Talk:Joe the Plumber

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Josephine the Plumber[edit]

Is his nickname a reference to Josephine the Plumber? Stonemason89 (talk) 22:33, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Nope. Collect (talk) 00:52, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Should the article title be changed if he is technically not a plumber[edit]

Since he (1) worked as a plumber's assistant, not a plumber, (2) did not have a license that would be needed to call himself a plumber, and (3) is not currently working in the plumbing industry, it is inaccurate to title the article "Joe the Plumber", unless the article is about the nickname and not the person. If it is about the person, then it should use his real name as its title (conveniently, a page with that name already exists, and redirects here), and "Joe the Plumber" should redirect to that page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.109.162.173 (talk) 21:37, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

WP:COMMONNAME --OnoremDil 21:53, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
WP:COMMONNAME -- says to avoid "Titles which are considered inaccurate descriptions of the article subject... even though they may be more common". Since the man is not a plumber, the exception for "inaccurate" descriptions applies. (P.S. I am the same person as 71.109.162.173, dynamic IP address) 71.109.149.102 (talk) 03:22, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
He is know by this name, not for his technical professional credentials, but for what the McCain presidential campaign, as well as the media, called him. And Joe the Plumber is broader than the individual. The McCain campaign recast him as a personification of how Obama's tax plans would hurt the aspirational small business person. "Joe the Plumber" caught on. "Joe, the person who used to work for a plumber" did not. Mattnad (talk) 10:57, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
No publication used anything other than "Joe the Plumber", thus readers are apt to only look for that title. Collect (talk) 19:01, 29 June 2010 (UTC)


Early life and education[edit]

"Early life and education" is a standard section in many Wikipedia biographies, especially longer ones. This article seems to ignore the subject's life prior to 2008. I'm sure we can find at least a few of the usual biographical details, like where he was born and went to school. Even a short paragraph on the topic would round out this article.   Will Beback  talk  05:51, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

If he were notable for anything other than the incidents related to the campaign, you might have a point. He appears quite an "average Joe" including the fact that his early life was quite unremarkable -- to the extent that incidents which would never be noted about others, have been noted about him. He is not a "noted scientist" or "noted author." He is not a famous athlete, or movie star. Absent a reason to include such stuff as "he attended a local elementary shcool, a local junior high school, and a local high school" type stuff - what do you expect will be of value to readers? Collect (talk) 11:19, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Regardless of whether this section should be added, I was just thinking that the article is probably due for another major trim-down. -Jordgette (talk) 19:53, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
We include basic biographical statements in biographies. Who cares which college an army general went to? I don't know, but it's standard information, just like date of birth, which we include in this article. An alternative is to change this from a biography to an article on the political phenomenon of the 2008 election, leaving out the before and after. Those questions aside, perhaps this article has nothing before 2008 because it appears there isn't much known about those years. I did a newspaper search and all I could find is that he lived in Arizona and Alaska at various times, and that he attended the same high school as a politician he endorsed this year. But the subject has a book out and I assume there's more info about him there.   Will Beback  talk  21:33, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
I scanned the archives and didn't see any previous discussion, so I assume there's no existing consensus to omit any pre-2008 material. If we can find even the scant few details normally in a biography, like birthplace and education, then that'd help the article. I partly agree with Jordgette - it's always good to review articles for balance and relevance. But I don't see any obvious areas for major cutting. That said, if it could be shorter overall that might make it better. I can picture a four-line version. ;)   Will Beback  talk  07:30, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
While this article contains biographic material, it's not a biography per se. Its core is the political campaign and the material covering Joe's other activities (like being a web commentator) is off topic and can be cut out (which I suspect is what User:Jordgette has in mind). His life outside of what was reported during the campaign is not really notable.Mattnad (talk) 11:01, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree that making it an article about the event rather than the person is an acceptable choice. It would involve deleting the (minimal) biographical material and the information on what "Joe" did after the campaign. However that's a big change so I'd suggest using an RfC to make that determination.   Will Beback  talk  21:00, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking more along the lines of just paring down the details. Even the section on the campaign still feels like the campaign ended yesterday, and all of that specific detail will get increasingly trivial as time goes on. But I don't see a problem with having a paragraph of background if someone wants to go get it. -Jordgette (talk) 18:00, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure why anyone would want to shorten a mid-sized article. This article is not long. Do editors want to shorten a few specific sections or the whole article. QuackGuru (talk) 18:31, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Is there any references to start an Early life and education section. QuackGuru (talk) 18:33, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

