October 17th, 2008
12:44 PM ET
14 years ago

Plungers greet Obama at Virginia Rally


From left to right: Will Croswell, of the Washington D.C. area; Andrew Butash, of Scranton, Pennsylvania; Byron Hodkinson, from Melbourne, Austrailia; and Charlie Smith, also from the Washington D.C. area, greeted Sen. Obama in Virginia Friday. (Photo Credit: Sasha Johnson/CNN)

ROANOKE, Virginia (CNN) - The new symbol of the McCain campaign: the plunger.

As Democratic nominee Barack Obama pulled into the Roanoke Civic Center on Friday, he was greeted by the usual McCain campaign supporters that show at Obama rallies. But this time, those waving McCain-Palin signs were joined by dozens of people waving standard-issue plungers. Some wore white t-shirts emblazoned with "I AM JOE THE PLUMBER" on the front. The protesters all said they were volunteers and not paid by the McCain campaign.

The plungers serve as a reference to the 2008 campaign's latest cult personality, Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher of Holland Ohio. (Joe is actually his middle name. First name: Samuel).

While the plungers emerged in Roanoke, McCain's vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin told a fundraiser in neighboring North Carolina Thursday night that she's already tired of "Joe the Plumber."

"Don't make me say Joe the Plumber, please, in any speeches," Palin said.

soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Michael

    It will take more than a plunger to fix this economy. The stock market plunge, record job losses and foreclosures has flush a lot of wealth down the toilet and has been devestating to American Families. Barack Obama and Joe Biden offer a new leadership that will inspire and engage Americans in service and responsibility for our country and neighbors. They are ready to go to work not on January 20th but on November 5th.

    October 17, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. C W

    Another example of the GOP grasping at straws and not vetting people in advance. This plumber guy isn't licensed, is in not position to buy a business and yet he's now the spokes-puppet for the GOP.

    So pathetic ... so sad. The plungers will come in handy, though: McCain and Palin are a HUGE mess to flush down the toilet.

    October 17, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Russ Miller

    Joe the Plumber represents many of us that want to work hard and get ahead. Possibly even own a business one day.

    Why does Obama insisist on "spreading the wealth" from successful people to people who don't take chances with their small businesss.

    Google,AAPL, Amazon were all small businesses at one point, now they hire thousands.

    Redistribution of wealth is not the American Way.

    October 17, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. alou fl

    She's tired? She must be tired of the guy who made Joe famous and herself famous for their and his "coup".

    October 17, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. No McCain

    Good try McCain...but not good enough ...sorry ...we Americans dont want to suffer anther 4 years because of a few Joe Plumers you put together.....

    October 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Lynne - Seattle

    """Sarah Palin told a fundraiser in neighboring North Carolina Thursday night that she's already tired of "Joe the Plumber.""""

    OH My goodness! How funny is that? They have a new catch phrase that is getting people fired up and she is already tired of it! Maybe it's because it wasn't her idea...isn't her catch phrases of joe-six-pack etc. Way to be on message!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. mom for obama

    Guess these guys haven't heard yet that "Joe" isn't really licensed to work as a plumber, doesn't have plans to buy the company he works for (which doesn't make over $250,000 per year) and owes back taxes. When are the "Joe" plumbers and six-packs out there going to realize that it's really Obama's plans which will work for them? Hopefully before November 4 or we could all be in a lot of trouble. Obama '08

    October 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Snows the plumbers

    I guess these plumbers aren't earning $250 K per year much less providing significant employment for others. The legitimate issue "Joe" brought up was the impact of additional taxes on employers. Ransacked employers results in fewer employees... no jobs. I don't own a business but I can see how Obama's pandering tax program will actually cause more harm that may lead to a President Hoover style depression.

    Poor Joe, he should not have spoken against the "snowsen one".

    October 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. fac

    Heyyyyy--Candy in West Virginia---I know that right!!!
    Thanks for boarding the train! There is no stopping this OBAMA/BIDEN Steam engine!

    The Republicans are shaking in their boots:) foomc! OMG, it's a site to see... don't cha just love it? they are scrambling around like squirrels.

    sis4OMABA ~08!

    October 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |


    October 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Tiff of lithia springs

    Bless Obama's heart as he deals with these narrow minded people.

    October 17, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. bill

    Yeah, plungers are such a joke. Hammers and sickles are way more effective for Obama.

    October 17, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Will

    It is an appropriate symbol...Washington is clogged with liberal waste and it all needs to be flushed along with Barney, Raines, Dodd and the rest.


    MCCAIN/PALIN 08!!!

    October 17, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Marie

    She don't want to hear anything aabout Joe the Plummer but she can talk about killing mooses.When she needs to do is have interveiws with the news networks and let the american people see just how much experience she do have,Fox news is the only station she will speak to because they are pro Obama.McCaintold a big lie last night that this woman was vetted and David Letterman asked him with sincerity in his heart do he beleive that should she have to take over as president could she handle the job and he said of course.He barely got an applause from the audiance in agreement on the show.He really must think we ar crazy to compare her as a govenor to Bill Clinton.You never remember Bill Clinton with the lack of intelligence this woman have such as the proxmidity from Alaska to Russia.Supreme Court cases and what magazines you read.

    October 17, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. SoCal

    CNN please tell those guys that Joe The Plumber is not really a plumber (he doesn't even have a license), and that he makes just $40K a year, so he would get by far most tax relief under the Obama's plan...

    October 17, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Tex

    All of you lefties are missing the point: Obama let the truth out. He wants to redistribute wealth. Joe the Plumber could have been anyone, he was just the one with the courage to ask the right question. One that CNN should have asked were they actually fair.

    I suggest you all go out and get jobs and move out of your mother's basement instead of figuring out how to get "rich" people's money.

    October 17, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. steve

    The emergence of the plungers can only mean one thing - the McCain campaign is in the toilet.

    October 17, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. priscilla

    why are you not covering joe biden?

    October 17, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Greg Martin

    Joe the Plummer does not have the necessary license in Ohio to be a plummer and he has a lien on his property for owing taxes. You are right he is the perfect poster child for corrupt republicans. Dirtbags.

    October 17, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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