Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

Q&A: the story of 'Joe the Plumber'

The story of 'Joe the Plumber'

How did Samuel Wurzelbacher become "Joe the Plumber" when his name's not Joe and he's not a plumber?

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, then 34, was just another guy who worked at a plumbing company in Holland, Ohio, near Toledo, until the 2008 presidential campaign.

Then, on Oct. 12, three days before the final presidential debate, Democratic candidate Barack Obama came to Wurzelbacher's neighborhood to campaign and talk to residents. Wurzelbacher was playing football with his son in the front yard when the candidate approached. Wurzelbacher got to ask Obama about his tax plan, saying he was about to buy a plumbing company "that makes 250 to 280 thousand a year. Your new tax plan's going to tax me more, isn't it?"

Obama's answer was that Wurzelbacher would be taxed at a slightly higher rate for earnings over $250,000, then added this: "It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance at success, too. ... My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. If you've got a plumbing business, you're gonna be better off [...] if you've got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody's so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

Conservatives and Republican presidential nominee John McCain jumped on the statement as proof of Obama's socialist tendencies and interest in redistributing wealth. At the Oct. 15 debate, McCain made several references to "Joe the Plumber," even though Wurzelbacher wasn't licensed to be a plumber in Ohio, and Wurzelbacher quickly became a celebrity.

Later he wrote a book, Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream, in which he criticized McCain and called him the "lesser of two evils," and began giving speeches to conservative groups. He decided to run for Congress as a Republican and in March he narrowly beat Steve Kraus for the 9th congressional district. In November he faces U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who thumped longtime Rep. Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic primary. The district, which snakes along Lake Erie for more than 100 miles, from Cleveland to Toledo, skews heavily Democratic.

No word on Excedrin return

Excedrin was removed from store shelves earlier this year. When will it be back?

Novartis, which makes Excedrin, has not updated its statement from earlier this year that said the company would resume production by "midyear," according to the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star. The Novartis plant is near Lincoln. In January, Novartis voluntarily recalled bottles of Excedrin, Bufferin, Gas-X Prevention and NoDoz with certain expiration dates because of the possibility of stray pills from other medicines and chipped or broken pills. You can call Novartis toll-free at 1-888-477-2403 with questions.

Comments
Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

ST. PETERSBURG — The increased competition in the IndyCar Series was on display during qualifying for Sunday's Indianapolis 500.Two fan favorites (Pippa Mann and 2013 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner James Hinchcliffe) couldn't crack th...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Lightning’s season ends in Game 7 loss; Rays lose two straight; and get ready for a wet Memorial Day weekend.

The Daystarter: Lightning’s season ends in Game 7 loss; Rays lose two straight; and get ready for a wet Memorial Day weekend.

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• The rain is back, and it won’t let up through the Memorial Day weekend. Blame Invest 90L, the low-pressure system brewing in the Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center predicted...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

TAMPA — The two cars raced each other along Bayshore Boulevard just before noon, witnesses told police. One was a black 2018 Mustang. The other a gold Nissan. They sped side-by-side, trading the lead, police said, despite the traffic and pedest...
Updated: 0 minutes ago
‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

TAMPA — Nick Genovese was anxious.The 21-year-old from Land O’Lakes had come to Thunder Alley outside Amalie Arena hoping to see the Tampa Bay Lightning triumph over the Washington Capitals in Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference winner-take-all Game...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

TAMPA — Yanni Gourde said he will have to see a replay to know just how it got away, but even in a lopsided 4-0 loss like Wednesday night, he'll remember the puck in front of an empty net, and the missed opportunity that encapsulated a frustrat...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

TAMPA — This one stings. And it will ache for a long time. Maybe forever in these parts.Another chance for a Stanley Cup. Another disappointment. As the Lightning skated off the ice after losing Wednesday night's Game 7 of the Eastern Conferenc...
Updated: 5 hours ago