The Other Joes Lawyer Up
Mr. Samuel J. Wurzelbacher is hardly the first of his kind.
Joe Plumber, 46, of Scranton Pa., orthodontist. Has brought suit against McCain campaign over use of his name in 2008 Presidential contest as a synonym for a lower middle class blue-collar worker sympathetic to McCain platform. Joe Plumber claims to be, in fact, a registered member of the Libertarian Party who intends to vote the straight Nader ticket in November, and in his suit quotes a McCain staffer as admitting that he took the name from the local phone book during a sweep through Pennsylvania in September because it had a “catchy feel” perfect for personifying the average American with whom McCain sought to identify.
Joe Six-Pack, 50, Crow Indian, of Wasilla, Alaska. Has done light yard work at Palin residence in recent years, but otherwise no contact with Governor. His tribal council has filed suit against the Alaska Republican Committee and the Palin campaign, charging that his name was obviously passed on to the Palin organization by a Palin family member for political purposes and that said organization has since recklessly held Mr. Six-Pack up to ridicule and racial stereotyping.
Joe Lunchbucket, 63, (name originally Lundsbuche, Anglicized by his immigrant great-grandfather circa 1910), of Ashtabula, Ohio, shot to fame in the Sixties as the poster boy for Nixon’s “Silent Majority” but successfully sued the Republican National Committee in Federal court in 1969 for unauthorized use of his name and likeness in campaign advertising. Lunchbucket/Lundsbuche, a personal injury lawyer in private practice, affected a yellow “hard hat” safety helmet only as a means of attracting the legal cases of construction workers injured on the job.
Ordinary Joe, real name Joseph Gumpert Jr., 97, of Keene, N.H., christened “Ordinary Joe” during a 1928 whistlestop campaign visit to his hometown by Presidential candidate Al Smith, who saw Mr. Gumpert in the crowd and asked him up to the rear platform of his coach. On hearing that his given name was Joe, Smith introduced him as the archetypal American “ordinary Joe” being hurt by President Herbert Hoover’s economic policies. The name stuck. Mr. Gumpert claims to have suffered discrimination for the rest of his life as a result: continually denied job promotion because he was “too ordinary,” his engagement broken off because his fiance’ refused to marry “just an ordinary Joe.” His libel suit against the Democratic Party was thrown out in 1935.