Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Joe the Plumber

So it's a little too neat for my tastes that this big, bald guy with a goatee shows up on an Obama rope line talking about "the American dream" and getting in Obama's face about taxes.
After hearing John McCain mention Joe the Plumber a million or so times in the debate tonight, I was sure that Joe was a plant.
A die-hard Republican the McCain campaign recruited to go to the Obama rally and see if he could ruffle the unflappable senator from Illinois.
And having suffered for years, as a political reporter in Washington, the Republicans' love of talking points, I was sure as I heard him speak that Joe the Plumber was faithfully reciting his talking points.
But all the conservative bloggers who are linking to the video of the Obama-Joe the Plumber exchange -- and hailing Joe as a new American hero -- might hope that folks don't watch -- and listen to -- the whole exchange.
Watch it yourself.
Notice how Obama's unrushed and relaxed manner gradually changes Joe's tone and manner.
How Obama's concrete questions and very specific follow-ups soften Joe the Plumber.
See if you don't wonder, by the end, whether Obama, just about the time he grins and extends his hand, might not have won a convert.
Here's the link from the paper I read every morning:

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