See also[edit]

I thought there was a See also section that wikilinked to similar articles. QuackGuru (talk) 18:31, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Abridgment needed?[edit]

A couple of years ago, I went through this article and cut it down by about one-third. It's looking like it might be time for another round of cutting. If Joe had been involved in Obama's campaign, there might be some lasting historical importance of this person. But since he campaigned for McCain, who lost, Joe is becoming more and more of a minor footnote as the months go by. I mention this because people are still adding current events involving Joe; I'm not sure it's Wikipedia-worthy that he showed up this week at a rally in Wisconsin. Would like to hear others' opinions. -Jordgette (talk) 00:08, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Or a new article that would link to this one. His participation in the 2008 campaign has enough reliable sources, and topics, to be worthy of its own article. This would help shorten this article, and provide a link to the other... Thanks. Ism schism (talk) 01:03, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
If the guy shows up again during the 2012 primaries the article will once again be barnstormed by political activists trying to pitch their "home truths" all over again.

October 2011[edit]

If he's running for Congress, shouldn't this article be under his real name? I doubt "Joe the Plumber" is going to appear on the ballot. 169.231.76.88 (talk) 17:46, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

This has come up in the past - real name or what he's know as. He is notable by the pseudonym and his congressional run is for now a footnote unless it goes somewhere (tbd).Mattnad (talk) 18:16, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
  • A separate issue: The article is getting increasingly out of order chronologically. The 2011 campaign is now somewhere in the middle of the article, with earlier events covered later. I suggest that we work towards putting the article into a more chronological order for the sake of both readers and future editors.   Will Beback  talk  19:58, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Change to real name?[edit]

With the announcement that he is deciding to run for Congress, should we consider moving the article to his real name in case he is elected? 142.207.125.128 (talk) 03:42, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

