Samuel J. Wurzelbacher of Toledo, Ohio, became the most famous plumber in the United States during this year’s presidential campaign for a question he asked then Sen. Barack Obama about the candidate’s tax policies.
Now Joe the Plumber is Joe the War Correspondent.
Wurzelbacher, who became a campaign punch line and John McCain supporter, went to Israel last week to report on the war in Gaza for the conservative Pajamas TV (www.pjtv.com) Web site.
“I want the average American Jew to understand the story from here from the point of view of someone like them,” he told his hometown TV station, WNWO.
During his time in Israel, with temporary credentials from the Government Press Office and a first-day escort by the GPO director, Wurzelbacher covered the communities in southern Israel that have been the target of Hamas rocket attacks in recent years. He experienced a “Code Red” alert, did a standup in front of a large pile of rockets, above, received a briefing from a police official, below, and visited a home in Sderot damaged by Katyusha shelling, right.
In Ashkelon, he got a gift from a fellow plumber — a black, red and gold model rocket. It was signed, “For Joe the Plumber. Thank you for your support in these difficult days.”
People in Sderot “can’t do normal things day to day,” like take leisurely showers, for fear an alarm might sound, Wurzelbacher reported. “I’m sure they’re taking quick showers. I know I would.”
Wurzelbacher, a “peace-loving man,” said the mainstream media are “demonizing Israel instead of recognizing it as the victim of Gaza militants. It’s asinine when someone is firing upon you and the world is coming down on you.”