During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama met many of his fellow countrymen, as he made his case for the presidency hither and yon. But only one of the people he met would attempt to parlay that encounter into an entire career: Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber."
Joe emerged on the scene at a fortuitous time. The McCain campaign, which had been reduced to staging an escalating series of weird stunts to win media cycles in lieu of overcoming their own deficiencies, was in need of the latest, greatest gimmick. The media, desperate for something new to report on, was waiting for the geek show to spring a new act on the political landscape. Ol' Joe, as it turns out, was really concerned about wealth redistribution: specifically, who was going to redistribute some wealth into his pocket, for no good reason. I mean: He could have just maybe gone home, shut his pie hole, and given plumbing a try?
But that didn't happen. Instead, a pop-cultural figure was thrust upon an unsuspecting America. It's been a year to the day since Joe arrived on the scene, and let's face it: He has packed a lot of living into that year. Not much in the way of achievement, necessarily, but he's certainly built up an impressive resume of activity. And by "impressive," we mean, "enough moments out of which to make a slideshow."
Without further ado, here is the Year in Joe the Plumbery.