There's at least one good thing about this story: my kid's Halloween costume is going to be easy this year. He's going to dress up as Joe the Plumber.
A pair of overalls, a plunger, and a name tag. Easy and cheap!
Joe Wurzelbacher isn't running for office, and I don't think he deserves to be under the microscope. Sure, it's easy to blame the media, but they are pretty predictable. Right now, they're starved to find some new angle in an otherwise boring stretch of the campaign. If the mainstream media wasn't poking around, somebody else would be.
We've all seen ordinary people thrust into the national media spotlight. Usually they are victims, or the parents of victims. Or else they are suspects, such as Richard Jewell. Of course, if you can manage to be both the parent of an abducted child and a suspect, well, then you hit the big time.
I wonder if the McCain campaign talked to Wurzelbacher before the Wednesday debate. I suspect they ran at least a cursory background check. You'd hate to find that your poster plumber was a convicted felon, for instance. But beyond covering themselves, they should have checked with Joe to make sure that he was okay with the media scrutiny that was going to follow his being cited in the debate.
Sometimes you have to put people ahead of your campaign.