admonishment is, “Tell your story simply and clearly.”
That last seems to be just what the McCain campaign wants to do in this eleventh hour.
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