…brilliant distraction, and he made it a character issue about Obama. He made Obama seem callous, and indifferent to the needs of Joe (stand in for everyone).
Also means McCain can give speeches like this one: “The response from Senator Obama and his campaign yesterday was to attack Joe,” Mr. McCain said. “People are digging through his personal life, and he has TV crews camped out in front of his house. He didn’t ask for Senator Obama to come to his house. He wasn’t recruited or prompted by our campaign. He just asked a question. And Americans ought to be able to ask Senator Obama tough questions without being smeared and targeted with political attacks.”
Remember when McCain went on the offense because ‘the left’ attacked Palin? Yeah, same thing. He’s moving the narrative from ‘on the defensive’ to ‘victimized,’ which is a much more rhetorically powerful position.
I thought McCain bungled his “Joe” move because he made it a talking point, rather than a real story. Now, he’s picked up a new story – that the ‘left’ will tear apart a regular American for their own political ends – as allegory for his argument about ‘big government liberals’ and taxation. And that’s almost a winning position – polls have McCain picking up steam a little bit, and the media outlook doesn’t look quite so bleak. Fortunately for Obama, “Joe the Plumber” is a flash in the pan type of story that will probably be gone as soon as the new fundraising numbers come out and the news cycle turns over.