Internet Rushes to Find Real “Joe the Plumber”
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Following the presidential debates this week, with the introduction of “Joe the Plumber” as a sort of everyman (or straw man, depending on to whom you listen), the Internet is abuzz with people searching to find information about Joe the Plumber – to understand just who is Joe the Plumber. Unfortunately (or fortunately, again depending on how you look at it), those searches are leading to several Joe the Plumbers who have real websites for their real plumbing companies, but who are not the Joe the Plumber for whom everyone is looking. That Joe the Plumber is Joe Wurzelbacher from Toledo, Ohio.

Ironically, the real Joe Wurzelbacher is nearly impossible to find on the Internet. He doesn’t have a website, and the only mentions of him one can find online are ones talking about his role in the debates; not a one about his plumbing expertise.


On the other hand, there are other Joe the Plumbers who do have websites, and you can bet they are suddenly seeing a lot of unanticipated (and unprofitable) web traffic right now. For example, Joe Lara of California, whose [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead] site is at the top of a Google search for “Joe the Plumber”, or Joe Francis, a plumber from Amarillo, Texas, who actually owns the domain JoeThePlumber.com, at which he has his – go figure – Joe the Plumber website.

Now, why so many people are searching for Joe the Plumber is another story, and one that folks can’t really quite fathom yet. In large part it’s because they want to know if Joe Wurzelbacher is a real person. He is, and he recently told NPR that “It’s pretty surreal, man, my name being mentioned in a presidential campaign.” His name came up simply because he was in the right place, at the right time – at an Obama campaign appearance where he took the opportunity to tell Obama that Obama’s tax plan would make it impossible for Joe to purchase the plumbing business at which he currently works, and which he’d been hoping to buy. The next thing you know, McCain was trotting out Joe the Plumber during the debate to exemplify all that he believes is wrong with Obama’s tax plan.

But more, people are searching for Joe just because of the “celebrity” factor. But they aren’t finding him.

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So, to Joe Wurzelbacher, we say: Get yourself a website! People are looking for you, and who knows, maybe they’ll help you raise the money you need to buy that plumbing business regardless of who our next president is.

And to all the other Joe the Plumbers out there who are along for the ride – enjoy your 15 minutes of unintended Internet fame!

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

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