John McCain did great tonight in the debate. But every time John mentioned “Joe the Plumber,” some of us in the campaign banged our heads against the wall. If Steve Schmidt had any hair left, I hear he would have been pulling it out tonight. He reportedly screamed at John’s debate prep team tonight (out of earshot of reporters, of course). “You idiots - he’s related to Charles Keating… of the Keating Five scandal!” They thought they had a real live Joe Six-Pack who’s spurned Barack Obama’s tax plan. But what they forgot to do was check on Joe Wurzelbacher’s background.
Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law and the former senior vice president of American Continental, the parent company of the infamous Lincoln Savings and Loan. The now retired elder Wurzelbacher is also a major contributor to Republican causes giving well over $10,000 in the last few years.
Does any of this make Joe the Plumber a bad guy? Of course not. In fact, after that ill-fated night at the Watergate, he may finally be giving plumbers a good name. But at a debate where John goes full bore on Obama for guilt-by-association with William Ayers (and dodges a bullet by Obama not mentioning Keating Five), the press is going to bring it back front and center by midday tomorrow once they delve deeper into the most popular plumber in America.
This might remind you of the Paris Hilton scandal - where one side of the McCain campaign attacked her in an ad, not realizing that her family were huge donors. I was the first to warn the campaign of the perils of miscommunication within the campaign, and that story flared for a week.
UPDATE: Sure enough, a few hours after posting this, the left wing haters at DailyKos posted (or shall I say copied?) their own revelations about Joe’s connections to Keating. Like I said to the campaign: Oops.
UPDATE AGAIN: This story certainly got traction, and I’ve had media requests all afternoon. It’s nice to see that Michelle Malkin linked to me even as she contends that the lefties have all sorts of weird conspiracies about poor old Joe. But even Michelle misses the point a little: it doesn’t really matter how Joe is related to Keating. What matters is that here we are talking about it when we should be talking about Obama and Ayers. The campaign really should have done a better job vetting the man they planned to reference 22 times in the last and final debate.