If Joe Lieberman was the biggest ingrate in American politics, Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher is surely now the first. While Lieberman betrayed Barack Obama only months after Obama campaigned for him in Connecticut, the Plumber turned Tea Bagger has now turned his back on John McCain and Sarah Palin. Which can only mean that God must be talking to Joe the Plumber again.
He said he doesn't support Sarah Palin anymore. Why? Because she's backing John McCain's re-election effort. "John McCain is no public servant," he told the room, calling the 2008 Republican nominee a career politician.
I pointed out he'd just be plain old Sam Wurzelbacher of Ohio -- Joe the Plumber wouldn't exist - without McCain. His response was blunt. "I don't owe him s--. He really screwed my life up, is how I look at it."
Wurzelbacher said, "McCain was trying to use me. I happened to be the face of middle Americans. It was a ploy."
CT: How did you react to such public attention after John McCain talked about you in the presidential debate?.
JOE THE PLUMBER: The second day, when everything out came out about my taxes, you know, I got really scared, really down. All these people were saying just god-awful things about me. I mean, I'm not one to blow smoke up my skirt, but I think I'm a pretty nice guy and I'm not used to people saying that kind of thing about me. It really hurt. But then I went to bed that night and talked to God for a good, long time. The next morning, I woke up feeling like Superman and I didn't care about what things people said anymore from that day on. They're going to say what they're going to say. They want to tear people down to make themselves feel better. They have their own agendas, and God said, "Well, you know, listen--I set you on a path, and go to it. See what you can do."
And back then, Sarah Palin could count on support from Joe the Plumber - and Jesus the Christ:
"I like Sarah Palin a lot, actually. I just don't know if that's where God's leading her. I just know the Republican Party's done its best to blackball her. I don't know what her agenda is. If she ran, would I vote for her? Absolutely. John McCain was the lesser of two evils."
If the Almighty is now counseling Joe to take back his endorsements of John McCain and Sarah Palin, He has also told Wurzelbacher the time is not yet right to seek political office himself. Asked about it in May, Joe the Plumber responded, "Not right now. God hasn't said, 'Joe, I want you to run.'" Then in July, he told WorldNetDaily:
Asked if he has plans to run for public office, he replied, "I hope not. You know, I talked to God about that and he was like, 'No.'"
Still, Wurzelbacher said, he will keep that door open if God ever calls him to be that leader.
In January 2009, God apparently also called on Joe to be an ersatz war correspondent for Pajamas Media. Wurzelbacher, who Pajamas compared favorably to Ernie Pyle and Stephen Crane, traveled to Israel to help make the case for the expansion of Israeli settlements. (For the conservative media group, Joe's qualifications must have consisted of agreeing that a vote for Barack Obama meant the death of Israel.) As he prepared to make the trip, Joe the Plumber was confident that the Lord had his back:
"Being a Christian I'm pretty well protected by God I believe. That's not saying he's going to stop a mortar for me, but you gotta take the chance."
If praying for divine intervention sounds like a bad insurance policy, it's also happens to be the same one Sarah Palin encouraged for the United States as a whole. But with this weekend's fallout, "Palin-Plumber 2012" is sadly a thing of the past.
(This piece also appears at Perrspectives.)