What is "Joe the Plumber" hiding from the American people?

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Oct. 16 2008 6:52 PM

His First Name Isn't Joe. He's Not a Licensed Plumber.

What else is "Joe the Plumber" hiding from the American people?

A check of state and local licensing agencies in Ohio and Michigan shows no plumbing licenses under Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher's name, or even misspellings of his name.
Toledo Blade, " 'Joe the plumber' isn't licensed," Oct. 16, 2008

"Joe the Plumber's" name appears on Ohio voter registration rolls with a slight misspelling—as Worzelbacher, not Wurzelbacher. And that sort of data-entry error might be enough—were Joe a new registrant—to have him disqualified from voting in Ohio, Florida, or Wisconsin this year, depending on the outcome of ongoing litigation.
—Politico, "Purging Joe the plumber?" Oct. 16, 2008

Josh Levin Josh Levin

Josh Levin is Slate's executive editor.

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A series of receipts uncovered today reveal that Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher launched his career in the home of former Weather Underground leader William Ayers. In 1995, Ayers contacted Wurzelbacher, then still an apprentice plumber, to fix a leaky faucet in his Hyde Park home. After earning high marks from the one-time domestic terrorist, "Joe the Plumber" built a thriving practice with Ayers' referrals to the Trinity United Church of Christ and the Chicago chapter of al-Qaida.
—Bloomberg News, Oct. 17, 2008

Samuel J. Wurzelbacher today admitted responsibility for the mysterious bulge in President George W. Bush's back during 2004's first presidential debate. "I was feeding him lines," Wurzelbacher confessed to a group of reporters outside a Toledo plumbing-supply store. "Everyone thinks it was Karl Rove talking into that earpiece, but he had a pinochle game with Ahmed Chalabi on Friday nights."
USA Today, Oct. 22, 2008

Prototypes for Palm Beach County's infamous butterfly ballot have been found in the tool belt of Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher. The shocking discovery was made on Thursday as part of a weekslong Department of Justice investigation into alleged voter fraud perpetrated by Mr. Wurzelbacher. A search of Florida records indicates that the celebrity plumber voted 537 separate times in the 2000 presidential election. "There's nothing we could've done—you can spell Wurzelbacher too many different ways," said former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.
USA Today, Oct. 23, 2008

A DNA test has confirmed that "Joe the Plumber," the everyvoter who rose to fame thanks to repeated mentions in last week's presidential debate, is the father of Sarah Palin's 6-month-old son, Trig. In the highest-rated episode in the history of Maury, the Alaska governor confronted blue-collar Ohioan Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher for failing to acknowledge paternity. Upon hearing that he was, in fact, the father, Wurzelbacher stormed off the stage without comment, as Palin repeatedly shouted, "I told you! I told you!" while wagging her right index finger at the studio audience.
New York Times, Oct. 31, 2008

The White House Plumbers—the team of operatives that perpetrated the Watergate break-in on behalf of President Richard Nixon—were the brainchild of Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, according to new reporting by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. A source identified only as "Deep Basin Wrench" tells the veteran Washington Post reporters that Wurzelbacher had it out for the Democratic Party. Also, he's a Muslim.
—Associated Press, Nov. 1, 2008