I think it's still a bit early for that. Lots of people run for congress and are not particularly notable. His notability still arises from being known as "Joe the Plumber". If he actually does become a Congressman, then he will be notable in his own right and the article can be moved then. Rreagan007 (talk) 05:36, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it's time to move the namespace. It seems POV not to identify a major-party candidate for Congress by anything but his real name. Moncrief (talk) 13:48, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Either way, in any case there will be a redirect. Purely rationally, it is best to use his real name now. My gut tells me that he won't be elected, and he'll be known ever after as Joe the Plumber (so we can wait until the election). Smallbones (talk) 14:05, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but "what my gut tells me" is never a reason to do something on Wikipedia. Yikes. At any rate, I hope someone will move the namespace. I don't normally edit this page, so I don't want to do something that will ruffle feathers. Do we need a vote? Moncrief (talk) 15:20, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Lets wait on a change. If he gets any traction and coverage, then we can change. Redirects will handle any varations for now. To prove the point, a google search for "Joe Wurzelbacher" gets news reports with "Joe the Plumber" as the lead rather than his legal name. At least for now, he's known by that monicker. Mattnad (talk) 17:28, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
All right, but he already has "traction" and "coverage." National news stories (on NPR this morning, for example[1]) have appeared on his U.S. House campaign. For Ohio voters, his candidacy is a prevalent story. I can't think of, or imagine, any other major-party candidate for the U.S. House whose WIkipedia article namespace is anything but that of his or her actual name. I am willing to wait, and your point is well taken that news editors still call him "Joe the Plumber" in headlines (as in the NPR example here), but I'll keep an eye on this article, and initiate a vote on changing the namespace if need be. Thanks. Moncrief (talk) 18:12, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
He's the republican nominee in his district so he is quite notable by his legal name now. I would say it should direct to his legal name and not Joe the Plumper anymore. --GoHuskies990411 (talk) 19:28, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Joe the Plumper? It's Plumber, not Plumper. I agree with you, but I'm not all that into fighting the necessary battle over it. Moncrief (talk) 21:28, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────When the mainstream media makes the switch to his real name we'll follow just as we stick for now with their lead.TMCk (talk) 23:12, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Why wouldn't you make it so that Joe the Plumber (sorry funny typo before) just re-directs to his real name? When he's sworn in to Congress, the Speaker of the House isn't going to say Joe the Plumber, do you solemnly swear... It's silly an encyclopedia uses Joe the Plumber. News organizations use nicknames all the time. --GoHuskies990411 (talk) 20:59, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd say it isn't time yet. The moment he wins, the article can be moved. Until then, he's a political candidate whom 99% of people know by the nickname, which will continue to be the case if he loses. Consider the musician Slash — that is the name people know him by, and as usual, that is what his article is called (even though the article starts by giving his real name). If Slash ever won a Congressional seat, the article would likely be moved at that time, but probably not before. To put it another way, Joe's present notability is dominated by his notoriety from the 2008 election, not because he's running for office now (which anyone can do). But if he wins, being a U.S. congressperson will immediately trump his past notability. -Jordgette [talk] 22:26, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
The difference is Slash calls himself that. It's his brand. People who know him probably refer to him as Slash as well. I think the media dubbing you a nickname is something entirely different. Do people that know him go "Hey Plumber!"? I don't see why if you type in Joe the Plumber it wouldn't just redirect to his real name. --GoHuskies990411 (talk) 22:14, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

War reporting quote[edit]

I put back a quote that was removed a while back about war reporting. Arzel removed it on the grounds that "You Tube is a very poor source open to OR". The source is not just any old YouTube video, but one from the Associated Press's official account. Note also that there is already a YouTube video ("John McCain In Sandusky Ohio") that is not from a mainstream news source. OR is not an issue for the war reporting quote, since the AP is a reliable source that published the quote before us.

As a compromise, I've added it back with an additional (Daily News) non-YouTube source. I don't want to remove the video because the Associated Press is reliable, and people may want to watch for themselves. Superm401 - Talk 22:03, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

The AP dispatch and transcript is likely best - I have cited the HuffPo publication of that dispatch, where some of the context makes clear whay SW was concerned about. Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:25, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
The additional context you added seems fine. Superm401 - Talk 22:35, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
You, as an Admin, should know that the use of YouTube is not recommended. Generally speaking when people add comments made by individuals which are being inserted for POV purposes from YouTube sources I remove them with even looking at the video since it is generally a waste of my time. Simply because it is an AP upload doesn't change this fact and certainly isn't a good guide for the notability of the comment. Now that there is some actual reporting on it, it is a little better, but still questionable as far as weight. Arzel (talk) 01:41, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Link any policy that says we can't reference YouTube content published by a major news agency. The fact that they're using YouTube as a video host is really irrelevant. The real publisher of the content is the Associated Press, a reliable source. The comment was notable and reported on at the time. The two additional links should make that clear. Given the significant coverage at the time, the fact that the trip is reported, and the balance quote about his belief that "mainstream news outlets" are "demonizing Israel", I don't see a weight problem.
The actual guideline says, "There is no blanket ban on linking to YouTube or other user-submitted video sites, as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page (see Restrictions on linking and Links normally to be avoided)." It doesn't fail "restrictions on linking"; it is not blacklisted and there is no copyright problem. Nor have you indicated that it fits one of the "normally to be avoided" criteria.
Finally, removing a link without looking at it is not how the reliable sources policy works. Superm401 - Talk 01:14, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
To be more precise, Wikipedia:External links does not cover links used as sources. However, Wikipedia:Reliable sources also allows the source. The Associated Press "is reliable for the statement being made", which is that Wurzelbacher made the statement. Superm401 - Talk 01:32, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Aspiration to be President[edit]

