Mobbed Joe the Plumber reflective at Take Back America Conference

Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher was a late addition to the speaker lineup at the How to Take Back America Conference last weekend in St. Louis, but I don’t know what the attendees would have done without him. After his short Friday night dinner speech, Wurzelbacher was given a golden wrench and a golden plunger by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). When the dinner ended, he was mobbed by fans asking for pictures with him. Because he showed up in a T-shirt and jeans — as he’s done to every conservative conference I’ve seen him at — photos with Wurzelbacher look like they were taken the day he met Barack Obama in his Ohio neighborhood.

When I got a few minutes with Wurzelbacher, I wanted to know: What ever happened to IRSVote.com, the Website where users were asked to pay $0.99 for a phone call to “vote the IRS out of business” and replace the income tax with a FairTax? While the site is still up and running, Wurzelbacher admitted that endorsing the site was probably a mistake.

“I’m learning,” he said. He started to say something about the people who hound him to endorse their products, but he thought better of it. “The basics were there for a great idea but they definitely want to do it just for money. And it was sold to me as more of a chance of doing something else. The publicity that they promised never came.”

Wurzelbacher shrugged. The idea had made sense to him, he said — people will vote for American Idol, so why not something important? But he said he’d walked away from the project, and his PajamasTV reporting job was only a three-month gig, so the high-profile projects of earlier this year were no more. He had, however, endorsed a conservative comic strip called “Microman USA,” which was on sale at the conference.

joe the plumber take back america

The woman right behind Wurzelbacher with the white and black Jacket is Cheryl Eager, a conservative candidate running against Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah). The woman right in front is Kitty Werthmann, a South Dakota Eagle Forum leader who led a workshop on the conference on “How to Recognize Living Under Nazis & Communists.”

David Weigel will be delivering additional reports filed from the conference this weekend at the Washington Independent, the Colorado Independent’s sister site in D.C.

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David Weigel

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