He’s going to be a country music superstar. He’s starring on the next season of ABC’s reality series, The Bachelor. He signed with Ben Affleck’s agent. He was seen canoodling with comedienne Kirsten Wiig after John McCain’s recent appearance on Saturday Night Live.
Those are just some of the (sadly untrue) rumors that have been floated about Joe the Plumber in the weeks since his unlikely rise to national notoriety. But with the election over, and Joe’s preferred candidate having lost, what’s the most famous plumber since Mario going to do now?
National Review Online’s Mark Hemingway caught up with Joe Wurzelbacher a few days after the election to ask him about U.S. politics, Obama, his new-found fame, and more.
NRO: So what happened in your home state of Ohio? Why did it go for Obama?
JOE THE PLUMBER: It was pretty close. Quite frankly, Obama ran an incredible campaign. It was very organized and he communicates very well. It’s usually split anyway, you have more Democrats up north and it’s very conservative down south. Which way it goes depends a lot on the rhetoric of each side. Obama’s rhetoric was very good.
NRO: Is there anything that you’re looking forward to about an Obama presidency?
JTP: No. There’s not anything I agree with in what Obama has put forth. That being said, there’s a lot that I don’t agree with that John McCain has said either. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one candidate I agreed with 100 percent, so like the rest of America, you voting for whoever is closest to what you like.
NRO: Are there any politicians in America right now that you do look up to for guidance?
JTP: Alan Keyes is absolutely an incredible man. I like a lot of what he says. Maybe part of his problem is that he’s too smart and comes off very condescendingly. The answer seems so obvious to him he doesn’t see why the public doesn’t see it. But personally, I’d much rather have someone who’s a little condescending but has the right answer.
NRO: What’s the most pressing political issue you think Americans need to confront?
JTP: The health insurance issue. Having a government provide that type of assistance is just going to tie up millions and millions of dollars of taxpayer money — that’s something that shouldn’t happen in a democracy. If the government starts taking on these things — like they have with the bailout — owning banks, owning properties, taking care of everyone’s health, you’re leading us away from a democracy and turning it into a socialist society. It’s a very serious business.
NRO: What’s the biggest threat you think Americans are facing?
JTP:What scares me is it that Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are congratulating Obama. If our enemies are congratulating Obama — that scares the hell out of me.
NRO: So what’s next for Joe the Plumber? Will you run for Congress?
JTP: Well, I won’t be the next guy on The Bachelor. I don’t plan on being a country music star, and I have no interest in Congress for at least ten years. I’m hoping this watchdog group comes to fruition and that will be what I spend most of my time on for the next few years to come.
I’m starting two websites, which are still getting up and running, but we’re getting incredible feedback. The first website, secureourdream.com, is going to be a watchdog group to make sure that we hold not only the Democrats but also the Republicans accountable and make sure that they remember that they’re working for us. Too many times they get on the Hill and they forget that — they get a sense of entitlement. We want to take that sense of entitlement away and make sure they’re working for us and not the other way around. If that interest was there prior to the bailout, maybe we could have headed that off.