I know that Joe the Plumber has stated he wants to run for President. However, I can't find no webby reference. I know because my cousin's buddy is from Sandusky and saw him campaign. What is the best way to put in a reference for that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.14.36.165 (talk) 14:03, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

The best way is to Find a Reliable Source and show the community that the topic is appropriate for inclusion. results from google.news.com (the non-blogs) are generally considered reliable. -- The Red Pen of Doom 18:07, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Personal Life[edit]

There was some objection to this edit. Nothing in the edit is counterfactual and all of the sources are verifiable. Please don't revert without explaining the specific problems. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.14.36.165 (talk) 18:32, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Read WP:BLP, WP:RS and WP:NPOV. Then read the WP:BLP/N noticeboard discussions about this sort of "edit." Cheers. Collect (talk) 18:41, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
The specific problem? well: EVERYTHING. -- The Red Pen of Doom 18:43, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
You're slipping Collect, you forgot WP:SYNTH.--Cube lurker (talk) 18:53, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
<g> I take you you read the proposed edit. Collect (talk) 19:45, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Just so it can't be said that specifics weren't given, I'll give one. There's many similar issues, even multiple cases in single sentences. It's a soutcable fact that he's christian. It's a sourcable fact that he was married in a park. But once you write a sentence "Even though he claim to be christian he got married in a park." You're taking multiple sources using some original research and coming out with a sentence that spins the facts in a non-neutral way.--Cube lurker (talk) 19:50, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Holocaust Remarks Neutrality[edit]

The article mentions the fact that he's been criticized for these statements, but it neglects to include any substantive information as to the grounds for such criticisms. For example, in the 1938 act that he was apparently referring to, gun laws were made more lax, not more stringent. They largely deregulated many different firearms and made it a lot easier to obtain both guns and ammunition. The very notable exception was the clause banning Jews from owning guns. However, other targetted groups, such as gays and gypsies, were not barred from owning guns. Nevertheless, this did not stop those groups from being slaughtered en masse during the Holocaust.

Besides, there's no evidence to suggest that the German military would have been thwarted internally by a scattered minority group armed with hand guns. This is of course a speculative point that can be debated ad nauseum, but at very least, it should be included in the article alongside Mr. Wurzelbacher's argument. KrisCraig (talk) 23:23, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

You would need to find a "reliable source" making the claims you make -- alas most sources refer to the 1938 acts as being restrictive on gun ownership. Thus you appear to be engaging in "original research" ny Wikipedia definitions (WP:OR). Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:41, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree with this, but the statement Joe made is incorrect - Germany instituted gun control in the 1910s. He apparently was only criticized for mentioning the Holocaust/WW2, not on the [fallacious] substance of his argument. 68.110.28.104 (talk) 22:13, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Comparing your opponents to nazis is as old as the hills, especially when you have nothing else to stand on. That said, there are sme reliable sources that critique Mr. Plumber on his hyperbole. Mattnad (talk) 22:55, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
Mattnad is absolutely right. In fact, what I said about the 1938 act was taken from another Wikipedia article (don't recall which off the top of my head; it was the one about that act though). And yes, that article was well-sourced. You seem to be the one engaging in original research with your statement that, "alas most sources refer to the 1938 acts as being restrictive on gun ownership." Which sources, exactly? The act was more restrictive on gun ownership for Jews, but for all other groups (including those that were targetted for extermination) it was less restrictive. KrisCraig (talk) 00:57, 28 December 2012 (UTC)