Well, Republicans have been able to stave off Obama's stimulus package so far. But navigating what's next is going to take some real finesse. Outnumbered on Capitol Hill and facing defections by GOP governors, they need a real pro to help them with a game plan.
What to do?
Maybe Republicans are following the strategy put forth by the authors of the best-selling book, "Made to Stick."
The premise of the book is that you have to get creative to have a successful message. The more creative it is, the more "sticky" it is. And people remember "sticky."
The authors say that people are much more apt to remember an urban legend (like the one about awakening in a bathtub full of ice only to discover one of your kidneys was stolen by organ thieves) than something more important like, as they cite, a new nonprofit financial strategy.
That's why, perhaps, congressional aides in the U.S. House didn't ask credentialed economists to attend a strategy meeting today. Or even well-known guys who talk about money like a Jim Cramer or Lou Dobbs.
They're bringing out the big guns. Someone much more well-known. Someone the Republican nominee for president pinned his election on during the final month.
Yep. The former kind of plumber, kind of author, kind of war correspondent is now kind of an economist. Joe the Plumber.
Standing room only?
Politico got a hold of an email announcing the addition of Wurzelbacher (his real last name) to the agenda today. And the congressional aide sounded really excited!
“In case you weren’t planning to attend CWG tomorrow morning, you might want to reconsider because Joe the Plumber will be joining us!” Kimberly Wallner, an aide to South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, wrote in a message to her e-mail list yesterday.
A lot of chatter
No word on how successful the meeting was. But plenty of people in the blogosphere are commenting on it. And there seems to be some real bipartisanship going on. Both those on the left and right applaud the move.
From the right, AC W, says, "Before laughing him off as unqualified, I would argue that he could present the point of view of the average working guy. It's a perspective many in Washington often forget."
And from the left, Jay McDonough writes, "Seriously, I think Joe will be a great asset to the GOP. He's a common sense guy, unencumbered by facts and data and ready and willing to speak his mind regardless of his level of expertise."
Joe the Reporter
By the way, he's still a "reporter" too. Here's his latest video.